Charles Segal in Oedipus Tyrannus: Tragic Heroism and the Limits of Knowledge explains the protagonist’s concern for Jocasta’s burial in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex:
Oedipus turns from his utter desolation and abasement to something of his old air of command, albeit in a chastened and softened tone. He asks Creon to expel him from Thebes as quickly as he can and gives orders for Jocasta’s burial (1446ff), a gesture of concern and responsibility characteristic of the Oedipus we saw in the opening scenes(73).
Oedipus’ attitude toward Jocasta in death – is it the same as in life? This essay will answer the previous question and many other questions regarding women in Oedipus Rex.
Michael J. O’Brien in the Introduction to Twentieth Century Interpretations of Oedipus Rex, maintains that there is “a good deal of evidence to support this view” that the fifth century playwright was the “educator of his people” and a “teacher”. Sophocles in his tragedy, Oedipus Rex, teaches about “morally desirable attitudes and behavior” (4), and uses three women to help convey these principles of living.
At the outset of Oedipus Rex no female characters are present; the reader sees a king who comes to the door full of curiosity: “Explain your mood and purport. Is it dread /Of ill that moves you or a boon ye crave?” When the priest has responded that the people are despairing from the effects of the plague, the king shows sympathy for his subjects: “Ye sicken all, well wot I, yet my pain, /How great soever yours, outtops it all.” Thomas Van Nortwick in Oedipus: The Meaning of a Masculine Life : “We see already the supreme self-confidence and ease of command in Oedipus. . ...
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...s of the Antigone.” In Sophocles: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by Thomas Woodard. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1966.
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.
“Sophocles” In Literature of the Western World, edited by Brian Wilkie and James Hurt. NewYork: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1984.
Van Nortwick, Thomas. Oedipus: The Meaning of a Masculine Life. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998.
Watling, E. F.. Introduction. In Sophocles: The Theban Plays, translated by E. F. Watling. New York: Penguin Books, 1974.
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