Oedipus Rex (Socrates): The Great Tragedy

1429 words - 6 pages

Oedipus Rex; The Great TragedyCommonly in society a person acts to avoid a certain situation, but less common is when that person involves themselves further into the situation. In Socrates' Oedipus Rex this is exactly what happens. Many call Oedipus Rex the greatest tragedy ever written. Socrates incorporates all of the requirements for a tragedy in his story, and does it in an artful and well-written way. In the story Oedipus tries to avoid a fate told to him, which ironically just has him fulfill the prophecy. Oedipus tries to avoid and control the destiny and fate involved with his life, so to gain the "good guy" image, and is determined to succeed in this; but actually causes himself to complete the prophecy and his destiny. Socrates uses the four main points of a tragedy to create Oedipus Rex, perhaps one of the greatest tragedies ever written, where a man tries to run from his fate and soon realizes he is running farther into it.A tragedy must first have a tragic hero who, secondly, undergoes a conflict. Oedipus is the tragic hero in the tale Oedipus Rex. When Oedipus is born his parents are told that he will grow to kill his father. They then get rid of him; only for him to be taken in by another couple. Oedipus grows up with his new parents, which he does not know are not his real parents, until he is told a prophecy. The prophecy states that Oedipus will lay his mother and kill his father. Oedipus is both astounded and disgusted by this fortune, and decides the best way to not come across this terrible fate would be to leave the city. His desire and determination to avoid this prophecy led him to believe that he could avoid it because he knew something about it and could try to prevent it. He then left the town in search for a new life so that he could avoid the fate told to him. On his way to his new life he runs into an older man blocking his path, words are thrown back and forth and Oedipus ends up killing the man and continuing on his way. When he gets to a new town he meets the newly widowed queen, and they fall in love and wed. Oedipus is now king of the new city, Thebes. In Thebes, however, there was a plague put on the city after Laios was killed and until his death was avenged the curse would continue. Being the good guy that Oedipus is, he promised to find the murderer and banish him from the city. Oedipus then continues on to be the noble and respected man to everyone in the city. The whole time Oedipus still thinks he is avoiding his fate, but in all actuality he is getting closer by every decision he makes, and will soon realize that this conflict is insurmountable.A tragedy needs to thirdly include a fall from the hero, which is, lastly, brought on by the hero's tragic flaw; which in this case was Oedipus' determination to avoid something he could not. Oedipus continues to try and find Laios' killer, even though his wife Jocasta tries to convince him to stop pursuing the issue. Oedipus does not stop, he does not put the...

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