Oedipus King Comparison Essay

1114 words - 4 pages

Oedipus the King, also known as Oedipus Rex, was one of the greatest tragedies written by Sophocles in the fifth century. The Theban legend is about King Laius and Queen Jocasta. After their son was born, an oracle came forth and told them that their son was destined to kill his father and marry his mother. The King and Queen then decided that this baby boy should not live any longer. They would abandon this baby on a mountainside with his feet cruelly pierced so that he could not crawl to safety. Laius and Jocasta thought that they were able to overcome their fate. However, a Shepard found the baby on the mountainside and brought him to the King of Corinth, for he and his wife were unable to conceive on their own. As young Oedipus grew up, an oracle came to him and told him his fate, that he would murder his father and marry his mother. He decided to leave Corinth to escape his fate. His journey led him to Thebes, where the king was murdered and the Sphinx had ruled and terrorized the city. The only way the Sphinx would leave was to solve the riddle. Oedipus was able to solve it and save the city of Thebes. The citizens decided to give the thrown to Oedipus and have him marry the Queen, Jocasta. Years passed and the city of Thebes was in trouble once more. Famine, drought, death of the pastures, and infertility had overcome the city; and here is where the play begins.In comparing the play and video of Oedipus the King, they share various similarities. For one, the characters stay consistent throughout the play and the movie, as does the dialogue itself. It is because of this that I feel the themes of fate vs. free will, anger, pride, etc are all still powerful and present within the film. I was pleasantly surprised to find that out as most films based on literature tend to lose some of the themes and motifs within them.However, there are many differences between the two as well. The period of the movie is different then the time frame in the play. The play for instance, seemed as though the time frame of the events was spaced over several weeks. On the other hand, I interpreted the film to have taken place within a few days. In the beginning of the film, the citizens of Thebes are walking slowly and sickly to the front of Oedipus' palace. The attire of the citizens does not coincide with the period of the play. The play was written in the fifth century and the wardrobe of the citizens looks as though it came from all different periods. When Oedipus enters the scene, he is dressed in a modern day white suit with a very long red cape. This style suit obviously would not be worn in the fifth century. Jocasta enters in a red outfit, which symbolizes blood, violence and guilt. Creon appears to be wearing a costume with a military or general style, consisting of medals and honors with high boots and buttons down the middle. This costume would not be worn in this century, as it is more appropriate for a World War II movie. The twelve members of the...

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