The Existential Crossroads

Sophocles’ element of circuit elevates an existential obscurity.

Oedipus travelled in a circle, inadvertently—oblivious to the resolution that crossing the road from Delphi, resisting Daulia, completed the revolution. He fled from home, only to return.

His discoveries of the obnoxious augury prompted him to the predestined three-path intersection. This may represent the Three Fates, who regulates destinies. The crossroad, then, marks the route towards prophetical and existential fulfillment; it is the watershed of effectuating his transcendental purpose. This is how fate works. His journey towards veracity concerned unearthing his past path, till his origins.

Moreover, he fathomed out a riddle respecting mankind to enter his newfound home (ironically), satisfying his self-absorbed objective to circumvent Apollo’s omniscience. Subsequently, he unraveled another riddle (as a detective), but regarding himself (as the murderer), delineating his formerly concealed map! To discover objective past truths, he ought to reject wishful past truths.

To comprehend one’s kind and self, then, via shrewd appreciation of historical matrix, enables one to perceive not merely particulars, but entirety.

Altogether, the text reflects Kant’s notion of the reconciliation between freedom and necessity. They are natural affinities, as we are condemned to be free, that fate stems from our individual determinations. Oedipus’ murder at the crossroad is warranted by his intelligence (his strive against jeopardy to escape into Thebes), but also due to his ignorance (his reliance upon debatable presuppositions) and incaution (his tendency to kill without probabilistic considerations).

The road then represents a clash between revelation and rationalism: avoiding the gods swayed Oedipus closer to god’s will. Trying to find his true self from his own, subjective eyes would only find his true, objective self.

Therefore, the tragedy is an existential enigma, inviting us to contemplate on our metaphysical authenticity—a marionette of the phenomenal or noumenal reality.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s