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Oedipus Essay

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 provide enough information to ascertain what kind of character Oedipus is, why he is such a tragic figure, the believability of his actions and motives in the play and the interesting dilemma of Oedipus being both the protagonist and the antagonist.Oedipus is a proud man; he solves the riddle of the Sphinx and saves Thebes, thus leading to him obtaining the throne from the murdered King Laios. Unfortunately, a new plague is sweeping across Thebes, and Creon, his brother-in-law, returns from the God?s with a message for Oedipus to find out who killed King Laios, and rid the land of that particular unsolved mystery. Oedipus displays his insecurity when he begins investigating the murder and calls in Teiresias, a pupil of the gods, who points the finger, in the form of a riddle, at Oedipus. ?A blind man, who has his eyes now; a penniless man, who is rich now; and he will go tapping the strange earth with his staff; to the children with whom he lives now he will be Brother and father-the very same; to her who bore him, son and husband-the very same who came to his father?s bed, wet with his father?s blood? (Sophocles, 985). He immediately dismisses the man as crazy, and blames Creon for trying to destroy him and take away his leadership. The insecurity is rooted more deeply though, because the play later reveals that Oedipus has indeed slain before, and an eyewitness account of the situation is indifferent from the description of events Oedipus tells his wife. As it turns out, the riddle is completely true, because the play later reveals that Oedipus? true father is actually King Laios and he unknowingly wound up killing him while he was traveling to Thebes. When he took the throne, he married the Queen of Thebes, who turns out to be his mother. Oedipus? search for the murderer ends up being a search for his own identity and reveals that he is accursed man that he was looking for in the first place.Being a rounded and dynamic character,...

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