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Comparison Between the Book “Oedipus – The King” and the Movie “Omen” Essay

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Updated: Sep 17th, 2021

The way Sophocles has presented his ideas by creating a character like ‘Oedipus’ shows Sophocles concerns about good and evil deeds, which later become actions and influence the person associated with them. The more anyone is related to the deeds, the more he suffers. This is what is shown in the movie “Omen.”

Both stories revolve around curses initiated from fates of good and evil, prophecy, and Satan. Similarities are found in both, but at different time intervals like in Oedipus in the beginning. Laios, the king of Thebes, learns through prophetic forecasting that his own son will kill him. In fact, in both the stories, children are adopted and not born. Omen captures the sequence in a terrifying manner where Damien is the son of wolves who kills the actual baby and takes place as Thorn’s son while Laios being more realistic than Thorn, tries to get rid of his son.

In Oedipus, when Laios and his wife, Jocasta, bears a son, Laios entrusts the infant to one of his herdsmen with orders that he leave the baby to die on Mt. Kithairon, exposed with its ankles pierced and pinned together. The same thing happens in ‘The Omen’ but in the end, when ambassador Thorn realizes his mistake of not killing ‘Damien.’ Therefore in Omen part 1, in the end when Thorn tries to kill the six-year-old Damien, he is caught. Therefore the story remains with Damien.

In Oedipus, the story initiates with the attempt of Laios to kill the boy which later becomes the King. Laios’ attempt remains an attempt, and so does in Omen, the ambassador fails to kill the boy. Here we can see what fate upholds for us could never change. Despite all the efforts to kill the curse (or source of the curse) father fails to kill the evil.

The only difference between the ‘Oedipus’ and ‘Omen’ is that of mode in which the crime is committed, or in other words, is the curse initiated. Oedipus is commenced by what I would call as direct mode, i.e., it is not revealed before the people that he is the killer of the former king “Laius,” therefore Oedipus’s curse is hidden while in Omen, “Damien” serves as the son of Satan, who indirectly curses all the people who surround him and his ‘identity is revealed upon them but in the end. Therefore, he who knows about the ‘Damien’ is killed unintentionally by nature. We can also say that Damien (the child) is a curse not only to his country but also to the ambassador ‘Thorn,’ who thinks until his 6th birthday that Damien is an ordinary child. Thorn remains unknown to his son’s reality until he finds the photographer and the father, who, in accordance with the biblical passages, tries to prove to Thorn that his son is not actually his own but the son of Satan.

The difference between Oedipus and Damien starts with their “discoveries,” as in Oedipus, Sophocles has revealed about his crime in the end, while in Omen, Damien is declared as evil in the beginning. Oedipus kills his own father, so does Damien but after a long series of killings. The killings start with his maid, and it seems it does not have any end. The curse due to which circumstances get worse is of Damien’s so does in Oedipus, the whole town starts to destruct due to the curse on Oedipus while in Omen, it starts with his own home.

There is another difference between Oedipus’ revelation and Omen’s. Later, when in Oedipus, the Prophet Tiresias meets with Oedipus, he refuses to declare everything to him for he knows the consequences would be worst. While in Omen, ‘Damien’ as a child is not bothered about anything, but when his father Ambassador Thorn meets Father, he is informed openly about what kind of a ‘child’ he owns, therefore that night ‘Damien’s’ curse kills the Father. The same thing happened with the photographer who discovered a supernatural symbol with photos that belonged to ‘Damien’s curse (victims).

In both the stories, it is the fight between good and evil. Evil in ‘the Omen’ in the form of symbols like 666 is stronger as compared to that of Oedipus because of the fact that Oedipus, despite killing his own father, acts as if he seeks the killer, there is a sense of self-defense and unintentional recognition deep inside the heart of Oedipus, which helped him to stay ‘good King’ in the eyes of his people, while Damien is an open evil who does not even bother to stay good. This is evident from the scene in part1, which was about Damien’s condition when his parents Robert and Katherine Thorn, forcefully try to take Damien to the church.

Both the stories revolve around three aspects; fate, god, and war – war between good and evil. Fate is all that is perceived as evil or good and depends upon a person’s intentions. Both stories have many similarities at different sequences in different conditions as both revolve around evil deeds but one main difference that is only noticed after a careful analysis. Oedipus upholds deep inside him a small ray of hope that keeps him going throughout the story. With hope comes light, and light welcomes goodness. Despite all the killings he committed throughout his Kingdom, in the end, he realizes his ‘identity’ and makes a suicidal attempt by piercing his eyes from Iokaste’s broaches. He then himself chooses his punishment to be exiled from his Kingdom. This never happened in ‘the Omen.’ Damien never accepts his defeat and is devoid of this single ray of light and hope and therefore remains as a symbol of evil.

References

Donner Richard. “The Omen” 20th Century Fox.

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IvyPanda. "Comparison Between the Book "Oedipus – The King" and the Movie "Omen"." September 17, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/comparison-between-the-book-oedipus-the-king-and-the-movie-omen/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Comparison Between the Book "Oedipus – The King" and the Movie "Omen"." September 17, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/comparison-between-the-book-oedipus-the-king-and-the-movie-omen/.

References

IvyPanda. (2021) 'Comparison Between the Book "Oedipus – The King" and the Movie "Omen"'. 17 September.

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