I’m writing this letter to you because apparently, no one’s on my side anymore. I fear for my life. Your husband is blaming me for a crime I have not committed. I have all the respect in the world for your husband as the king. I’ve always given him the respect he was due and I gladly made the most of my role as his side kick. However, I feel as if my life is in great danger right now. I’m your brother and I think it’s my right to tell you what I think. I think your husband’s mad. I mean CRAZY MAD. I’m not telling you this just because I’m scared that he might have me killed. I’m only telling you this because I care for you and the people and I’m afraid that your husband might do harm without meaning to. I care for you and I care for this kingdom. I respect and trust your husband and his wisdom, but I am truly afraid that this plague might never be resolved with all the finger-pointing going on.
Ever since Oedipus came and saved us from the Sphinx and married you, I’ve always had this sense of gratitude for him. However, I’ve always felt that something was wrong. I could never point it out, but the feeling would always linger. However, he was, and is, in fact a great king. He always made the right decisions and peace and prosperity ruled our land. He was a great guy and I learned a lot from him. I definitely gave him as much respect as I gave Laius, your poor, deceased man.
I tried my best to help him in finding your dead husband’s killer. I searched long and hard to find and convince the prophet, Tiresias to come here and tell us what he knows. The prophet Tiresias told me beforehand that it was Oedipus who killed your husband. However, I convinced him to go here and tell Oedipus himself, for I had no power to tell the prophet he was wrong. I never fully trusted the prophet, but something inside me told me he was right. I am merely trying to help. However, I can’t bear to be insulted by your husband. You have to talk to him.
Oedipus, My Wretched Father,
I am so ashamed to be the offspring of a such an aberrant union that I do not even wish to leave my chamber. Since your birth you were damned to commit such dreadful acts of murder and incest. Now that the curse has been revealed to the public, my siblings and I born through your union with our and your mother have to live with malignant blood flowing through our veins for the rest of the world to look down upon. You have driven Jocasta, poor unfortunate mother to us all, to death. Deception and disgrace are the only two words that can describe your disgusting existence.
I must admit, when I first heard of the possibilities and the rumors after Tiresias’ visit, I would not believe it to be true. You, of all people, who saved the town from the Sphinx and led our people at the time when their king had disappeared, have fooled everyone with your admirable works. Now you have nothing left. Not your kingdom nor your dignity. Why you won’t just end your life now is beyond me. Your lineage is now diseased; I am diseased.
With that in mind, I have only one solution for all our best interests. I no longer wish to be affiliated with you. I am cutting all ties with you and actively seek your throne. I think it best go to me as opposed to Polynices simply because he is older than I. Perhaps I can dedicate my life to making amends in behalf of our family. I have also decided that your curse must end with your children, as far as I am concerned, which is why I have chosen not to bear any offspring. May the gods let no one else suffer the same shame we have.
This, then, is my last message to you, Oedipus. I shall personally see to it that you are sent off from Thebes as soon as possible. But since I am not totally incapable of feeling compassion, and after all you are still my father, I hope the gods show you mercy on your journey away from Thebes. Wherever you may go, may they grant you peace for the rest of your life. Your dishonor is enough suffering.
Before you leave, be sure to bid your last farewell to Antigone and Ismene for they are still too young to understand the humiliation they face. Settle your terms of banishment with Creon, your brother-in-law, and leave me your throne for the privilege to rule over Thebes. I will take care of burying our mother and looking after my sisters. God willing, decent men would desire them for their wives but have no children by them.
This is my last goodbye. Farewell.
I write this letter to tell you everything. For it is only through this letter that I can tell you all the things you have to know. I cannot bear the pain to see you in person. I cannot let see nor let you see the sorrow in our eyes. This is all I can give you.
I am very, truly, deeply sorry.
I’ve loved you for so long. You always had this spark in you that made me feel so much love for you ever since the day we met, and now I realize that this love that I had for you was so strong because you are my son. Now it makes sense that my love for you as my husband and as my son seemed to add up together to make me love you so much all these years. You’re definitely a part of me. I cannot bear myself to tell you the gravity of the sin we have done so because of love. I cannot blame you or myself for a crime we have done so without knowing. However, I cannot ever blame you for this. This is all my fault.
Your father was a good man. He was a good king. He was very down to earth and was one of his people. He was kind and caring for his people. He loved me dearly and was a fair husband. We had a great life. There were no wars nor famines. We lived in prosperity and peace when we got married. In our first year of marriage, you were born. And we saw you as a blessing from the gods, you looked like your father. However, an oracle came to us and told us of the future. The future that has happened now. It wasn’t your father who chose to give you away. It was my decision. I was afraid. We had the perfect life, and I did not want to have my son live a life committing the grave sins we have done. I felt that it was best to give you away. I felt by doing so, I can give you a life, although not extravagant and royal, peaceful and safe. And yet somehow, the gods seemed to have bitten us in the back. I guess we can never really avoid our fate. We’re just the puppets of the gods.
This pain is too much for me. The perfect world we once had has been crushed by the reality of our sins. I wish we never knew about this…I wish we never had to know. I love you, King Oedipus, but I cannot live through this pain. I have done you so much wrong and brought upon you so much suffering. I wish we could make this right, but alas, we can’t. Goodbye Oedipus, my son.
Image taken from: http://www.google.com.ph/imglanding?q=jocasta&um=1&hl=tl&sa=N&biw=995&bih=643&tbs=isch:1&tbnid=kdKDwitais-yhM:&imgrefurl=http://www.deathdyinggriefandmourning.com/Death-Dying-Grief-Mourning/8-Sophocles,%252520Oedipus%252520The%252520King%252520Thebes-Death%252520of%252520Jocasta.htm&imgurl=http://www.deathdyinggriefandmourning.com/Death-%2526-Dying-Images%2525201-20/8-b-Oedipus-%2526-Jocasta.jpg&zoom=1&w=501&h=500&iact=hc&ei=a02oTO77DceecYqY_KIN&oei=WU2oTL3HKsPKcM6–fgM&esq=4&page=1&tbnh=152&tbnw=152&start=0&ndsp=13&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:0
I, a slaves trader and master, am drowning in the blood of these pitiful slaves. With their sweat, I make my living. I have no use for rotting slaves. The sphinx had no taste for these pitiful slaves of mine, so then I was able to make my living. Their putrid stench has seeped into the recesses of my home. My iron fist, my whip and my tongue capable of piercing a man’s soul have no use on dead slaves. When they die laboring on fields, who will move their corpses? Certainly not I! I will neither give this task to my slaves that still breathe for they are of more use to me tending to my property. This plague, gives me no hope. I ask your highness, who is solver of riddles, to find the answer to this plague. I have no care for the lives of these slaves. I only care for my profit. What use is my business then when Atropos’s fingers is swift in cutting the lives of this land? Oedipus, slayer of the Sphinx, uphold the fame of Thebes. Do not allow this city to crumble in your hands. I want to be able to sustain my power. I am sure that you also feel this power hunger that I have. You cannot keep hold of your position with great integrity when you command a kingdom weakened by a plague.
My slaves reach the ends of our land and news comes along with them. Some of these are false gossip and some are actually reliable. There’s one recent rumor that captured my attention. This rumor spreading amongst my slaves says that the plague is caused by the anger of a god. Some say that the cause of this god’s anger is because of a son engaging in coitus with his mother on his father’s marriage bed. Some say that a murder of a king was the cause. I have no way of knowing if these are actually true. But, since I am desperate, I am willing to hear any rumor about this plague. As I am trying to find a way, I pray to the gods that you will gain wisdom in finding a solution.
From, Dypus son of Maximus
Journal Entry: 1761
I hate this day because a lot of terrible things happened that only ended up aggravating me. I was out hunting some wild animals when I heard a great uproar in the city. I was worried that something must have happened, so I rushed home immediately. There was a heavy feeling in the air when I arrived, and I knew that something was wrong. I came to realize that there were horrible events that had unfolded while I was away.
My father killed his own father and married his mother. Miserable I was when I discovered this but I was especially mortified when I found out that my father committed incest. I was dreadfully disgusted at this fact since a mother having intimate relations with her son is something that is looked down in society. “Why did this happen,” I asked myself knowing that this will destroy my family. We were disgraced and humiliated. Also, our honour that we worked so hard to achieve was forever destroyed in just a single day. I had first thought that this was the main reason why the city was in chaos, but there were apparently more reasons why. My mother had taken her own life and my father blinded himself and was exiled from Thebes. My siblings and I were left without parents to guide us. Furthermore, no one would teach us on how to become great kings and queens such as themselves. I was outraged at my father for being so stupid to marry his own mother, and at the gods for allowing all of these to happen. If he had just ignored what his heart lingered for, then both of my parents would have still been alive. Also, even if he had clear sight, he was blind to the truth for an extremely long time.
Though my father was a man who was able to think and do whatever he wanted, he was destined to be cursed. His fate had made me think of the freedom I really have. My father tried to escape his doom, but he was helpless against the power of his destiny and the gods. Because of this, it seemed to me that the free will of men is not completely free since fate also has control of a person’s life.
Right at that moment, I wanted to share the same fate as my mother and take my own life. Though killing myself would spare me the pain that I will have to endure, I still had siblings to take care of. They were young and needed someone to guide them. I had to teach them and take care of them so that they will not share the same outcome as my father. Although I am not sure on how I’ll do this, but I hope that Zeus will answer my prayers and lead us to a better future.