Oedipus Rex Was Definitely One of Sophocles' Essay

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Oedipus Rex was definitely one of Sophocles' best plays as well as one of the foremost of all the Greek tragedies. Oedipus, the King of Thebes, is a classical character for his mix of attributes; wise and courageous yet proud and sometimes ill-tempered. It was Sophocles' ability to show realistic human character flaws along with their positive attributes that made his plays more realistic and well-received by their Greek audiences and those throughout the proceeding ages. This analysis will look at some of the events that occur offstage in Sophocles plays and contrast them with later plays.

Offstage Events

Sophocles' did not include any of the bloody or death scenes on stage for the audience to witness. Some of the death and dying that occur offstage in the play include:

The death of Laius

Jocasta's suicide

Oedipus' pricking of his eye

There is much speculation as to why such events were not included in the play. One reason may be because the Greeks were warriors by trade. Therefore dealing with death and blood would be something that should be confined to a battlefield rather than portrayed on stage.

Sophocles himself was involved in military duty. If associated with the military and being witness to blood and gore firsthand, it could lead to the mindset that such events should not be recreated as they can be traumatic. If the Greek population or the spectators of the plays witnessed how bloody and horrifying some of the events may have been, then they could have extended this imagery to their family members that were involved in the Greek wars. This could have created a sense of resentment or mistrust for the Greek military and sense the military was so important to the Greek culture then such portrayals should be avoided at all costs. If you were a Greek playwright, you would want to portray the military in the most noble and dignified fashion as possible and leave out any of the blood and gore.

Other cultures obviously did not have the same predisposition. For example, the Elizabethans incorporated all the blood and the gore into their plays without leaving these…

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