"Oedipus Rex" By Sophocles: Analysis Of The Work

1006 words - 4 pages

Oedipus Rex, the Ancient Greek play written by Sophocles in the 5th century B.C., is a typical example of a Greek tragedy. Sophocles, the author, was born about 495 B.C. and is one of the three Greek Tragedians; the writers of Greek tragedies. He first achieved recognition at age 28 in Athens. He composed the Theban Trilogy, which is comprised of Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone, along with countless other works, though only seven works survive. The play is a Greek tragedy; a serious drama featuring a noble, dignified main character who strives to achieve something and is ultimately defeated because of his tragic flaw, pride. Oedipus Rex was written during the Greek Golden Age and was first performed in 406 B.C. It took advantage of the improvements in theatrical performances. Oedipus Rex is an example of a classical Greek tragedy, featuring a hero, Oedipus, who is plagued by his tragic flaw, pride, a central theme, and dramatic irony.Sophocles, the author of Oedipus Rex, was one of the greatest Greek writers; who wrote many award-winning tragedies and stories. He wrote Oedipus Rex to expand on his Theban Trilogy and to try to win competitions in the Festival of Dionysus. The theme of the play, the quest for identity, relates to a typical Greek tragedy because it shows a hero who, in his quest to discover his identity, discovers how pride and prophecy can affect his life. Oedipus discovers the truth behind a prophecy made by prophet of Delphi, which says that he would ultimately murder his father and marry his mother. He denies the prophecy and runs away to Thebes to try to hide from the prophecy, where he marries the queen, whose husband was murdered. Oedipus seeks his true identity throughout the play. When he eventually discovers that the queen, Jocasta, is his mother, he realizes that the prophecy was true after all and he just ran back to his real home. He cannot handle that he ran back to his true destiny:Ah God!It was true!All the prophecies!-Now,O Light may I look on you for the last time! (Oedipus Rex l. 1119-1120).He blinds himself when he discovers that his wife has hanged herself upon realizing the truth about his past.Oedipus Rex is structured like many classical Greek tragedies; in scenes and odes. Classical Greek tragedies like Oedipus Rex begin in a Prologue, which is the opening scene. Next is the Parados, which is the first of the Chorus' odes. After that, there is a regular alternation of scenes in dialogue and choral odes. The play ends in an Exodos, which is the concluding scene. Oedipus Rex was preformed in a classical Greek theater. These theaters looked like a semicircle carved into hillsides. The seating was in steep rows carved into the hillside. At the bottom of the seating was the orchestra, which was the area where the Chorus performed. The actors...

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