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Oedipus Character Analysis

808 words - 4 pages

Oedipus is motivated by his desire to know the full truth which unfortunately leads to him learning that his terrible fate has been fulfilled and he loses everything he holds dear. In the beginning of Oedipus Rex, the audience sees that Thebes is suffering a terrible plague. Oedipus, being crowned King after his defeat of the Sphinx, desires to save his city from the plague and restore it into a place of peace and stability. Creon tells Oedipus that the oracle said that Thebes is cursed because the murderer of Laos still lives in Thebes unpunished. Oedipus is determined to find the murder of Laos and He saved Thebes once from the Sphinx and he wants to be hero of Thebes again. He could go ...view middle of the document...

Like Oedipus, Caesar finds that his search for what he wanted ends up in his own undoing. When he finds Caesar dead, Marc Antony says to Caesar, "Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils, shrunk to this little measure?" (Julius Caesar act 3 lines 156-160) In an instant, Caesar and Oedipus lose everything they had including their family, their rule, their honor and glory. In fact, Oedipus is so horrified by what he has done that he gouges eyes out. However, while he got rid of having to bear the sight of those he loved see him in such disgrace and weakness, he cannot be rid of the daunting memory of his actions.
Teirisius and Shepherd are somewhat opposite from Oedipus. Oedipus acts quickly and boldly to learn the truth; Teirisius and the Shepherd both act hesitantly to reveal the truth. Both of these characters know who Oedipus is and that his fate has already been fulfilled. Teirisius, the blind prophet, knows that Oedipus is the murderer of Laos. However, he is reluctant to reveal the truth to Oedipus, saying "Bear your own fate, and I'll bear mine" (Sophocles 17). The shepherd, in a similar manner, knew that Oedipus was the son of Jocasta and is threatened with torture if he does not tell Oedipus if he really is the son...

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