Oedipus The King Essays (Examples)

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Oedipus A King of Multiple Archetypal Meanings

Words: 793 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 6608157

Oedipus: A King of Multiple Archetypal Meanings, as well as Multiple Tragedies

"hat walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and on three legs in the evening?" In answering the question to the Sphinx's riddle with the word 'man,' "Oedipus the King" of Sophocles seals his fate. He will marry the widowed queen of Thebes, having unwittingly dispensed with his father during a roadside brawl. Perhaps because the answer to this riddle so perfectly embodies Oedipus' own struggle, this character's answer has a special poignancy for the reader or viewer of the play. Oedipus began his life crawling on all fours as one of the lowest of babes, retrieved by a shepherd shortly after being abandoned at birth. In the noontime of his life, he was raised high as a king, standing on two legs. Then, after being exposed as a parricide and of having engaged…… [Read More]

Works Cited

"Myths, Dreams, Symbols."  http://www.mythsdreamssymbols.com/archetype.html
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Oedipus & Job the Suffering

Words: 580 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 420547

Although he fled from the humble people whom he thought were his parents, after he heard of his destiny, it was to no avail.

Thus, the play "Oedipus the King" suggests that even if one acts morally, the individual still will fulfill his or her destiny, because that is the nature of fate. Creon says to Oedipus at the play's beginning, "now the god's command is plain: / Punish his takers-off, whoe'er they be." Because of the suffering that was his unavoidable destiny, Oedipus must punish himself. He mutilates himself and ostracizes himself from Thebes, according to his own proclamation.

Job, like Oedipus, is not a witting criminal at the beginning of the Biblical book he bears his name. Job is prosperous and respected, like Oedipus, and a man who "was blameless and upright, one who feared God, and turned away from evil." (1:1) but fate moves against Job, as…… [Read More]

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Oedipus Was a Respectable Leader

Words: 910 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 7631064

11- 3). The Chorus' summations are necessary for continuity in the play, answering any questions or expounding upon certain thoughts or themes. The Chorus has the last word in the play, leaving a lasting impression with the audience, which includes a message of desolation to all. The Chorus says, "Let none / Presume on his good fortune until he find / Life, at his death, a memory without pain" (Exodus. 298-300). These are examples of how the Chorus reinforces what the audience may already be thinking. The Chorus connects certain aspects of the play and emphasizes Sophocles' themes.

The resolution of the play is harsh. This, of course, makes the play a tragedy but the extent of the pain Oedipus suffers is monumental. e can say he was headstrong and perhaps deserved something for his arrogance but the circumstances are so bizarre it is no wonder the man took out…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Sophocles. Oedipus the King. Fagles, Robert, trans. New York: Penguin Books. 1984.
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Oedipus Is at Once a King of

Words: 1073 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 6335405

Oedipus is at once a King of courage and judicial propriety, and also one in whom there is a tendency toward pride. Underlying it all, however, lays a great and secret blemish that awaits his discovery. It is through this secret mark - a birthmark of sorts - that fate, or the fates will eventually lead him to his downfall. It will be his character traits of courage, honesty and integrity, however, in combination with an ego and pride that are more closely related hubris that will actually bring about his inevitable acts of self-destruction via free will. In many ways, Oedipus was created as a perfect specimen through whom Sophocles could effectively deliver one of the most dramatic of ancient Greek tragedies.

ith generous measures of irony Sophocles provides tantalizing situations intended to hold the attention of the audience that knows the secret blemish of Oedipus long before he…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Sophocles. Oedipus the King. In Sophocles the Complete Plays, Ed. Paul Roche. Signet Classics, Penguin Putnam, Inc. New York. 2001. (211-263)
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Oedipus Is One of the Most Famous

Words: 870 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 26052780

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]

Later, the young man Oedipus found his way to the capital and freed Thebes from the curse of the Sphinx. He did so as a confident action, confident of his own intelligence where other men had failed and been killed by the cursed monster. As a gift, Thebes gave him the hand of Laius' widow, Jocasta. This is where the term 'Oedipus Complex' comes from, according to the Gale Online Encyclopedia of Psychology. Freud in The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) "describes a subconscious feelings in children of intense competition and even hatred toward the parent of the same sex, and feelings of romantic love toward the parent of the opposite sex. He felt that if these conflicting feelings were not successfully resolved, they would contribute to neuroses in later life. The name "Oedipus" refers to Oedipus Rex, the classic Greek play by Sophocles, which tells the story of Oedipus, who is abandoned at birth by his parents, King Laius and Queen Jocasta. He later comes back and, as foretold by prophecy, kills his father and marries his mother before finding out his true identity. Freud saw in the play an archetypal dynamic being played out, and so coopted the character's name for his description."

However, Freud's passive Oedipus has little to do with the active Oedipus of the text. Perhaps a better reading of Oedipus is provided by Michael Pennington, who states, "The Oedipus complex is...inappropriate to the play. Oedipus sleeps with his mother and kills his father circumstantially, proving only his political sense and a violent temperament." (Pennington 100) Pennington states that it was simply astute of Oedipus to marry Jocasta, he did not do so out of desire. Oedipus chose to free Thebes of the Sphinx out of intelligence and ambition. It takes a particular character of man to act out of anger and kill an older individual in a dispute of early Greek 'road rage.'

It also takes a particular kind of individual character to blind himself. Oedipus' stated reason
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Oedipus Rex in Oedipus the

Words: 1401 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 32549588

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]

Works Cited

Green, Janet M. "Sophocles' Oedipus Rex."

The Explicator, Volume 52, Issue 1 (1993), 2-3.

Grene, David and Richard Lattimore (eds.). Sophocles: Volume II. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991.

Payne, Robert. Hubris: A Study of Pride. New York: Harper Torchbook, 1960.
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Oedipus and Antigone Questions Answered

Words: 683 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 61230981

e learn that women are very dependent on the men in their lives for social standing.

Creon is more sympathetic than Oedipus. hile he is very straightforward, he does not express the same opinions for Oedipus that Oedipus does to him. hen Oedipus does not hear the answer he wants, he becomes arrogant and then tells Creon he is not a good friend. He even goes on to accuse him of being "evil incarnate" (II.111). Creon actually tries to change Oedipus' mind while Oedipus is nothing but a man on a mission and no one should get in his way. Creon does not change his position throughout the entire play and from this, we can gather that Creon is more stable than Oedipus.

Antigone acts as she does because she firmly believes in her cause. She is a hero because she refuses to change her position. She acts the way…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Sophocles. Three Theban Plays: Antigone, Oedipus the King, Oedipus and Colonus. Robert Fagles, trans. New York: Penguin Books. 1980.
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Oedipus Rex Was Definitely One of Sophocles'

Words: 714 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 69723772

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…… [Read More]

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Oedipus Rex Oedipus Is the

Words: 1042 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 61193180

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]

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Oedipus Tyrannus

Words: 713 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 3246348

Oedipus Tyrannous

When debating the question if Oedipus is fortune's fool, a pure victim of fate, or responsible for his own density, a reader might be tempted to pose his or her instinctive argument in favor of fate. Firstly, in terms of plot structure, Oedipus actively resists the destiny foretold to him by the Oracle of Delphi. Like a good son, Oedipus tears himself away from the bosom of the adoptive family he calls home, namely the shepherd and his wife he has come to call a father and a mother, to avoid killing his father and marrying his mother. Yet despite this active resistance, the future King of Thebes ends up marrying his biological mother and killing his father without knowing he was doing such a thing.

Also, secondly, the plague that afflicts the city of Thebes is brought on by Oedipus' actions, yet the king condemns the man…… [Read More]

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Oedipus According to the Traditional Interpretations of

Words: 960 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 97538814


According to the traditional interpretations of classical drama, Oedipus the King was brought down by the gods or fate because of his pride, egoism and arrogance, which the ancient Greeks called hybris (hubris). His father King Laius left him exposed to the elements on a mountainside when he was three days old because he believed the prophecy that his son would murder him then marry his mother, so he imagined that he was saving his own family line from disgrace. Yet when he met his son on the road to Delphi many years later, he and his chariot driver were treated him in a very rude and contemptuous manner, so Oedipus killed them, without even knowing who Laius was. Neither man was willing to give way on the road, and would not tolerate the insults of the other, so the old prophecy was fulfilled. Oedipus goes on to become…… [Read More]


Ford, James H. (ed). The Greek Classics: Sophocles Seven Plays. El Paso Norte Press, 2006.
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Oedipus Rex vs The Burial

Words: 980 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 86519500

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]

Oedipus Rex and the Burial at Thebes are presenting two very different audiences with two different ways of ruling over a country. Each of them appeals to its own audience because they are dealing with the human conscious and subconscious as it influenced people's actions since the first human being walked on earth.

Heaney, Seamus. The Burial at Thebes. A Version of Sophocle's Antigone. Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1st edition (October 14, 2004)

Sophocles. Berg, Stephen. Clay, Diskin. Oedipus the King. Oxford University Press U.S., 1988
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Oedipus Rex Sophocles' Work Is

Words: 2050 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 49065037

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]

Works Cited

Green, Janet. A review of Oedipus Rex, in the Explicator, Vol. 52, no. 1, Fall, 1993, pp. 2-3. Reprinted in Drama for Students, Vol. 1.

Hamilton, Victoria. Narcissus and Oedipus: The Children of Psychoanalysis. London: Karnac Books, 1999.

Hogan, James. A Commentary on the Plays of Sophocles. Illinois: Illinois University Press, 1997.

Oedipus the King. http://ablemedia.com/ctcweb/netshots/oedipus.htm
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Oedipus Tyrannos in English the

Words: 1461 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 53936726

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]

Works Cited

Davis, Robert, and J.M. Walton. "Found in Translation: Greek Drama in English." Theatre

Survey 49.2 (2008): 299-301.

Sophocles. Oedipus the King. London: MacMillan & Company, 1885.
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Oedipus Rex

Words: 739 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 35965364

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]


Sophocles. Oedipus the King. Trans. Robert Bagg. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1982.
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Oedipus and How His Intelligence Sight and

Words: 1025 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 60073510

Oedipus and how his intelligence, sight and blindness lead to his family's ruin.


Oedipus the King" is a tragic play where Oedipus discovers that he killed his father as prophesized by the gods and married his own mother from who he has two daughters. The story of Oedipus is well-known to because of Oedipus's image as a perfect Athenian. He is described as a self-confident, intelligent, and strong willed individual. It is these characteristics that lead to him finding out about his tragic discovery. Oedipus became the ruler of Thebes by answering the riddle of Sphinx. Sophocles used the riddle of the sphinx as a way of interpreting the three phases of Oedipus' life to highlight his tragedy. The Sphinx said that whoever answers the following riddle correctly "What is it that walks on 4 feet and 2 feet and 3 feet and has only one voice, when it…… [Read More]

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Oedipus Exemplifies or Refutes Aristotle's Definition of

Words: 2019 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 42161407

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]

Work Cited

Bloom, Harold. Oedipus Rex. Texas: Infobase Publishing, 2007.

Grene David. Sophocles. Oedipus the king. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010

Kahan Jeffrey . King Lear: New critical essays. New York: Routledge, 2008.

Madden Frank. Exploring literature: Writing and arguing about fiction, poetry, drama and the essay. Pearson Education Canada, 2008
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King Archetypes

Words: 1776 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 88661753

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]

Works Cited

Freud, Sigmund. "Freud: The Wish Fulfillment of Oedipus." From the Interpretation of Dreams. Elpenor Greek World. 8 Dec 2004.  http://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greeks-us/freud-oedipus.asp 

Davis, Charles. "Jung's Archetypes." Jung Website. Last updated 2003. 8 Dec 2004.


Puzo, Mario. The Godfather, Original place and date publication -- New York: Putnam & Sons, 1969.
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Oedipus Many People Believe They

Words: 1135 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 4607751

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]

Works Cited

Fagles, Robert. Sophocles: Three Theban Plays. New York: Penguin Books. 1984.

Sophocles. Oedipus Rex. An Introduction to Literature. Barnett, Sylvan, ed. Boston: Little,

Brown and Company. 1984. pp.721-64.

Walton, J. Michael. "Oedipus the King: Overview." GALE Resource Database. Site Accessed
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Oedipus Greek Myths and Modern

Words: 826 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 33635402

The fact that most men sublimate this feeling, and instead identify with their father to obtain the maternal figure in the form of another woman, is the reason the Oedipus myth was generated in the first place.

Freud's theory was popular not only 'on the couch' but in literary theory. Ernest Jones suggested that it is the reason Hamlet cannot bring himself to kill his uncle: "Now comes the father's death and the mother's second marriage. The long 'repressed' desire to take his father's place in his mother's affection is stimulated to unconscious activity by the sight of some one usurping this place exactly as he himself had once longed to do… the two recent events, the father's death and the mother's second marriage . . . represented ideas which in Hamlet's unconscious fantasy had for many years been closely associated" (Jones 98-99).

Regardless of the merit of Freud's theory,…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Dunkle, Roger. The Classical Origins of Western Culture, the Core Studies 1 Study Guide.

Brooklyn College Core Curriculum Series. Brooklyn College, the City University of New York, 1986.

Jones, Ernest. "The Oedipus-Complex as an Explanation of Hamlet's Mystery:

A Study in Motive." The American Journal of Psychology. January, 1910
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Oedipus and Othello Two Tragic

Words: 1315 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 1949549

He complains that his name "is now begrimed and black" (3.3.384) and fears that Desdemona has made him a "fixed figure for the time of scorn" (4.2.53). His fears might be those of any man, insecure in his position, concerned about how he is viewed. Thus, both heroes are true to life in that each has his own particular faults, like any man.

Aristotle's fourth condition of the tragic hero is "consistency: for though the subject of imitation…be inconsistent, still he must be consistently inconsistent" (43). As Aristotle suggests, both characters are inconsistently consistent, though in their own ways. Oedipus bounces from being high-minded, caring and affectionate to being almost simple-minded, careless and angry any time his pride is pricked. For example, even when the evidence all points to the truth of what the priest says, Oedipus is reluctant to admit it; yet when his wife tries to undermine what…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Aristotle. Poetics. (trans. By Gerald Else). MI: University of Michigan Press, 1970.


Lattimore, S. "Oedipus and Teiresias." California Studies in Classical Antiquity,

8 (1975): 105-111.
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Oedipus Tyrannus Sophocles' Play Considers

Words: 1387 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 85756500

Oedipus also chose not to ask questions regarding his past, although this might be ascribed to the fact that he did not know to ask in the first place. It was his choice to leave his adopted family to escape the prophesy that he knows about. The adopted family however choose even at this point not to inform Oedipus of the true nature of his fate.

Another choice that Oedipus makes is to kill Laius at the crossroads, regardless of the fact that the prophesy is very specific regarding where the murder will take place. When he marries the wife of the dead king, it also does not occur to him that this is remarkably parallel to the prophesy. One might therefore argue that Oedipus might have been deliberately blind to the truth of his actions in order to further his own good fortune. On the other hand, ophocles' aim…… [Read More]


Sophocles. Oedipus Tyrannus. http://www.mala.bc.ca/~johnstoi/sophocles/oedipustheking.htm
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Oedipus Rex the Oracles Had

Words: 1123 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 57559918

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]

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Oedipus A Dramatic Exercise in

Words: 592 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 29018546


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]

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Oedipus Rex the Delphic Oracle

Words: 633 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 90610512

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]


Sophocles. Oedipus Rex.  http://classics.mit.edu/Sophocles/oedipus.html
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Oedipus Rex and Burial at

Words: 1004 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 7490837

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]

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Oedipus and Death of a

Words: 985 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 66365012

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]

Work Cited

Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. An Introduction to Literature. Barnett, Sylvan, ed. Boston:

Little, Brown and Company. 1984. pp. 1030-1114. Print.

Sophocles. Oedipus Rex. An Introduction to Literature. Barnett, Sylvan, ed. Boston: Little,

Brown and Company. 1984. pp.721-64. Print.
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Oedipus Self-Made Disaster in Sophocles' Play Oedipus

Words: 1224 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 5561342

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]

Works Cited

Fagles, Robert. Sophocles: Three Theban Plays. New York: Penguin Books. 1984. Print.

Sophocles. Oedipus Rex. An Introduction to Literature. Barnett, Sylvan, ed. Boston: Little,

Brown and Company. 1984. Print.
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Creon the Play Oedipus the

Words: 865 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 98882938

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]

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Maladies Failed Saviors Sophocles' Oedipus

Words: 725 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 94997440

Mr. Kapasi and the Dases are all Indian, but in the interpreter's eyes, Mr. And Mrs. Das are foreigners because they dress and speak like Americans. Mina Das sees Kapasi not as a romantic partner, as he desires her to see him as, but as a kind of romantic confessor, who will wash her clean of her sins, much as the citizens of Thebes see their king.

Eventually, when Oedipus' unintentional sin of marrying the queen of Thebes and killing the former king is revealed to the city, the citizens realize that Oedipus is not the great man they hoped he would become, and their illusions are shattered. Oedipus' own illusions about himself as a wise and saving figure of the city are shattered, as he must obey the banishment he laid down for the person who brought the plague upon the city. Mrs. Das must also come to terms…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Lahiri, Jhumpa. "The Interpreter of Maladies." From the Interpreter of Maladies. New York: Mariner Books, 1999.

Sophocles. "Oedipus the King." Internet Classics Archive e-text. [3 Dec 2006] http://etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/mirror/classics.mit.edu/Sophocles/oedipus.html
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Sophocles Oedipus

Words: 580 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 16519282

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]

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Hamlet and Oedipus Though Written

Words: 1999 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 55410314

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]

Works Cited

Gillespie, Gerald. "Swallowing the Androgyne and Baptizing Mother: Some Modernist Twists to Two Basic Sacraments." The Comparatist 33 (2009): 63-85.

Searle, Leroy F. "The Conscience of the King: Oedipus, Hamlet, and the Problem of Reading."

Comparative Literature 49.4 (1997): 316-43.

Shakespeare, William. "Hamlet." Shakespeare Navigator. Philip Weller, 2012. Web. 28 Feb