Analysis of Oedipus the King

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The tale of Oedipus and his prophecy has intrigued not only the citizens of Greece in the ancient times, but also people all over the world for several generations. Most notable about the play was its peculiar structure, causing the audience to think analytically about the outcomes of Oedipus’ actions and how it compares with Aristotle’s beliefs. Another way that the people have examined the drama is by looking at the paradoxes (such as the confrontation of Tiresias and Oedipus), symbols (such as the Sphinx), and morals that has affected their perceptions by the end of the play. Nonetheless, the most important aspect is how relevant the story is and how it has influenced modern ideas like that of Freud and other people of today.
As written in The Poetics, Aristotle outlines the aspects that a play must contain in order for it to be considered a tragedy. In his own words, he lists that a play must be serious and artistic in language; in the form of action, not a narrative; and that it must have no digression whatsoever, “creating pity and fear causing the purgation (catharsis) of such emotions” (Walton). Therefore, based on Aristotle’s definition of a Greek tragedy, does the drama Oedipus the King meet the requirements? Surprisingly, Aristotle himself thought that the piece truly demonstrated the idea of a tragedy. In fact, “Aristotle considered [the play a] supreme example of tragic drama and modeled his theory of tragedy on it” (Weigel). Aspects of the play that fulfilled the definition of a tragedy was how it lacked comedy of any sort, and that the play itself was continuous in action. Additionally, Sophocles beautifully structured the play by combining metaphors, symbolisms, and paradoxes that allowed for the play to be cons...

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