Oedipus Rex and Wreck-It Ralph


Wreck-It Ralph and Oedipus RexWreck-It Ralph, a child’s movie teaching the mature theme of empathy, has everything to do with Oedipus Rex. The Theban tragedy explores human’s lot in life. Are helpless pawns of cruel fate?

Oedipus

A minor theme however can be find in how the the townspeople have compassion on their hapless king. Oedipus unwittingly murders his father and unwittingly marries his mother. I say “unwittingly,” but in reality Oedipus did everything he possibly could to UNFULFILL the ill-boded oracle.

He left (what he thought was) his hometown and his parents. He went far away from Corinth to Thebes. On the road, he was attacked, and defending himself, he killed a man. He arrived at Thebes and delivered the town from the evil Sphynx. In gratitude, the city makes him king, and he marries the queen, recently widowed under mystery. It progressively is revealed that Corinth was NOT Oedipus’ hometown and his “parents” there were adoptive. His real parents were in Thebes.

Oedipus gouges out his eyes and exiles himself. He is horrified by his heinous sin. The populace is more forgiving. They feel empathy.

Wreck-It Ralph is a video game bad guy. At his game’s 30th anniversary party, he’s not invited (because he’s the bad guy). In a quest for acceptance, he decides to get a medal and invades “Hero’s Duty” by cruising through the power cables. Things don’t go smoothly because a Cybug blasts off with him and the fly into girl race-car game “Sugar Rush.”

In this candyland, a snotty girl calls him a hobo and waltzes off with his medal. Despite this, he defends her from the witchy “most popular girls in school” other racers. He has compassion on her. She becomes his first friend.

Eventually, Fix-It Felix — the good guy counterpart to Ralph — learns to feel Ralph’s pain. He acquires this highest of human virtues: empathy.

Christianity is empathy. God felt humanity’s pain (the fall and death from sin) and alleviated this pain (He sent Jesus to take the hit for us). If we receive Jesus, we can enjoy right relationship with God.

Note: Oedipus and Wreck-It Ralph seems to me to be the perfect comparison and contrast.

3 responses to “Oedipus Rex and Wreck-It Ralph

  1. Ironically, I just watched this compassionate movie, I agree it was a great one to teach feelings to children. My two grandsons, ages 10 and 6 loved this one! Smiles, Robin

  2. The Gospel of Barney

    Parables never grow old!

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