Oedipus Rex Essay

1197 words - 5 pages

Oedipus Rex
The tragic story of Oedipus Rex is a very important piece of work that has continually puzzled, inspired and entertained audiences throughout the ages by touching then on many levels. The tragedy that Sophocles created remains alive today, because it is filled with human mistakes and immortal questions. It is the story of what appears to be a lucky prince who runs away from home to avoid the fulfillment of a terrible prophesy. Through amazing circumstances and with the use of his wits and at times arrogance, he becomes king of a foreign land and marries a beautiful queen. However, despite having everything, Oedipus cannot abandon his quest to find the truths about himself ...view middle of the document...

The thought of what he has caused is too unbearable, and he emphasizes his disgust by continuously referring to his “sick” wretched fate. However, the final line is concise and to the point, and there is no doubt that Oedipus names himself fully responsible for allowing these evil things to occur.
The mention of “the blinding hand” refers to more than just Oedipus’ physical blindness. Though he strikes his eyes in the end, it is precisely then that Oedipus can see the clearest. Earlier and throughout the entire play, Oedipus is truly blind because he is completely unaware of what he has done, and refuses to listen to all the people who warn him to stop searching for the murderer of the previous king. The quote is a metaphor for Oedipus’ ignorance throughout the play. His wife Iokaste asks him, “Listen to me, I beg you: do not do this thing,” and goes on to explain it’s for his own good, but Oedipus is too proud and states that he won’t listen for “the truth must be made known” (Scene 3:144-145). He gives similar answers to all those who tell him that the truth will bring him misery, including Apollo’s prophet Tiresias, believing that there’s nothing that can harm him. He bases his judgment on the external appearance of things instead of thinking cautiously about what’s happening. As explained in The Bedford Introduction to Drama, “Sophocles develops the drama in terms of irony – the disjunction between what seems to be true and what is true,” and causes Oedipus to cease to be blind only in the end because now he must “look inward for the truth, without the distractions of surface experiences” given the loss of his eyes (Pg. 71). Oedipus chooses to blind himself and not listen to counsel, thus showing that “the blinding hand was [his] own.”
Oedipus was stubborn, but it is easy to forget that he had made a promise to his people to find Laius’ murderer and free his land of the plague. Whether it was his own arrogance that wouldn’t allow him to fail, or his true concern for the Theban citizens, he was doing what he thought was right and consequently being a good king to his people. Should he have left them to suffer to avoid his own fate? It was certainly an option, but was there ever any hope for him? The gods had clearly set a course for him to follow. However, free will played a part every time Oedipus...

Other Essays Like Oedipus Rex

Sympathy Towards Oedipus In Oedipus Rex

682 words - 3 pages In the play Oedipus Rex, the author Sophocles, attempts to create feelings of sympathy towards the main character, Oedipus. This is achieved by using dramatic irony, the prophecy that guided Oedipus towards the truth regarding his childhood, and key scenes in the play, which help to build the audiences understanding and opinions concerning his situation. Through the prophecy alone, Oedipus was doomed even before his life had even begun

Fate And The Hero In Oedipus Rex

1026 words - 5 pages In the play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, Oedipus is a classic tragic hero. Oedipus is a tragic hero for the reason that he is a king whose life falls apart when he finds out his life story. The question asked in relation to Oedipus is whether he was a victim of fate or of his own actions, it perhaps is seen that it was his destiny to undergo the torment and affliction. Oedipus was conscious of the fact that he alone was accountable for his actions

Tragoed Oedipus The King (Oedipus Rex) - The Archetypal Tragic Man

628 words - 3 pages Sphinx several times in his play, Oedipus Rex.  Since the riddle is a metaphor for Oedipus' life, it is ironic that he was able to answer the question.  His revelation of the riddle of the Sphinx further supports the perspective of Oedipus as the archetypal tragic man. The sphinx asks, "What has four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs at night?"  Oedipus correctly answers "man", saving Thebes from the terrible

Oedipus Rex

691 words - 3 pages In Sophocles’ play,” Oedipus the King” there are differing situations relating to the ability to see things literally compared to having vision symbolically. This motif repeats again and again in this story and becomes one of its central themes. When Oedipus begins his life, his parents are told by an oracle that he will ultimately kill his father and marry his mother. In an effort to avoid this fate, his father, Laius, orders that the

The Strong Character And Unavoidable Destiny Of Oedipus Rex

980 words - 4 pages The Strong Character and Unavoidable Destiny of Oedipus Rex   Oedipus the King, by Sophocles is about Oedipus, a man doomed by his fate. Like most tragedies, Oedipus the King contains a tragic hero, a heroic figure unable to escape his own doom. This tragic hero usually has a hamartia, a tragic flaw, which causes his downfall. The tragic flaw that Sophocles gives Oedipus is hubris (exaggerated pride or self-confidence), which is what

Oedipus Rex and a Raisin in the Sun Comparitive Essay

846 words - 4 pages Oedipus Rex and A Raisin in the Sun Comparitive Essay Melissa Andrus Axia College of University of Phoenix Oedipus Rex by Sophocles and A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry reveal pride and integrity from two different time periods and social and culture standards. They both contain some similarities, such as the pride of a man and man’s willingness and ability to change current circumstances in life. There are differences as well

Tragoed Oedipus The King (Oedipus Rex) As Greek Tragedy

1005 words - 5 pages Oedipus The King as Greek Tragedy                                                                    &nbsp

Blindness and Insight

966 words - 4 pages Blindness and Insight In Othello the Moor of Venice by William Shakespeare, Othello is blind to what is going on around him; similarly in Oedipus the King by Sophocles, Oedipus Rex is ignorant to the fate he was tragically born into. Both Oedipus Rex and Othello commit suicide at the end of the play because they gain knowledge of what they have been blind to throughout the entire drama and cannot live with what they have done. Othello cannot

Use Of Blindness In Oedipus The King

1262 words - 6 pages vows, he thought it necessary to gauge out his own eyes. Oedipus' metaphorical blindness eventually brought forth physical blindness. Works Cited Conold, Jerry. "Blindness in Oedipus." International Student Resources 22, October 2001. Available: http://www.writingsource.com Frosh, Stephen. "Key Concepts in Psychoanalysis." Washington Square, New York, New York University Press, 2003 Gregory, Tim. "Blindness in Oedipus Rex

Death of a Salesman

1067 words - 5 pages salesmen and buyers [attended] his funeral”. Poignantly, no one but his immediate family and Charley attend Willy’s funeral. Works Cited SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on Poetics.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. n.d.. Web. 9 Apr. 2014. "Oedipus Rex An English Version B." Oedipus Rex An English Version B. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2014.

Analysis of Aristotle's "Poetics"

469 words - 2 pages Aristotle is one of the greatest historical figures of all time. During his life, he was an accomplished poet, mathematician, and leading government figure. He wrote The Poetics mainly in response to Plato's thoughts. He modeled The Poetics on what he thought the greatest tragedy of all, Sophocles Oedipus Rex. He believed that each tragedy must achieve a catharsis with the audience. To achieve this catharsis the figure must be larger than life

Related Papers

Oedipus Rex Essay

1257 words - 6 pages the person they truly are. In Oedipus Rex we see King Oedipus first as he solves the riddle to save his current hometown of Thebes from the Sphinx. His actions saved the people of Thebes and gave him a status of a hero and Oedipus later becomes king as well as marrying Jocasta. With all this praise from saving Thebes Oedipus became filled with over confidence and ignorance. His ignorance comes to play later on in the play when he must face

Oedipus Rex: A Summary Essay

835 words - 4 pages Oedipus Rex Oedipus Rex starts out with Oedipus as the quick witted and mighty leader of Thebes. He is not, however, the perfect and almighty ruler that the people suspect him to be in the play. This comes to life as Oedipus converses with Teiresias, Kreon, and Jokaste. Sophocles uses Teiresias and Kreon to illuminate the arrogance and short-temperedness that make Oedipus a tragic hero and uses Jokaste to illustrate Oedipus’ blind

Oedipus Rex: Discussion Questions Essay

699 words - 3 pages Discussion Questions, Oedipus Rex 1. The most widely accepted view of Oedipus is that he is guilty of overweening pride, and hence, he has to suffer. The primary basis for this view comes in lines 963 – 978, which read in the Fagles translation: “Pride breeds the tyrant/violent pride, gorging, crammed to bursting/with all that is overripe and rich with ruin--/clawing up to the heights, headlong pride/crashes down the abyss—sheer doom

Oedipus Rex And Antigone Essay

995 words - 4 pages There is no curse on the house of Oedipus. Because of the many terrible things that happen to the members of Oedipus's family, a reader might be led to believe that there is such a curse. However, if that person examines the stories of Oedipus Rex and Antigone more closely, he or she will find that the reason so many tragedies happened to Oedipus's family is not because of some curse, but rather because of one common thread. Each person in the