The image of Oracle in “Oedipus the King” and “The Matrix”

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“Oedipus the King” is a play written by Sophocles in 429 BC, while the movie “The Matrix” is a modern day film installment which was first released in 1999.  Both “Oedipus the King” and “The Matrix” have Oracles characters who made prophecies throughout the stories.  They foretold the future with great accuracy and often those perdictions couldn’t be understood or solved by regular mortals.

In “Oedipus the King”, the Oracle accurately prophesized that Laius, the former king of Thebes, will be killed by his own son. It is stated in the following lines:

“Once came to Laius (I will not say

‘Twas from the Delphic god himself, but from

His ministers) declaring he was doomed

To perish by the hand of his own son” (Berg and Clay et al. 707)

The Oracle also predicted that the plague will only stop if the murderer of Lauis will be identified.

In “The Matrix”, the Oracle accurately prophesized that Morpheus will find “The One”, who could defeat the matrix program, who incidentally happened to be Neo. When Neo was found, the Oracle also accurately predicted events before they happened such as the vase that fell while the Oracle and Neo were talking (Wachowski).

The two oracles may be accurate in their prophecies but there is a difference in their engagement with the story.  In “Oedipus the King”, the Oracle at Delphi was a distant and hermetic priestess who only prophesized events.  Unlike in “The Matrix”, the Oracle is involved with the resistance and has been helping them “since the beginning” (Wachowski).  Also, the oracle in “Oedipus the King” was questioned by one of the characters (i.e. Jocasta) that her prophecies are untrue unlike in “The Matrix” where no one doubted the prophecy of the oracle even if the prophecy is far-fetched such as finding “The One” who could single-handedly beat the matrix program.

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  1. S., Berg, S., & Clay, D. (1978). Oedipus the King. New York: Oxford University Press.
  2. Wachowski, L. (Director). (1999). The Matrix [Video file]. USA: Village Roadshow Films (bvi). Retrieved April 28, 2018.
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