Essay about Oedipus Rex, By Sophocles

Essay about Oedipus Rex, By Sophocles

Length: 1011 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle outlined the requirements for a good tragedy, and he based his ideals on the classic Greek play Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles. As Aristotle stated, the perfect tragedy must be an imitation of one’s life, realistic and narrow in its aspects. Such is the case with the play Oedipus Rex, a Greek play revolving around the tragedies of the life of King Oedipus. Oedipus Rex, the protagonist of the first of the three Oedipus plays, has a life of luxury and promise. However, because of the life fate has dictated him and the obstacles he has faced, Oedipus has been proven to have three hamartias, or tragic flaws. His attributes of determination, impatience/disrespect, and hubris greatly contribute to his downfall.
Determination is one of Oedipus’ great hamartias. Despite the importance of fate in Greek characters, Oedipus is often portrayed as stubbornly endeavoring to pursue his own goals. When news spreads that the King Laios had died to murder and that the only way to resolve this plague is to find his murderer, King Oedipus officially appoints himself as the chief investigator. He gives the people of Thebes the impression of being ready to help, and furthermore promises to assist in any way he can. Oedipus, as the King of Thebes, sees his responsibility and demands anyone who knows about the murder to come forth. Oedipus then says, "My spirit grieves for the city, for myself and all of you" (Sophocles 87). By uttering those words, Oedipus has fatefully condemned himself to suffering in the future. However, Oedipus fully confirms his flaw of determination by looking at all tasks as a riddle-solver. As a man who has solved the riddle of the Sphinx, he held himself at high intelligence and relied ...


... middle of paper ...


...ruth in locating Laios’ murderer in saying, “I’ll start again – I’ll bring it all to light myself! ” (Sophocles 167), thus imposing the idea that only he possesses the intelligence to find the real killer.
The roles of determination, impatience, and hubris, themes commonly presented in the great tragedy Oedipus Rex, do not only exalt the Greek nationalism present during Sophocles’ time, but also dictates the course of the story, evolving as its tragic protagonist moves through his ill-fated anguish. Through these three hamartias, King Oedipus is not only proven to be at fault for his own atrophy, but whose life is also deemed to be tragic. Due to the errors in judgement, his exaggerated pride, and suffering consequences of his deeds, the original self-righteous, overconfident attitude of Oedipus is burnt away, setting him apart as the true cause for his ruination.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Sophocles' Oedipus Rex

- Sophocles' Oedipus Rex As the plot in Sophocles' famous play Oedipus Rex unfolds, many aspects of the relationship between ancient Greeks and their gods are revealed. It demonstrates that the people could call upon the gods in times of distress, how the gods could cause widespread disasters if a population displeased them, how arrogance and ignorance of the gods' powers would lead to disaster, and...   [tags: Sophocles' Oedipus Rex]

Strong Essays
1385 words (4 pages)

Essay The Many Functions of Tiresias in Sophocles' Oedipus Rex

- The Many Functions of Tiresias in Sophocles' Oedipus Rex The minor role of Tiresias fulfills several chief purposes in Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, all of which are necessary in guiding the play through to its tragic ending and the completion of the prophecies. Tiresias primarily functions as the catalyst ultimately responsible for the provocation of Oedipus' venomous jealousy, a vital factor in the play's progression. The calm and confident Tiresias also acts as a foil for Oedipus through his dramatic difference in character, which allows the reader to see Oedipus for who he really is and realize that it was he who brought about his own downfall....   [tags: Sophocles Oedipus Rex]

Strong Essays
1433 words (4.1 pages)

The Tragedy Of Oedipus Rex By Sophocles Essay

- In Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, it was said during class that the moment of catharsis was just after Oedipus realizes he is the one who killed his father. The class agreed that the reader was relieved when Oedipus came to comprehend that he was lying to himself the entire time because he was the one responsible for Laius’ death. Catharsis was defined as a moment or breath of relief. I do not agree with his moment of realization as the point where catharsis is reached. I believe that after he punishes himself as a result of his realization....   [tags: Oedipus, Jocasta, Parent, Sophocles]

Strong Essays
936 words (2.7 pages)

Essay about Oedipus Rex, By Sophocles

- The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle outlined the requirements for a good tragedy, and he based his ideals on the classic Greek play Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles. As Aristotle stated, the perfect tragedy must be an imitation of one’s life, realistic and narrow in its aspects. Such is the case with the play Oedipus Rex, a Greek play revolving around the tragedies of the life of King Oedipus. Oedipus Rex, the protagonist of the first of the three Oedipus plays, has a life of luxury and promise....   [tags: Oedipus the King, Oedipus, Sophocles, Jocasta]

Strong Essays
1011 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about The Tragedy Of Sophocles ' Oedipus Rex, Composed By Sophocles

- In Ancient Greek tragedy, the concepts of suffering, hubris and moral responsibility are all interrelated, as one simply wouldn 't exist without the other. Oedipus Rex, composed by Sophocles, illuminates this. Through being structured in a Mystery Play format, the audience then witnesses the characters unravel a truth known from the beginning, distancing actor from spectator which allows the audience to see the roles of these concepts. The political, social and cultural aspects from the era in which the play has been written are then also made determinable in the work, however the play still manages to be universal as apart from the storyline and plot, it deals with humanistic issue of confr...   [tags: Tragedy, Oedipus, Sophocles, Aeschylus]

Strong Essays
1175 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about The Tragedy Of Sophocles ' Oedipus Rex '

- Throughout the beginning of history and religion fate had always been controlled by a higher power who had then have it to a prophet to then give it to the reciprocal the gods had been trying to reach. In the play “Oedipus Rex” by Sophocles the characters though having a horrible destiny where not in control of it, seeing as how their fate was beyond their control. If they had been in control then they would have choosen a different destiny. This play shows how the characters suffered for unintentionally committing their sins, proving that their crimes do not match their disproportionate punishment....   [tags: Oedipus, Oedipus the King, Jocasta, Sophocles]

Strong Essays
1387 words (4 pages)

Essay about The Tragic Tragedy Of Sophocles ' Oedipus Rex

- The Greek play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles is known most famously for being an excellent portrayal of Greek tragedy. In the Poetics, philosopher Aristotle praises Sophocles for meeting his criteria of what makes up a perfect tragedy. The play follows an Aristotelian plot consisting of a scene of recognition, a reversal of situation and scenes of suffering. The play must also have the perfect tragic hero. They must be a superior individual without being too perfect, otherwise, their inevitable downfall would come across as unwarranted....   [tags: Sophocles, Tragedy, Oedipus the King, Oedipus]

Strong Essays
992 words (2.8 pages)

Oedipus Rex By Sophocles : An Ideal Tragic Hero Essay

- If one is familiar with Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero, one may consider King Oedipus, from Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, as a potential example of an ideal tragic hero. Sophocles exemplifies the definition of a tragic hero in his portrayal of King Oedipus, in addition to masterfully constructing a tragedy that has lasted the ages and continues to thrive as a classic work of literature to this day. A brief review of Oedipus Rex reveals key elements when defining a tragic hero. The first is the situation, as it unfolds, is complex in nature....   [tags: Oedipus, Oedipus the King, Sophocles, Jocasta]

Strong Essays
1456 words (4.2 pages)

A Book Log - Oedipus Rex By Sophocles Essay

- Book Log – Oedipus Rex by Sophocles In the play, Oedipus Rex the main character Oedipus faces many internal and external conflicts that result in a terrible tragedy. The main conflict is introduced when Tiresias, a famous blind prophet, tells Oedipus that he is responsible for the plague affecting Thebes. This conflict then causes a desire in Oedipus to find out who his parents are. These conflicts are caused by each other, the plague that affects Thebes prompts Oedipus to visit Tiresias where he gets the urge to find out who his real parents are....   [tags: Oedipus, Oedipus the King, Greek mythology]

Strong Essays
873 words (2.5 pages)

The Role of Teiresias in Sophocles' Oedipus Rex Essay

- The Role of Teiresias in Sophocles'Oedipus Rex (the King) Teiresias uses his psychic abilities to foreshadow the anguish and destruction that Oedipus will encounter after he learns the truths of his life. Teiresias is also responsible for further developing the theme of blindness by using his own physical blindness to reveal to Oedipus his mental blindness. Lastly, Teiresias is ultimately responsible for imposing dramatic irony because of his great knowledge of the truth of Oedipus. In the play, Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles, the minor character of Teiresias is responsible for foreshadowing Oedipus’ fate, developing the theme of blindness, and also illustrating dramatic irony....   [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]

Strong Essays
1417 words (4 pages)