When our group decided on The Local’s article, which focuses on
the growing and immense numbers of people in Germany who are in need of this organizations help line. After reading the article I chose to write on Oedipus the King because the similarities between the emotions and issues of the characters in the play, are very similar to what many of these callers of the help line are experiencing. To highlight and emphasize on these similarities we will focus solely on the main character of the play Oedipus and how it relates to the article.
Many of Oedipus’s problems root from being alienated from the truth about being adopted at such a young age, which created major trust issues. The result of this lack of trust in others forced Oedipus to conceal various dark secrets that he held from even his closest loved ones. He never felt comfortable enough to tell his parents about the prophecies he had been told about how he would one day kill his father, marry his mother and have sex with her. This inability to talk to the ones close to him lead to confusion that troubled him so much that he lashed out one day killing five people, one of them being King Laius. This decision was the first of many poor ones that would eventually result in him being so disgusted with his life that he stabbed his eyes out so that he would never have to see the horror of the world.
Many people who call into this hotline are experiencing similar feelings as Oedipus. Children and adults who use this calling centre are suffering from, feelings of loneliness without anyone to talk to about their problems. Because of this many of them are very distressed and angry about the life that they have been given. These are serious emotions that if untreated can lead to sever depression where people may begin to conflict pain on themselves (much like Oedipus) or consume harmful substances. Within the article there’s a quote from one of the Telephone Pastors that says “For the most part we hear about relationship problems inside the family or with a partner, and also about loneliness. But people also call to tell us about psychological or physical problems they are suffering from” these three main topics also happen to be of huge relevance in Oedipus the King. (The Local, 2015)
A Different Perspective:
Like countless people on the help line there is no one in their life that helps them see a positive in a bad situation, a silver lining to support making them feel important or proud of themselves. Many who analyze the play do the same to Oedipus, though his life was riddled with a series of unfortunate events that were made worse through his inability to face the truth; there is an angle, which many overlook. That’s a Oedipus’s sign in strength of character. Oedipus shows a lot of growth that most don’t see (like suicidal people aren’t taken seriously with their issues or feel worthless). When everything had unravelled and it became clear that all the prophecies had become true, Oedipus confronts his mistakes and sticks to his promise to the city of Thebes by punishing and banishing the killer of the past king Laius, himself.
By: Bridger Strong
Emusic. (2007, 11 14). Oedipus the King. Retrieved 04 06, 2016, from http://www.emusic.com/book/sophocles/oedipus-the-king/10000483/
Sophocles. (1912). Oedipus the King (Loeb Library ed.). (F. Storr, Trans.) Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
The Local. (2015, 12 28). ‘Kids as young as ten are considering suicide’. Retrieved 04 06, 2016, from The Local de: http://www.thelocal.de/20151228/helping-germans-overcome-crisis-for-60-years