Words that people say casually are likely to turn out to be a prophecy, and there’s no way to avoid or escape from it. This was the strongest feeling that I had at the moment I finished reading Oedipus the King. Oedipus’s tragic end reminded me what he says when he is giving promise to his citizens in the beginning. “The man who killed Laios might take revenge on me just as violently. So by avenging Laios’ death, I protect myself.” (P29 169-171) How could one dig a pitfall for himself and fall into it without noticing? As the murderer in his own mouth, he takes a revenge on himself personally.
Visible predictions are even more unavoidable. To prevent the prediction that Laios will be killed by his son, Oedipus is abandoned on a mountain with his feet pierced. Nevertheless, this act just leads him to hear another prediction that he would murder his father and marry his mother, and causes him to leave home and rove in foreign countries, thereby guiding him to the place where he meets his father and kills him accidently. Humans are too negligible to defy or rewrite predestination, the result of trying so would be falling into a cycle and eventually turning back to the original point.
When Oedipus is told by the messenger that his “father” Polybos has dead, the sorrow and gladness in his heart are intermingled. His excitement even overwhelms his sadness owing to the reason that he thinks that the prophecy has been broken successfully. How can he kill a person who is already not in the world? Father’s death is not a bad news, as long as the murderer is not him. Just like he says to Jocasta: “My fears confused me.”(P66 1229) His fears do not only confuse him, but also stimulate his selfishness inside.
As the outlined above, the truth would be uncovered and the prophecy would become true with or without the plague. What has created and destroyed Oedipus at the same time is his own personality and fate.