Sophocles' "Oedipus Rex" is the most famous of his tragedies in which Greek dramatic irony reaches an apex (Sophocles1 pp). Aristotle was a great admirer of Sophocles, and considered Oedipus Rex to be the perfect example of tragedy (Outline pp). According to Aristotle, tragedy is an imitation of action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude, in which language is embellished with each kind of artistic ornament of several kinds found throughout the play (Outline pp). A tragedy is in the form of action, not of narrative, and incidents arouse pity and fear, "wherewith to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions ... every tragedy therefore, must have six parts, which parts determine its quality -- namely, Plot, Characters, Diction, Thought, Spectacle, Melody" (Outline pp). And for Aristotle, Oedipus Rex contained every element of the perfect tragedy (Outline pp).
According to Aristotle, tragedy is higher and more…… [Read More]
Thus, his thirst for knowledge prompts the tragedy to a certain degree. His wife and mother at the same time attempts to dissuade him from the further pursuit of truth, hinting in a very interesting phrase that such 'fantasies' as the wedlock to one's mother is a constant appearance in dreams and should simply be ignored: "This wedlock with thy mother fear not thou. / How oft it chances that in dreams a man / Has wed his mother! He who least regards / Such brainsick phantasies lives most at ease."(Sophocles, 94) There is thus a hint in the text itself to the archetypical content of the story. Obviously, the myth of Oedipus was long known to the Greek audience before he staged it. Moreover, wisdom is shown to be a cause of disgrace many times, preventing men to be really happy on earth: "Alas, alas, what misery to be…… [Read More]
It is this lead character's outrage that drives the plot, rather than any journey of self-discovery or some fateful intervention. This is seen when Antigone declares her defiance of the king: "I will bury him myself. / and if death comes, so be it. / There'll be glory in it. / ... The gods will be proud of me." Rather than placing the importance of the gods first, Antigone views her own actions as of primary importance.
There is also a heavy element of introspection in both plays; it is Oedipus' attempt to discover the past of his kingdom that reveals his own personal past, and it is this self-discovery that leads to the tragedy of the play. Oedipus himself reveals the personal nature of this tragedy when he says "nor needs to tell / How your whole state is sick, for howsoe'er / Ye sicken, sicker is this heart…… [Read More]
His nephew turned against his own country and he got what he deserved. but, in king Creon's view, death is not enough. He believes in setting an example and uses the occasion as an opportunity to make a point and warn all those who dared to defy their country of the fate that was expecting them, too. In this case, King Creon is wrong, because he will eventually pay dearly for his mistake of defying the gods. Profanation represented a duty of the humans to the higher forces and not even a king could afford to forget that.
The Burial at Thebes is a play meant to bring the work of a classic Greek play writer into the twenty-first century. Freud found the sources of one of his psychoanalytic theories in edipus Rex, paying his tribute to his predecessor who lived two and a half centuries away.
The audiences in…… [Read More]
His physical loss of sight is penance for the lack of insight he had at the start of the play. He has exchanged physical sight for mental insight into the truth.
4. Rhetorically, Oedipus uses the diction of a king at the beginning of a play. He plays the role of one in power, and of a person in full control of and with confidence in himself. When his people approaches him with a problem, he therefore reacts with confidence that he can solve it. He is fearless and strong in his position, as shown in lines 10-15. He is so confident that he can take care of any problem that he promises to do so even before hearing what the trouble is. Indeed, he believes that the only thing that can possibly keep him from helping the supplicants with their problem would be the hardness of his heart. This…… [Read More]
Q: There is a good deal in the play about seeing and blindness. What purpose does this serve? How is Oedipus contrasted with Teiresias? How does Oedipus at the beginning of the play contrast with the Oedipus at the end? Why is his blinding himself dramatically appropriate?
A: The physical conditions of sight and blindness in the play serve symbolic functions, particularly as these conditions manifest themselves in Oedipus himself. Oedipus begins the play by being physically sighted, but he is blind in terms of knowledge. He does not know the whole truth about his heritage. Nor does he make the connection between the murder of Jocasta's husband, his subsequent marriage to her, and the prophesy he is trying to avoid. In this way, he is mentally blind to the truth of his situation.
Teiresias, on the other hand, is physically blind, but has insight into the truth of situations,…… [Read More]
When the play opens, a plague has overcome Thebes, and so Oedipus has sent Creon to consult the oracle of Apollo to seek a solution. Creon reports that the oracle has declared that Laius's murderer must be found and banished from Thebes, only then will the plague be lifted. Oedipus sends for the blind prophet, Teiresias, to tell him who killed Laius. Teiresias names Oedipus as the killer and says that his marriage to Iocasta is sinful, and reminds him of his parents' curse. Iocasta and Oedipus exchange stories of their pasts. Then a messenger arrives announcing the death of Polybus, King of Cornith. Oedipus is relieved believing that he has escaped the prophecy. However, the messenger tells him that it was he who took Oedipus to Cornith. The servant confirms this, and thus the truth is revealed and the prophecy has been fulfilled after all.
Oedipus is an honorable…… [Read More]
In shaping his dramatic theory, Aristotle surveyed the drama of his time and developed certain concepts regarding the nature of the tragic hero. The tragic hero must be an important person with a character flaw that causes him to make a great mistake leading to tremendous suffering and a fall from his high status. The tragedy derives from the fact that none of what occurs is the tragic hero's fault, for the tragic flaw predetermines his actions and seals his fate. This is the pattern found in the plays of Sophocles, among other playwrights of Ancient Greece. The world of Sophocles is a world of myth brought into the human realm, and the tragic vision derives from the conflict between the actions of human beings and the requirements of the gods:
Compared with the Homeric epics, Athenian tragedy reflected a more conscious sense of the gods' metaphorical significance and a…… [Read More]
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.
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
Oedipus' pricking of his eye
There is much speculation as to why such events…… [Read More]
Oedipus's Tragic Flaws
Oedipus Rex is the classic story of Oedipus, King of Thebes, a tragic hero whose fate was in the hands of supernatural forces and who was doomed to murder his father and marry his mother. In the play, Oedipus has many characteristics that allow him to be labeled a tragic hero. The philosopher Aristotle states that a tragic hero is an influential person that because of an error in judgment has to suffer the consequences of his or her actions. In the case of Oedipus, it can be argued that his tragic flaws are excessive pride, or hubris, and self-righteousness.
The root of Oedipus's tragic flaw is found in his stubbornness, pride, and ignorance. There are many events within the play that are not motivated by these flaws and are predestined to occur and are controlled by supernatural forces, however Oedipus's flaws make it easier for prophecies…… [Read More]
1. The myth of Oedipus differs from the play in that much of the mythology (such as the backstory and the answering of the riddle of the Sphinx) takes place prior to the play’s beginning.
2. An example of where Oedipus demonstrates hubris is when he states, “I count myself the son of Chance, the great goddess, giver of all good things—I'll never see myself disgraced” (1188-1190). This is just before it is revealed to him who he actually is—which brings about the disgrace he thinks he will never suffer.
3. Creon is Jocasta’s brother. Jocasta is both Oedipus’s wife and mother—so that makes Creon Oedipus’s uncle and brother-in-law.
4. The purpose of the chorus in the play is to provide narrative for the viewer. The chorus tells the viewer what is happening and also provides the moral lesson that is to be communicated plainly.
5. Exposition is…… [Read More]
Oedipus the King by Sophocles. Specifically, it will explain how the suffering brought upon others by Oedipus contributes to the tragic vision of the work as a whole. Oedipus is the classic tragic hero, as he not only adversely affects his own life, he is the instrument of suffering for many of the other characters surrounding him in the play. His tragic flaw, or hamartia, is a fatal mistake that flows from a hero's character, and this tragic flaw continually affects those around him, and ultimately leads to his downfall, and the tragic ending of this play. Tragedy surrounds everything that Oedipus does, and ultimately no one in the play can survive when Oedipus touches their lives.
Oedipus' tragic flaw is his rashness. He does not think things through before he acts on his rash impetuousness, and this continually affects those around him. From the moment he slays the traveler…… [Read More]
irony in Oedipus Rex is that you cannot escape destiny and that the attempt to do so will lead you to take part in it. Destiny cannot be escaped nor can it be changed. The second form prevalent in the play is in foreshadowing through symbolic language. More than once character warns Oedipus that he is not seeing the world as it truly is, that is refusing to see truth. When truth cannot be escaped, he gouges out his own eyes to attempt to reclaim this blindness. Symbolic blindness becomes real blindness.
The first scene of importance is when Oedipus pledges to kill the man who killed Lais, this of course being himself. Secondly is Teiresias and Creon try to expose the truth to Oedipus and then accuse him of blindness. The irony here is that the symbolism becomes real. Thirdly, Jocasta's story of the prophecy regarding her first husband's…… [Read More]
King Claudius says this about the title character of "Hamlet." He says this to Laertes, to explain why he has not physically punished Hamlet yet, for the killing of Laertes' father Polonius. Thus, the two must conspire to punish Hamlet via a duel with a poisoned sword, says Claudius, because he cannot offend the queen. This quote shows the king's lying nature, as the king cares less for Polonius than eliminating the son Hamlet, who knows how he came to the throne, and his fears of raising suspicions in the court about his complicity in old Hamlet's death.
2) "You-here? You have the gall to show your face before the palace gates? You, plotting to kill me, kill the king-I see it all, the marauding thief himself scheming to steal my crown and power!"
As his fate closes around him, the king of Thebes "Oedipus" raves in horror at…… [Read More]
It is as if his sense of male control and dominance prescribed by the norms of the society is blinding him to her true nature. He judges her in terms of the norms of assumed female weakness. This aspect is summarized in the following quotation.
Gender relations are pretty antagonistic in Othello. Unmarried women are regarded as their fathers' property and the play's two marriages are marked by male jealousy and cruelty (both wives are murdered by their own husbands). Most male characters in Othello assume that all Venetian women are inherently promiscuous, which explains why female sexuality is a huge threat to men in the play. Othello is easily convinced his wife is cheating on him and feels emasculated and humiliated as a result
(Othello: Theme of Gender)
In a similar sense in King Oedipus, the inferior status or societal position of women can be seen in the fact…… [Read More]
Their prophecies completely shape the life of Oedipus. It was the oracle who informed Oedipus that he will kill his father and marry his mother. This prophecy led him to abandon Corinth for fear of killing his father and marrying his mother. When he left Corinth he came across a man who he did not know was Laius and killed him. He married his wife Jocasta and towards the end of the play finds out that the prophecy of the oracle did come true. Laius and Jocasta were his biological parents. Laius was killed by his son, Oedipus and according to the prophecy of the oracle; Oedipus marries his mother, Jocasta. Regardless of whatever actions either of the parties took, fate could not be escaped. The oracles warned them about the future and they took steps then led them to the fulfillment of the prophecy. Both Oedipus and Jocasta were…… [Read More]
Tragedy of Oedipus Rex
Many people understand Sophocles' play, Oedipus Rex, is a tragedy but what they may not know is that Aristotle established the notion of the tragic drama and Oedipus Rex fits it perfectly. The ancient drama serves as an excellent example of what a tragic play looks like. According to Aristotle, the hero of a dramatic play can must be noble or of royalty. Because he is noble, he is often perceived of in an extraordinary in some way. This is certainly the case with Oedipus. His people love and respect him primarily because he solved the riddle of the Sphinx. Besides being extraordinary, a tragic hero must vacillate between two extremes and reveal his tragic flaw and eventually experience a catharsis. Finally, the hero must evoke a sense of pity or sympathy from the audience before the play's conclusion. Oedipus Rex fulfills these requirements.
One of…… [Read More]
At different times, Oedipus issues contradictory self-characterizations, perhaps as a metaphor for the duality of his personality and his inability to control his passionate overreactions. Speaking of his cool logical ability in solving the riddle of the Sphinx, he says, "But I came, Oedipus who knew nothing, and I stopped her. I solved the riddle by my wit alone." Yet, in remembering the tragedy that he perpetrated on his way home from Corinth, this same man recounts his murderous reaction to provocation:
But he [Laius] was paid in full and presently my stick had struck him backwards from the carriage and he rolled out of it and then I killed them all." The implication is that when Oedipus (unknowingly) encountered his father, he was in the midst of trying to escape from his own future as foretold by Apollo and that this, as much as any actual provocation of being…… [Read More]
Ignorance in Oedipus ex
The toll of ignorance and deception on Oedipus ex
Ignorance plays a major role in the fates of several characters in the Greek tragedy Oedipus ex. In the play, ignorance is not only contained to the characters and their backgrounds, such as Oedipus and Jocasta, but also to the former Theban king, Laius. Because of their complex relationship with each other, and the lies that Laius told Jocasta, the truth about the relationship between Oedipus, Jocasta, and Laius remains a mystery until a messenger informs Oedipus of how he truly killed his father and assumed the throne in his place. Oedipus' and Jocasta's ignorance of their true relationship prior to becoming king and queen of Thebes was caused by Laius' ignorance of destiny and his (failed) attempt to defy a prophecy.
In the play, many, if not all, the tragedies that befall Thebes and the Theban…… [Read More]
Nevertheless, it was his curiosity that made him popular and it would only make sense that it would be his downfall as well. This very human aspect of the king allows us to relate to him and a persona level.
The final tragic move in the play occurs as Oedipus chooses to leave his Thebes. His attempt to rid the city of contamination is brave. He realizes his failure and how he was remarkably shortsighted. Truth was nothing but trouble and for all he wanted to see, there was nothing but destruction for every aspect of his life. Oedipus does not lose his sense of fairness in the tragedy and still behaves responsibly. By the end of the drama, he is ready to accept what he has coming or what he thinks he deserves. He accepts responsibility Laios' murder and the condition of Thebes and her people. He tells Creon…… [Read More]
1960s Italian film Oedipus Rex and the 2010 film Black Swan how each has familiar neuroses and self-mutilations that affect the main characters. In Oedipus Rex, obviously, there is Oedipus who is the only son born to the Queen of Thebes, who gets kidnapped by the order of his own father, and is rescued by the King of Corinth, where he grows into a handsome young man. In Black Swan, there is Nina who has just won the coveted role of the Swan Queen in the up-and-coming ballet Swan Lake, who is grappling with herself to occupy both sides of the Swan Queen as the Black Swan, and the White Swan.
In each film, there are characters who contribute to the neuroses, and sometimes even the self-mutilations, that the characters go through, surround the main characters. For example, in Oedipus Rex, he faces opposition from his father at a young…… [Read More]
The Better King: Oedipus or Creon?
"Oedipus Rex," a play by Sophocles, details the life of Oedipus as the tragic king of Thebes. Oedipus, whose greatest flaw was his obsession to control and know his Fate, experienced suffering in the most extreme manner: his insistence to control his Fate has led him to murder his father, take his own mother as his wife, and eventually blinded himself as an act of penance from his sins and faults.
Despite these explicit displays of weakness, Oedipus demonstrates far better leadership skills than Creon, his friend who had taken over Thebes after the event of his tragic downfall and descent towards madness and blindness. While still the leader of Thebes, Oedipus displayed a fair sense of justice, which became more pronounced when he dealt with the case of Laius's murder. His insistence to seek all means possible to track down the…… [Read More]
Oedipus is one of the most famous names in Greek mythology. His name has become both a psychological complex as well as a familiar joke. His story has come to be a synonym as well for the capriciousness of fate. But a truer picture of the character of Oedipus suggests that, rather than being an unwitting victim, Oedipus a clear hand in his own demise. Despite its reputation, Sophocles' play "Oedipus the King" is a tragedy of character rather than of an innocent condemned by fate. Oedipus' tragic flaw his confidence and his arrogance that he understands what is happening to himself and his city. Of course, Oedipus really understands nothing.
The play begins by Oedipus, king of Thebes talking to his "children" or citizens, bemoaning the fact that Thebes is now under a plague. (ines 1-5, source from iterature and Ourselves) The priest tells Oedipus, "Now we pray to…… [Read More]
"...thou hast eyes, Yet see'st not in what misery thou art fallen," Tieresias tells him.
Oedipus is warned through-out the story that he ought to discontinue his search. Those who have spiritual eyes to understand and to see what he will find in the end know that it is a thing which is better left unseen. Yet he insists on seeking to shine the light of knowledge upon it and bring it to attention. It is interesting to note that after Oedipus has finally brought his crimes out into the open, and it is known to all what has transpired, Creon orders that the physical evidence of what has passed be removed from public sight out of respect for the sun, saying "revere The Sun whose light beholds and nurtures all. Leave not thus nakedly for all to gaze at A horror neither earth nor rain from heaven Nor light…… [Read More]
Thus, Oedipus' reference to his cursed birth at what is very nearly the end of the play refers back to the very opening lines of the Argument by repeating the image of the prophesied birth, but this time the characters are seeing that image with the same clarity as the audience.
The cursed nature of Oedipus' marriage is highlighted by Jocasta's death, because after learning the truth about her and Oedipus' relationship, she goes "straight to her marriage-bed" and hangs herself there after lamenting "o'er the marriage-bed / here, fate-abhorred, a double brood she bare" (Sophocles 103). The repeated references to the marriage-bed included in the account of Jocasta's death fits within the plays larger focus on the conflation of familial roles, because the bed itself marks a physical location of this conflation; this bed is likely where Oedipus was conceived in the first place, and it marks the spot…… [Read More]
Oedipus: Self-Made Disaster
In Sophocles' play, Oedipus Rex, Oedipus takes fate into his own hands and demonstrates the power of the human will. Oedipus illustrates how we may not always be in control of our destinies, regardless of our efforts. The play is ironic in this sense because Oedipus already had the best "fate" any man in his position could hope for with a beautiful loving wife and a community that praised him. Some argue that Oedipus was fated to fulfill the prophecy but the truth is that his very actions destroyed the life he had. Oedipus was strong-willed obsessive and arrogant to the point of making huge mistakes. He failed himself and those around him because he thought he knew best.
In the beginning of the play, Oedipus has the best of intentions. In other words he does not set out to destroy his life. He simply wants to…… [Read More]
i.148-9) his actions will cause, Oedipus sits in oblivion. He refuses to listen to his wife and brazenly tells her, "I will not listen; the truth must be made known" (II.iii.146). Iocaste morphs from being Oedipus' wife to his enemy because she is speaking words he does not want to hear. He tells her:
The Queen, like a woman, is perhaps ashamed
To think of my low origin. But I
Am a child of luck; I cannot be dishonored . . .
How could I wish that I were someone else?
How could I not be glad to know my birth? (II.iii.159-60, 164-5)
Oedipus' bad choice begins with arrogance and ends with isolation.
Like Oedipus, illy makes poor choices. He is blind like Oedipus because he does not see things as they actually are. He lives in a fantasy world and tells himself and his family lies in order to…… [Read More]
In this sense, the time and setting of these two plays are less significant because each of the two addresses universal questions of fate, destiny, free will, and the meaning of life, which are as current today as they were over 2000 years ago, when Oedipus Rex was written, for instance.
The arker Face of the Earth reflects many of the themes and plot elements that also occur in the ancient Greek play by Sophocles entitled Oedipus Rex. In both cases, although the protagonists are faced with challenges by the powerful forces of destiny, their fate is direct consequence of their choice regarding the exercise of free will. Both Augustus and Oedipus are victims of their own bloody choices. Because their actions are no longer controlled by rational thought, they exercise their free will poorly hence they must accept the consequences of their actions and suffer the painful fate that…… [Read More]
Oedipus Exemplifies or Refutes Aristotle's Definition of a Tragic Hero
Aristotle's, the Greek philosopher definition of a tragic hero and tragedy has been influential since he set these definitions down in The Poetics. These definitions were viewed as important during the Renaissance, when scores of writers shaped their writings on the works of the ancient Rome and Greece. Aristotle asserted that tragedies follow the descent of a tragic hero or a central character, from a noble and high position to a low one. A tragic hero posse some tragic flaws, which cause his, fall from fortune, or turnaround of fortune, and to some point, the tragic hero realizes that his own mistakes have caused the turnaround of his fortune. Aristotle also noted that the tragic fall of a hero or a central character in a play stirs up fear to the audience or the reader given that the audience sympathizes…… [Read More]
He wanted a little bit more and that desire ruined his life.
Oedipus learns that anyone can be wrong -- despite what he or she might think. He thought he knew everything and he thought he journey would make him happier. He had to learn the hard way the even the king can be wrong. Oedipus does not think the truth would hurt him. Oedipus learns a powerful lesson about fate and how human nature ties into it. Robert Fagles writes that Oedipus "recognizes that the "prophecies given to his father . . . were true" (Fagles 143) and nothing he could have done would have stopped those prophecies from coming true. Oedipus' achievement is the "discovery of the truth, and that discovery is the most thoroughgoing and dreadful catastrophe the stage has ever presented" (150). Oedipus learns from his arrogance. He knows that he can be wrong and painfully…… [Read More]
What is ironic about the ending of the play?
Oedipus, it was prophesied when he was a baby, would kill his father and marry his mother. So he was cobbled by his feet and exposed as an infant. The commoner charged with exposing the prince, however, was childless and took pity upon the babe, and reared the child himself. Oedipus as a young man learned by the same prophesy that he would become a patricide and enter into an incestuous marriage with his mother. So he fled what he thought were his true parents, home, and birth.
Had Oedipus not tried to flee his fate, he would never have met his father the King in the road and killed him in an argument. Had the future king of Thebes not tried to flee his fate he would never have married his mother, as he would never have met the…… [Read More]
Laius is responsible for his condition and there is no way for him to escape his fate, even with the fact that he does everything in his power with the purpose of fighting divinity's will. It is difficult and almost impossible to determine whether Oedipus should be accountable or not for killing Laius at the moment when he does so. One must consider that similar to how some religions promote the concept that some people are likely to be punished for the sins performed by their predecessors, Sophocles apparently wanted to put across the fact that Oedipus has no say at the time when he is fighting Laius, as he is forced to kill his father in self-defense.
The modern day society functions in accordance with the 'everything happens for a reason' system, taking into account that people are provided with benefits on account of the work that they do.…… [Read More]
It is worded too strongly just to relate a fact. Further, the fact it relates, if common in the ancient world, would not deserve such strong wording to people who were familiar with such things as blind oracles.
Rather, even were blind oracles commonplace in the ancient world, this one is special because he is not just a conveyor of bad news to Oedipus, but a kind of archetype, symbol, or personification of the message Sophocles is sending us that vision and blindness are not actually dichotomous, but intrinsically entangled.
Oepidus is another archetype of the same thing: sight and blindness coexisting, not sequentially, but simultaneously.
Another important way in which Oedipus was both blind and yet possessed of light becomes clear when we think about the steps he has taken to avoid killing his father. When we read Oedipus Rex, we like to think that finding ourselves in his…… [Read More]
Tragedy in the Oedipus Trilogy
Sophocles is considered to be one of the greatest Greek dramatists, and remains among the most renowned playwrights even today. The Greek tragedy is one of the most influential genres of literary and theatrical history on the modern drama and theatre. The theatre of ancient Greece was inspired by the worship of Dionysus, and the performance of plays was considered to be a religious experience for both the actors and the audience. ecause of this, the intensity of the Greek theatre was very strong, and the degree to which the plays were taken seriously as a means of influencing and interpreting life was also very high. According to Aristotle, the philosopher credited with creating the definition of a tragedy, "Tragedy, then, is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament,…… [Read More]
How could that be true when that child was left in the woods to die?
Oedipus is calmed, but he still sets out to solve the murder-mystery and punish the man who committed regicide. As more details come to the surface, however, Oedipus starts to get a bad feeling. The evidence indeed points to him: Laius, he learns, was slain at the same crossroads where Oedipus took the lives of a group of men. as Laius among them? Apparently so…as Oedipus also learns that he was the babe whom Jocasta and Laius abandoned -- and indeed has grown up to ruin the house by killing his father and marrying and having children with his mother Jocasta. Jocasta (sensing that this might be the case) had pleaded for Oedipus to halt the investigation, but determined to know the truth, Oedipus called the herdsman who found him tied to a tree to…… [Read More]
For Oedipus to be considered successful, then, he would have had to challenge his own fate and succeed, rather than enact it entirely according to what was set out for him. In Hamlet, on the other hand, the enemy is tangible and human in the form of Hamlet's uncle, and thus Hamlet is able to confront and vanquish him. Thus, Oedipus represents a kind of ignorant struggle against the ideological forces which control anyone in society, a struggle that can never succeed so long as those forces remain indistinct and ephemeral. Hamlet, on the other hand, demonstrates a pointed struggle against some of the very same tendencies, but in this case, they are identified, named, and thus exists the potential for overcoming them.
Though written in wildly different historical contexts, Sophocles Oedipus Rex and illiam Shakespeare's Hamlet actually have a lot to say about each other, because the titular characters…… [Read More]
Analysis of "Oedipus the King"
"Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18, NIV)
Pride is a destructive force that has been recognized as such since the beginning of recorded time. People are subject to it because, as generally selfish creatures, humans put themselves above others. Of course, as a person matures he or she will usually lose much of this me first attitude, at least publicly, but it remains in part because it is difficult to completely deny self. This undeniable fact, that pride does indeed precede, a fall is evidenced by many ancient writings one of the most profound and remembered being the story of Oedipus. He was a king who could not let a simple matter end, and the result was that he lost almost all that had been given to him. The story can easily be analyzed based on the Fitzgerald…… [Read More]
Hamlet decides to play at being mad in ways that seem calculated. This is evidenced in his verbal dueling with Polonius, the courtier of the play who in contrast to the blind prophet of the Greek tragedy is truly a foolish old man, rather than merely seeming so. But even Polonius admits that Hamlet's madness seems to have a verbal sense to it -- although the reason for Hamlet pretending to be mad vacillates. At first Hamlet accepts the ghost's words, then tests those words, and then uses purgatory as an excuse not to kill Claudius while the king is praying after the staged play "The Mousetrap."
Hamlet's brilliance lies mainly in his acceptance of his fate with a clear head and his recognition of moral ambiguity. Finally, he says to Horatio, in the fifth and last act of the play, to let be, and the readiness is all --…… [Read More]
This is a major departure from the Creon seen in Oedipus Rex and reflects his changed role. In addition, he sees changing one's mind as a weakness, "womanish," an undesireable trait in a king. Once he's made a decision he feels he must stick by it even if he suspects it might have been incorrect.
The first decision Creon makes that affects this play is that he will give Etocles a state funeral, but that Polynices' body is to be left out in the open, unsanctified, and left for the animals to eat. This is a terrible fate for a Greek, who must have certain rites performed to move on to the next life. Creon sided with Etocles, but both brothers broke the agreement.
Antigone is outraged that Etocles is to be ushered in to the next life proplerly but not Polynices. She takes a stand and decides to perform…… [Read More]
He prided himself on being a king that put the needs of his people above his own, struggling to keep his own feelings under wrap and focus instead on what his people needed. This desire to help the people led him to seek a cure for the plague, which was destroying people in masses. He sent Creon to Delphi, Apollo's place of revelation, to find out what could be done to save the city. Creon was told that the state must avenge the death of the former king Laios. After doing a little sould-searching, Oedipus learns that he was the killer of Laios, who was his father.
Oedipus takes full responsibility for the crime. "Citizens and alien alike must never shelter me or speak to me," he said. "I must be shunned by all. And I myself pronounced this malediction upon myself" (Sophocles, 42).
Like Socrates, Oedipus is visited by…… [Read More]
Of all the great works of illiam Shakespeare, arguably his masterpiece is Hamlet. It is also perhaps his most famous work. People who have never seen a production or read it still have a vague understanding about the play's basic plot. This is of course the story of a young prince of Denmark who is mourning for his recently dead father, also named Hamlet who may or may not have seen his father's ghost who claims the king was murdered by Prince Hamlet's Uncle Claudius. The uncle has very quickly taken control of the Danish throne and married Hamlet's mother Queen Gertrude. In the five hundred years since it was first written, Hamlet has been analyzed and criticized by some of the top minds in academia, in fields such as English, Psychology, and History. The play is rich enough to lend itself to a wide range of interpretations,…… [Read More]
disagreement that "The downfall of Oedipus is the work of the gods; the downfall of Othello is self-inflicted."
Othello and Oedipus were both considered to be heroic and honorable men that turned out to be the victims of two tragic downfalls
Both stories carry on a legacy even till this day.
In spite of their 2,000-year difference, Othello and Oedipus are still sad.
This essay will discuss the researcher's disagreement that "The downfall of Oedipus is the work of the gods; the downfall of Othello is self-inflicted."
Oedipus downfall was clearly not the work of God.
Disastrous fall of Oedipus in Sophocles play "Oedipus ex" was very much self-inflicted
b. They were events drawn from his own purpose
His first lethal mistake was the murder of his father.
Clearly Oedipus was his own worse enemy.
Othello fall had something to do with relationships
Supporting Ideas…… [Read More]
Sophocles' Oedipus the King
Look up and/or reflect on the meaning of:
Tragedy: A tragedy is any event which causes great suffering and stress, such as the death of a loved one or a natural disaster. In the context of Greek literature, tragedy was the most popular form of theatre, with storytellers relying on the rhetorical technique of tragic irony to create emotionally resonant tales of lost love and territorial conquest.
Philosophy: The overall study of the human condition, reality, metaphysics, and other pursuits of higher intelligence.
Psychology: The scientific study of the human mind, including cognitive function, perception, attention, emotion and behavior.
Logic: The fundamental application of reasoning to the pursuit of problem solving, a function which only the human mind is known to hold the capacity to perform.
Ethics: The branch of philosophy which postulates certain standards which should be used to guide proper human conduct.
Mathematics: The…… [Read More]
OEDIPUS VS. OTHELLO
Oedipus and Othello
Oedipus and Othello are both productions where the namesake of the story or play experiences a downfall before the end of the play.
Oedipus and Othello each experience a downfall
Oedipus was a victim of the actions of the gods
Othello was responsible for his own downfall
Othello had opportunity to change his fate
Othello was deceived by Iago
Othello maims Iago
Iago never explains his motivations iii. Othello's jealousy leads him to murder Desdemona
Othello learns that he was wrong about Desdemona
Some ancillary actions played a part in each of the tragic circumstances
Oedipus' behavior is clearly outside the bounds of morality
a. Oedipus ignores the warnings of his father, Laius
Oedipus has sexual relations with his mother
c. Oedipus kills his father
d. Oedipus had free will and could have stopped himself
Oedipus and Othello are both productions where the…… [Read More]
Judy Blume's Then, I Are God ? It's margaret Oedipus Rex Elektra bySophocles.
Affinities between Judy Blume's "Then Again, Maybe I on't" and "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" and Sophocles' "Oedipus Rex" and "Electra"
Judy Blume's novels "Then Again, Maybe I on't" and "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" are, to a certain degree, similar to Sophocles' tragedies "Oedipus Rex" and "Electra." It is probable that Blume inspired from the tragedies when devising the storylines for each of the novels. However, it would surely be absurd for someone to claim that her works are not unique in character. Tony, the protagonist in "Then Again, Maybe I on't," and Oedipus, the central character in "Oedipus Rex" are alike when considering that they both experience a false feeling of success only to eventually feel that they live in a lie. Similarly, Margaret and Electra are two young women who…… [Read More]
academic quality sources ( play film) margins 1 inch ( left) 12 point Times New Roman Arial font document sources cite APA format .
The story of Oedipus has pervaded out society and has come to provide a great deal of individuals with more information regarding thinking in Ancient Greece. Sophocles designed the story so as for audiences to gain a complex understanding of the tragic irony unfolding as the storyline progresses. The ancient Greek tragedian told the story of a young individual who becomes addicted to material values and unknowingly comes to murder his father, marry his mother, and eventually ends up being both brother and father to his children. Irony is one of the principal concepts dominating the play and it makes it possible for audiences to express little to no surprise regarding how the storyline unfolds. Oedipus' father is the person responsible for triggering a series of…… [Read More]
contemplated an individual's relationship with his or her environment. In Oedipus Rex and Antigone, Sophocles explores the relationship an individual has with the world and society. In each of these plays, Sophocles juxtaposes divinity and humanity and investigates the role of each within Theban society as well as looks into conflicts that arise when the laws of man conflict with divine laws. Through their narratives, Oedipus Rex and Antigone posit man is intended to serve others, including gods, and that they do not exist to be self-serving.
Oedipus Rex revolves around an eponymous anti-hero who by saving the city of Thebes from a Sphinx inadvertently and simultaneously brought forth a plague upon it. By defeating the Sphinx, Oedipus secured his place upon the Theban throne and as such was not only responsible for ensuring laws were abided, but was also responsible for protecting Thebes' citizens. Because of the plague that…… [Read More]
Furthermore, this same prophecy made to Oedipus himself leads him to flee to Thebes -- which in turn leads to the murder of Laius on the road and his subsequent marriage to Jocosta. And finally, it is Oedipus' "wish to know the seed from where [he] came," that results in the ultimate knowledge of his birth, his true nature, and his ultimate downfall (Oedipus the King. 1295).
hile the Book of Genesis seems to suggest that the crux of man's nature is knowledge seeking, man is also by nature a prideful, self-serving being, inherently motivated by a keen desire -- or perhaps even instinct -- to preserve him self. For example, regarding God's call of Abram in chapter 12, it is not the mere pleasure of serving God and righteousness that motivates Abram to follow God, but rather God's promise to establish and preserve Abram's name. "I will make you…… [Read More]
Barstow, Marjorie. "Oedipus Rex as the Ideal Tragic Hero of Aristotle." The Classical
eekly, vol. 6, no. 1, 2-4, 1912. Print.
Barstow observes one of Aristotle's fundamental points in her essay, which is that "Aristotle finds the end of human endeavor to be happiness…[which proceeds] from a steady and comprehensive intellectual vision which views life steadily and distinguishes in every action the result to be gained" (2). Poetry, like Oedipus Rex, helps illustrate Aristotle's point that human happiness is dependent upon one's grasp of reality.
Dodds, E.R. "On Misunderstanding the Oedipus Rex." Greece and Rome, vol. 13, 37-
Dodds asks, "In what sense, if in any, does the Oedipus Rex attempt to justify the ways of God to man?" (37). The fact that Sophocles' work tackles the question is important evidence that drama is worthy of serious study and capable of teaching profound truths. Thus, Dodds' essay validates Aristotle's…… [Read More]
Role of Free ill and Fate in Oedipus Rex and Othello, the Moor of Venice
Free will and fate play a major role in determining the outcome the hero experiences in Sophocles' Oedipus Rex and illiam Shakespeare's Othello, the Moor of Venice. In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus's destiny has been predetermined and despite his many efforts, he cannot escape the future the gods have planned for him. Oedipus Rex's form relies on a chorus to serve as an emissary between the gods and the audience and ultimately aims at allowing the audience to achieve catharsis. On the contrary, in Othello, the Moor of Venice, Othello's future is determined through a series of actions that were not influenced by the gods, but rather through free will. Othello, the Moor of Venice's form breaks up the action into separate "vignettes" that ultimately highlight the depravity of man and aims to serve as a…… [Read More]
The things that ruins his life is his humanity and while this is a sad tale, it is one filled with knowledge for those who want to see how not to ruin one's life. It teaches us and one of the most resilient characteristics of man is that he can learn from his mistakes if he is courageous enough.
Plato considered drama and tragedy from another perspective, namely an isolated one. He wrote, "e would not have our guardians grow up amid images of moral deformity . . . until they silently gather a festering mass of corruption in their own soul" (Plato X) and he also expressed the notion that artists would better serve the world if they were "gifted to discern the true nature of the beautiful and graceful" (X). In Book X, he writes we should "remain firm in our conviction that hymns to the gods and…… [Read More]
Myth of the Tragic King -- Sophocles' construction of Oedipus the Tragic King vs. Michael of Puzo's The Godfather
The central theme of the Oedipus myth in ancient Grecian society was that the truly tragic king could not escape his fate, despite his best efforts to do so. ith hubris in his heart, the tragic king attempts to avoid what the oracle forecasts, and only fulfills his fate in terrible circumstances as a result of his hubris. However, in modern, American society the idea of uncontrollable fate has somewhat fallen out of fashion. Americans are inclined to look at hubris, or ambition beyond the sphere of one's circumstances with favor. Thus, partly because of the influence of Freud and partly because of the influence of the belief that anyone can succeed in America, the myth of the tragic king, embodied in Oedipus has been rewritten, although it remains a part…… [Read More]
Sophocles & Milton
Sophocles wrote his great works two and a half millennia ago, and yet today they are still fresh and powerful. This is because Sophocles deals with deep and important human situations and emotions. Even though we can no longer imagine what it would be like to live in the world which Sophocles inhabits, we can completely understand his characters because they are fully human and human nature does not change much over time. Though he writes about kings and queens and the wealthy of Greece, his characters have the sense of being representatives of every man and woman, in every era. His characters struggle with pride and with sin and with accepting the will of the gods -- when they do things they should not do, in the end they are punished, and accept this punishment. This gives them a greater morality than sinners who are portrayed…… [Read More]
The positive value that most people place on a character's ability to face their demons is traditionally what defines a "hero." What defines a "tragic hero" is when facing those demons is too much for the protagonist to handle, which is the case in this play. But this lack of unwavering strength and courage is what makes the character of Oedipus seem human, and therefore relatable to the audience. If his reaction to the truth had shown nothing but strength, he would seem more like a cardboard cut-out than a human being.
A hero is more noble and more human when he must overcome his flaws and life's adversities. This may be why literary heroes have appealed to readers across many different cultures and over many different eras in history; because they represent the deepest and most respected ideals of human behavior, without extending too far beyond the constraints of…… [Read More]
Willlam Hazlitt largely comments on the contemporariness and universality of Hamlet's character: that although Shakespeare wrote the play more than 500 years ago, we have come to know the character of the tragic Prince quite well. Not only because we read about him in school, but also -- and more -- because we know his thoughts as we do our own. (Hazlitt 1900) His sayings and speeches are not only real but are as real as our own thoughts when we ponder and despair over our or others' misfortunes and grief. Each of us becomes Hamlet, in Hazlitt's view, whenever we bear the weight of reflection (Hazlitt), when the sun in us is made dim by "envious mists" in our hearts, whenever the world looks nothing better than a "dull blank," when our love is despised, or when sadness sticks to us and makes our mind sink within. Hazlitt goes…… [Read More]
Yes, the Oedipus complex aspect of Shakespeare it gives us and which in turn invites us to think about the issue of subjectivity, the myth and its relation to psychoanalytic theory. (Selfe, 1999, p292-322)
Hemlet and Postcolonial theory
Postcolonial theory was born as a result of the publication of the famous work of Edward Said, Orientalism (1978). This theory claim that some authors (Paul Gilroy, Achille Mbembe, Francoise Verges, etc.) and that seem so elegant in its formulation, in my opinion raises three fundamental problems: At a time when we are witnessing the emergence of new expressions of colonialism (colonialism, cultural, political and economic globalization, neo-colonialism nestled in the relationship between the hegemonic colonial past and their old colonies, colonialism in disguise that structure the relationship between international institutions and developing countries, institutions from the rest behest of the former colonial powers according to their interests), speak of post-colonial era…… [Read More]
Haemon is in an impossible position. Although it could be argued that Antigone is in an impossible position as well, forced to choose between obeying the will of the gods or the will of man, Haemon must choose between loyalty to his proposed wife and his father as the king of the state. His temperament is such that he is an innate compromiser. He is forced to negotiate between two people who do not believe in compromise, upon any terms.
Creon has begun a horrible chain of events. The Theban king has attempted to supplant the will of the gods, refusing to let Polynices' soul enter the underworld and be judged by the gods, thus taking on the role of the gods as judgers of men's souls as well as a judge of his citizen's actions on earth. By refusing to obey the king's orders and defy the gods,…… [Read More]
Othello Is a Tragic Hero
Othello is an Aristotelian tragedy
This paper will show that Othello can be correctly labeled a "tragic hero" and that the play fits the form and function of the Aristotelian tragedy according to the model as it is understood and interpreted by critical scholars.
Defining the tragic hero and the Aristotelian tragedy
The tragic hero is good, valorous, true to life and consistent
The Aristotelian tragedy is complete, an imitation of an action and produces a cathartic effect through fear and pity
Othello is a Tragic Hero
He is Good
The senate loves him because he is strong
Desdemona loves him because he is brave
His men love him because he is a leader
He has Manly Valor
He is viewed as a moral man
He is unafraid of meeting a challenge
c. He is true to life
He has faults and weaknesses
He falls…… [Read More]
Fate in Literature
Stories whether they are presented in film, printed or orally spoken all share important commonalities. One of the important shared elements amongst stories that have been around for hundreds maybe even thousands of years in literature is the role of fate within the stories. Fate in literature can be broadly defined as the power, influence or will of a superior or supernatural force that stages and predetermines events in the voyage of a the main character in the story (Princeton.edu).
A classic example of this is the tragedy written by Sophocles, the infamous tale of Oedipus Rex a king who desperately seeks to outrun, challenge and contradict fate, but is unable to because the supernatural forces above him (The Gods), have predetermined and staged inevitable events in his life. Fate is a very interesting topic to explore as it relates to stories because it challenges the notion…… [Read More]
Reason vs Passion: Comparing Aristotle and Plato
It must be well known among all students and scholars of philosophy that both Plato and Aristotle have a high regard for reason. But what is their view on passion? It might be surprising to learn that neither philosopher holds a negative view of passion in and of itself—what both do, however, point out is that passion should be subservient to reason. Passion that is governed by reason is certainly not a bad thing, for either philosopher, and what is more important is that some passions or emotions should be promoted over others (Urmson; Taylor).
The problem that most moderns have when it comes to understanding what passion means is that they are defining the term according to all-or-nothing terms, applying a kind of either/or approach to the issue of whether one should live one’s life by using the head or the…… [Read More]