Oedipus the King by Sophocles

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Oedipus the King, was a play by Sophocles, it takes place in the city of Thebes. The city swept with a plague, it was just like the one in Athens (Kennedy 710). The plague encourages Oedipus to find and exile the man who murdered Laios, the former king. Throughout the play Oedipus portrays his ignorance and innocence, but then he begins to question his upbringings and realizes the truth about his life. “...Oedipus gets his name through a complex pun. Odia means “to know” (from the root vid-, “see”), pointing to the tale’s contrasting themes of sight and blindness, wisdom and ignorance” (Kennedy 710). This is a reoccurring theme that is shared between Oedipus and Teiresias which is ironic because Oedipus is blind to the life he leads and to his birth, he is also very ignorant and places the murder on everyone except for himself. This eventually kills Oedipus due to his self request of exile, he knows death is the only plan God has for him because all mortal punishment will not do. Throughout the play Oedipus was blinded by the situations of his life and he never noticed the foreshadowing that occurred in each scene. This is the idea of dramatic irony, better defined as, “A situation in which the larger implications of character’s words, actions, or situations are unrealized by that character but seen by the author and reader or audience” (Kennedy 417). He is oblivious to the comments and characters around him and even with the setting. He was unable to link all of the similarities himself, he was eventually revealed his life from the Shepard and the Messenger. “ If any man knows by whose hand Laios, son of Labdakos, Met his death, I direct that man to tell me everything, No matter what he fears for having so long withheld it” (Ke... ... middle of paper ... ... to the controversy of murder and incest, that created an entertaining plot. Oedipus the King struggled internally and externally once he discovered that he was the murderer of his own father, and that his mother was also his wife. He demanded exile and knew his death was going to be brutal, but he would not be able to live with himself and his conscious until he was dead. This play has so many intriguing symbols, themes and motifs that it keeps the reader focused at all times. His life as king was his good fortune but his painful undiscovered past led to his death, “Consider his last day; and let none Presume on his good fortune until he find Life, at his death, a memory without pain” (Kennedy 752, lines 297-300). Works Cited Kennedy, X. J., and Dana Gioia. Backpack Literature an Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Boston: Pearson, 2012. Print.

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