The Conflict, Climax and Resolution in Oedipus Rex

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The Conflict, Climax and Resolution in Oedipus Rex Sophocles’ tragic drama, Oedipus Rex, presents a main conflict and lesser conflicts and their resolution after a climax. In Oedipus Tyrannus: Tragic Heroism and the Limits of Knowledge, Charles Segal had the protagonist fares well in the first series of tests, but does poorly in the second series: The first three tests are, respectively, Oedipus’ meetings with Creon, Teiresias, and then Creon again. In each case he is pursuing the killer as someone whom he assumes is other than himself. . . . The second series begins with Jocasta and continues with the Corinthian messenger and Laius’ herdsman. Now Oedipus is pursuing the killer as possibly the same as himself. . . . In this set his goal shifts gradually from uncovering the murderer to discovering his own parents. The confidence and power that he demonstrated in the first series of encounters gradually erode into anger, loss of control, and fear (72). With each of the six encounters the main conflict of the drama builds – an inner conflict within the protagonist which involves his own mastery or hubris – and humility or modesty before the the gods.Thomas Van Nortwick in The Meaning of a Masculine Life describes Oedipus’ tragic flaw: As ruler, he is a father to Thebes and its citizens, and like a father he will take care of his “children.” We see already the supreme self-confidence and ease of command in Oedipus, who can address not only other people’s children as his own, but also be a father to men older than he is. But beyond even this there is, in the sretched posture of the citizens, the hint of prostration before a deity. We are “clinging to your altars,” says the prie... ... middle of paper ... ...homas Woodard. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1966. Ehrenberg, Victor. “Sophoclean Rulers: Oedipus.” In Twentieth Century Interpretations of Oedipus Rex, edited by Michael J. O’Brien. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1968. Jevons, Frank B. “In Sophoclean Tragedy, Humans Create Their Own Fate.” In Readings on Sophocles, edited by Don Nardo. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 1997. Segal, Charles. Oedipus Tyrannus: Tragic Heroism and the Limits of Knowledge. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1993. Sophocles. Oedipus Rex. Transl. by F. Storr. no pag. http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/etcbin/browse-mixed new?tag=public&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&part=0&id=SopOedi Van Nortwick, Thomas. Oedipus: The Meaning of a Masculine Life. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998.

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