Oedipus Essay

1482 words - 6 pages


The play Oedipus The King begins with the king and queen of Thebes, Laius and Jocasta.

Laius was warned by an oracle that his own son would kill him and that he would marry his mother, Jocasta. Determined to reverse their fate, Laius pierced and bound his newborn sons feet and sent a servant away with him with strict instructions to leave the child to die on the mountain of Cithaeron. However, the servant felt badly for the infant and gave him to a shepherd who then gave the child to Polybus, king of Corinth, a neighboring realm. Polybus then named the child Oedipus (swollen foot) and raised him as his own son. Oedipus was never told that he was adopted, and when an oracle told him that he would murder his father and marry his mother he fled the city believing that the king and queen of Corinth were his parents. In the course of his travels, he met and killed Laius, thinking that the king and his servants were a band of robbers, and thus unwittingly fulfilled the prophecy.

Oedipus then continued his traveling, and arrived at the kingdom of Thebes, which was plagued by a horrible beast, they called the Sphinx. The frightful creature frequented the roads to the city, asking travelers her riddle then eating them when they could not answer correctly. Oedipus answered the riddle the Sphinx presented him with correctly, saving the city and becoming a hero. Believing that robbers had killed Laius, and grateful to Oedipus for ridding them of the dreadful Sphinx, the Thebans rewarded Oedipus by making him their king and graciously giving Queen Jocasta as his new wife.

The kingdom of Thebes was exultant, and the kingdom prospered under their new ruler, but again a grievous plague fell upon the city. The oracle was consulted to give
an answer on how to rid themselves of the plague. The oracle proclaimed that Laius’s murderer must be punished in order to rid the city of the dreadful plague. Teiresias, a blind prophet was summoned to help the kingdom with their terrible calamity. He revealed that Oedipus was the murderer and that he was sleeping with his own mother. Oedipus did not believe Teiresias at first but slowly began to realize that it was true. In grief and despair of their incestuous life, Jocasta killed herself, and Oedipus, after learning of her death then blinded himself and was banished from Thebes forever, leaving Creon, his brother-in-law as the new king.

“Ever since Aristotle’s high praise regarding its structure and characterization in his Poetics, Oedipus Rex has been considered one of the most outstanding examples of tragic drama” (Drama, 210). In Oedipus The King, Sophocles creates one of the most intricate characters of Greek drama. A tragic hero, Oedipus’s desire for self-discovery and understanding inevitably leads to his tragic downfall. However, self-discovery is not the only characteristic of Oedipus, which contributes to his tragic end. Oedipus’s excessive pride (hubris) combined with his temper also...

Find Another Essay On Oedipus

Oedipus Essay

1098 words - 4 pages Mankind was born to improve and learned upon himself for thousands of years. In the analysis of the story Oedipus the king, Walter James Miller expressed his own feeling as which explains why Oedipus although is more than 2000 years ago still makes modern mankind moves and found themselves related to the story. The writer stated clearly that Oedipus was the man that he was 2000 years ago because he took full responsibilities of his own actions

Oedipus Essay

739 words - 3 pages BREAKING NEWS: Oedipus Leaves Thebes!!!Oedipus king of Thebes was said to have left Thebes just yesterday evening after a shocking discovery. Oedipus has found out that is the murderer of king Laius , also known as his father! We have got this information from a good friend of his the shepherd, who was suppose to have killed Oedipus as a child but instead gave him to another shepherd who gave Oedipus to the king and queen of his village who


850 words - 3 pages ?Oedipus Rex? is a well-known play of ancient times and is enjoyed by many people around the globe, despite being a horrible tragedy. During the play, Oedipus, who is the King of Thebes, searches for the murderer of the previous King of Thebes, King Laios. Through his search, Oedipus finds out more than he bargains for and this results in his downfall, mentally and as king. The series of events that take place in Oedipus? life during this play


907 words - 4 pages OedipusFate is in control of our lives. It is our destiny, yet how we deal with our fate defines us as a person. Whether we decide to deny or embrace our fate, it is up to us.According to Sophocles, fate is inevitable and unavoidable.In the introduction the king and queen attempt to avoid their fate by sending their baby away. However, in truth, no decisions or actions change their or their child's fate in the end. Later in the story Oedipus is


907 words - 4 pages OedipusFate is in control of our lives. It is our destiny, yet how we deal with our fate defines us as a person. Whether we decide to deny or embrace our fate, it is up to us.According to Sophocles, fate is inevitable and unavoidable.In the introduction the king and queen attempt to avoid their fate by sending their baby away. However, in truth, no decisions or actions change their or their child's fate in the end. Later in the story Oedipus is

Oedipus - 8892 words

8892 words - 36 pages spectator," as in Oedipus Rex, wherein it clarifies the experiences and the feelings of the characters in everyday terms and expresses the conventional attitude toward the developments in the story. In general the tragedians used the chorus: one, to create its odes; two, to introduce and question new characters; three, to point out significance of events as they occurred; four, to establish facts; five, to affirm the outlook of society: and, six

Oedipus - 561 words

561 words - 2 pages In Sophocle’s play Oedipus Rex, how does one judge Oedipus? Should he be held accountable for killing his father and marrying his mother? To me Oedipus is a man of great personal folly. He may have been fated to commit the crimes but he also allowed them to happen though his actions. I believe that he is at least partly guilty of the aforementioned crimes. He allows and also hastens his fate through his uncontrolled anger, his blind refusal of


1099 words - 4 pages . Once we cannot accept it, all the events that occur after go wrong till the truth is finally accepted. This is displayed in Oedipus the King. Oedipus has requested the truth, but threw free will Oedipus make several bad decisions. These decisions could had been avoided, from just acceptance of truth.A horrible decision was made by Oedipus when he took what Teiresias said, and turn it into something it was not. Which was an outrageous conspiracy

Oedipus Rex

535 words - 2 pages Jared Hensley Many stories have tragic heroes. The prince from the movie The Gladiator server as an example. The prince has a high social a high social standing at the beginning of the movie. The princes' tragic flaw, pride, caused him to loose his status and die. Similarly Oedipus, of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, starts with a high social standing and then falls. Oedipus, of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, represents a tragic hero because of his high social

Oedipus Synthesis

1305 words - 5 pages 1HodskinsJacqueline HodskinsMs. CyrAP Literature/ Period 216 October 2014Complete Characterization is CrucialAristotle defines a tragedy to be "the imitation in dramatic form of an action that is serious and complete, with incidents arousing pity and fear wherewith it effects a catharsis of such emotions." By his definition, Oedipus Rex is considered to be the perfect tragedy. Oedipus commits two "fatal sins" that, to some, makes him seem

Oedipus Essay

551 words - 2 pages Jake MazieMs. BritaEnglish oneJanuary 8th 2013Out of all the great downfalls of kings throughout history, the fall of Oedipus may have been the most humiliating and dark. Many people caused this horrible outcome, but one person causes the most damage. In Oedipus the King Oedipus suffered a horrid fate. Although others played a part, Jocasta was most a fault because she helped Laios avoid his fate, she was oblivious to the evidence of the

Similar Essays

Oedipus Essay 673 Words

673 words - 3 pages Oedipus Essay Arrogance is unpleasant self-importance or haughtiness. The play "Oedipus," by Sophocles is set in the ancient Greek city of Thebes. Oedipus is the king of Thebes and the murderer of the former king although he doesn't realize it. Oedipus' search for King Laius' murderer turns into the question of who Oedipus' real parents are. Oedipus decides not to heed the warnings of Tiresias, Jocasta and the shepherd due to his arrogant

Oedipus Essay 1208 Words

1208 words - 5 pages The Five Key Steps to Oedipus Rex There are five key steps to the play Oedipus they are Why are the gods punishing Thebes, Who killed Liyus, Why is Creon suspected of trying to take Oedipuses thrown, Who is Oedipus, When is the Anangnorisis. The play Oedipus begins in the city of Thebes which is being punished by the gods. The major irony of the story is that Oedipus?s real parents aren?t the ones from Corinth they are the king and queen of

Oedipus Essay 839 Words

839 words - 4 pages Is truth always the right way? When is there a time when too much truth is revealed? In Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, Oedipus is the tragic hero whose truth is revealed at considerable costs. His plight for truth about what is going on with his kingdom revealed that he has been the cause for the vast majority of the suffering. Upon learning about Oedipus’ actions, several different situations occur. These situations exemplify the fact that truth’s

Oedipus Essay 1032 Words

1032 words - 4 pages In Sophocles' drama Oedipus Rex, the critic's statement concerning the protagonist's need to challenge fate, even though there is no way to avoid it, is supported throughout the storyline. In this drama is about the ill-fated King Oedipus as he realizes that he unknowingly killed his father and slept with his mother, the protagonist constantly attempts to take his destiny into his own hands, his hubris guiding much of his decisions. From