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 ignorance.
Teiresias, while being the main catalyst for the play, also plays a vital role as a foil character for Oedipus. Teiresias’ cool calm demeanor as compared to Oedipus’ in their dialogue allows the reader for the first time to see the true ...view middle of the document...

“Why? How brazen of you to come to my house, You murderer!” (505-506); and “Now listen to me. You have talked; let me talk, too. You can not judge unless you know the facts” (515-516). Kreon is the more level headed and rationalized thinker of the two. He does not fume when Oedipus but instead proves with facts that the accusations are false. In these times, Kreon shows that he actually has the traits to become a good leader. He is calm, assertive, and deals with the situation as best he can. These traits threaten Oedipus’ position and make Oedipus even more impulsive in his accusations.
The only person that Oedipus does not feel threatened by is Jokaste whom he can relate with. Jokaste compares to Oedipus in that they both live in ignorance but also contrasts in that she is not as impetuous as he is and tries to control the situation. Jokaste is quick to throw aside the prophecies and tells Oedipus to do the same with his worries about the prophecies. “Thus, Apollo never caused that child To kill his father, and it was not Laios’s fate To die at the hands of his son, as he had feared. This is what prophets and prophecies are worth!” (679-682). Ironically, she tries to prove her point that she had escaped the fate a prophet had decreed for her with the very prophecy that Oedipus was concerned over. Unwittingly,...

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