This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Oedipus Rex Essay

912 words - 4 pages

Oedipus Rex Essay

The name “Oedipus” means “swollen feet” in Latinized Greek. His parents, Laius and Jocasta, gave him this name while piercing a metal rod through the ankles of his feet, in order to prevent the fulfilment of the oracle’s prophecy. Despite this heinous act, their efforts were in vain as Oedipus’ free will conquered the theme of fate. In the play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, the tragic hero, Oedipus, demonstrates hamartia, a fatal error in judgement, which brings about his own downfall. It was Oedipus’ hubris that was responsible for the tragic ending of this play. Evidence of this statement occurs when Oedipus’ determination towards solving the mystery behind Laius’ death ironically lead to the truth behind the oracle’s prophecies. Additionally, Oedipus’ overweening pride and ego resulted in the murder of Laius, which was a major stepping-stone in the prophecy. He illustrates his error in judgment through his pride, blindness, and foolishness and therefore is at fault.

In fact, Oedipus’ determination towards solving the mystery behind Laius’ death ironically lead to the truth behind the oracle’s prophecy. His supercilious “energia” is present during his speech to the people of Thebes where he states, “As for the criminal, I pray to God -/ Whether it be lurking thief, or one of a number -/ I pray that that man’s life be consumed in evil and/ wretchedness,” (30). Furthermore, he explains that, “If any man knows by whose hand Laius, son of Labdacus,/ Met his death, I direct that man to tell me everything,/… Moreover: if anyone knows the murderer to be foreign,/ Let him not keep silent: he shall have his reward from me,” (30). When Oedipus seeks advice from Apollo in order to lift the curse casted upon Thebes, he learns that the identity of Laius’ murderer must be sought first. Oedipus swears an oath and is determined to uncover the truth behind this wretched murder. There is major dramatic irony as he curses the murderer, who is actually himself, to a life “consumed in evil and wretchedness.” Oedipus commits to bribery as he offers the citizens of Thebes a “reward” to “any man that knows by whose hand Laius, son of Labdacus, met his death.” His fearlessness and willpower allows him to solve the mystery, but ironically leads to the fulfillment of the prophecy. He fulfills fate only through persistent searching and realizes that the discovery of the final tragedy was his fault, not the fault of fate. However, this is was not the only scenario in which Oedipus’ hubris overcame his sense of logic.
In addition, Oedipus’ overweening pride and ego results in the murder of Laius and ultimately lead to his tragic revelation of...

Find Another Essay On Oedipus Rex Essay

tragoed Essay on the Tragic Flaws of Oedipus the King (Oedipus Rex)

703 words - 3 pages The Tragic Flaws of Oedipus Rex   At one time in our lives there is a moment that we may think of ourselves as better than someone or something else. There may also be a point when making a decision leads to a great error in judgment. In the play Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles, both of these characteristics can be seen in the main character. These characteristics are known as tragic flaws. These flaws are known as hubris meaning

Oedipus Rex and the God complex - The Lawrenceville School/ English - Essay

812 words - 4 pages Micah Jones Mrs. Hunter English 5/10/17 Oedipus’ “ God Complex” Oedipus, Sophocles’ tragic hero, displays courage, grit, and passion from the very beginning of this epic poem. The people of Thebes sense Oedipus’ passion and see him as a new light for their dying city, not knowing that he is the cause of the curse that has befallen them. Oedipus has unknowingly killed his father and marries his mother, and in doing so, damns the city of Thebes

Oedipus Rex and Antigone: Fate Leads to Tragedy - Abbey Park english - essay

1092 words - 5 pages Lee 1 William Lee Klokoff ENG4U1 January 10, 2017 Fate Will Never Relinquish Its Hold On Tragedy: Oedipus The King and Antigone People possess the will to make their own choices and make decisions throughout their daily life; however, no matter what choices we make the outcomes will remain the same. People make whatever decisions they want, but the decisions will take them to the same predetermined fate. In the plays Oedipus The King and

A philosphical reflection on tragedy in both oedipus rex, and antigone. - MPHS AP Lit - Essay

716 words - 3 pages for the tragic hero. Tragedy is generally caused by natural human flaws within the hero’s personality. Specifically, errors of judgement and excessive pride lead to the hero’s downfall. In literature as well as in life, tragedies remind us that humans aren't flawless, and hubris can unintentionally cause pain for ourselves and others, for better or worse. In Oedipus Rex, Sophocles has the tragic hero, Oedipus, set out to evade the Oracle's prophecy

Oedipus Rex (by Sophocles) analysis essay in the form of an interview (easily edited) includes quotes from the text and line references

1716 words - 7 pages the will of the gods.Sophocles: Yes, the will of the gods are spoken through prophets and oracles, such as Tiresias, who appears in both Oedipus Rex and Antigone, and warns both Oedipus and Creon of impending doom, that they both choose to ignore at their own peril. Prophets and Oracles act as perhaps a more sympathetic side to the gods, warning of events to come and consequences of actions. In this way it doesn't seem quite so horrible of the gods

Oedipus Rex Vs. Antigone

1422 words - 6 pages Daniel Nierenberg Comparative Essay 11-20-01 "Oedipus Rex" & "Antigone" It is only natural that an author use similar vessels of literature, such as figurative language, literary devices, and elements in his/her work. It is even more apparent between works that are connected by character, time, and theme. Sophocles did this when he wrote "Oedipus Rex" and "Antigone". When comparing the two pieces, it becomes evident that very similar vessels

Mythology in Oedipus Rex

4184 words - 17 pages Sophoclean tragedy Oedipus Rex is based on a myth from the Homeric epic Odysseus. With his tragic flaw the protagonist, Oedipus, lives out the main episodes of the Homeric myth.   In his essay “Sophoclean Tragedy” Friedrich Nietzsche searches out the mythology in this drama, and finds that the story originates in Persia:   Oedipus who murders his father and marries his mother. Oedipus who solves the riddle of the Sphinx! What does

Structure in Oedipus Rex

2448 words - 10 pages Structure in Oedipus Rex                M. H. Abrams says that “almost all literary theorists since Aristotle have emphasized the importance of structure, conceived in diverse ways, in analyzing a work of literature” (300). The matter of the structure of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex is a subject of varying interpretation among literary critics, as this essay will reveal.   In “A Great Translator’s Reflections on Oedipus the King

Oedipus Rex – The Women

2873 words - 11 pages burial (1446ff), a gesture of concern and responsibility characteristic of the Oedipus we saw in the opening scenes(73).   Oedipus’ attitude toward Jocasta in death – is it the same as in life? This essay will answer the previous question and many other questions regarding women in Oedipus Rex.   Michael J. O’Brien in the Introduction to Twentieth Century Interpretations of Oedipus Rex, maintains that there is “a good deal of

Women in Oedipus Rex

2876 words - 12 pages that he demonstrated in the first series of encounters gradually erode into anger, loss of control and fear (72).   This essay will reveal the role of women in the drama, the attitude toward women, the contribution of women to plot development, and other considerations relevant to women in Oedipus Rex.   Michael J. O’Brien in the Introduction to Twentieth Century Interpretations of Oedipus Rex, maintains that there is “a good deal

Oedipus Rex: The Key Passage

1494 words - 6 pages development, the theme of: ignorance, fate versus free-will, and blindness to truth are revealed; and there is also foreshadowing of Oedipus’ demise as a result of these elements. The purpose of this essay will be to investigate these elements and establish this passage as a key passage of Oedipus Rex. In this key passage, Sophocles develops the character of Oedipus through the use of dramatic irony; which later leads to a relation to the theme of

Similar Essays

Oedipus Rex Essay Character Analysis

1924 words - 8 pages English 10 Honors Oedipus Rex Essay The fall of the Tragic Hero “I have come myself to hear you- / I, Oedipus, who bear the famous name” (Prologue, 4) is a line spoken by a character who fits the role of a tragic hero perfectly. In the play Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles, Oedipus is a character that possesses all of the traits that the tragic hero must have. One of the main characteristics of the tragic hero is that they have a

Oedipus Rex Essay Assignment

941 words - 4 pages Explained by Aristotle, the characteristics of a good tragic hero must be “better than we are,” a man who is superior to the average man in some way. A man one might say closely resembles Oedipus Rex. But Oedipus is more imperfect than perfect, as he commits his actions in haste and is unable to see what is happening around him. His hamartia was the main reason for his downfall. In the play Oedipus Rex, Oedipus demonstrates his errors in

Oedipus Rex Essay

593 words - 2 pages In Oedipus Rex, the writer Sophocles shows the inaccuracy of human enlightenment through the tragic character of Oedipus, whose firm belief that he has full knowledge ultimately leads to his downfall through injustice and uncertainty. The Scholar Bernard Knox once wrote that “knowledge, certainty, and justice – are all qualities Oedipus thought he possessed – and that is why he was the perfect example of human knowledge, certainty, and justice

Antigone And Oedipus Rex Final Essay

886 words - 4 pages Teiresias, a prophet used in Sophocles plays, once said to Oedipus “I say that with those you love best you live in foulest shame unconsciously and do not see where you are in calamity,” (Sophocles, 410). Teiresias spoke this to Oedipus in an attempt to influence into baring witness to the truth that hides behind his true family line. Oedipus in Oedipus The King was the father and brother to Antigone, Ismene, Polyneices, and Eteocles. Although