Women in Oedipus Rex Essay

Women in Oedipus Rex Essay

Length: 2721 words (7.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Women in Oedipus Rex          

 
  Charles Segal in Oedipus Tyrannus: Tragic Heroism and the Limits of Knowledge explains one of the pivotal functions of Jocasta in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex:

 

The second series begins with Jocasta. . . .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).

 

This essay will reveal the role of women in the drama, the attitude toward women, the contribution of women to plot development, and other considerations relevant to 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 ...


... middle of paper ...


...nflicts 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.

http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/etcbin/browse-mixed new?tag=public&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&part=0&id=SopOedi

 

“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.

 

 

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Significance of the Women in Oedipus Rex Essay

- Significance of the 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. This essay will explore the role of women in the drama, the attitude toward women therein, the involvement of women in plot development, and other aspects of women in Oedipus Rex....   [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]

Powerful Essays
2627 words (7.5 pages)

Women in Oedipus Rex Essay

- Women in Oedipus Rex               Charles Segal in Oedipus Tyrannus: Tragic Heroism and the Limits of Knowledge explains one of the pivotal functions of Jocasta in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex:   The second series begins with Jocasta. . . .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)....   [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]

Powerful Essays
2721 words (7.8 pages)

Essay on The Role of Women in Oedipus Rex

- For centuries women have fought to obtain basic civil rights and today, they are still fighting to obtain equal rights. From the right to vote to their right to birth control, women have always been trying to assert their own independence in order to expand their freedom. While much progress has been made, there is still room for improvement. However, the evolution of women’s rights and the role of women is mirrored in literature and can be used to illustrate the progression throughout history. Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex is no different....   [tags: Literary Analysis ]

Powerful Essays
2000 words (5.7 pages)

The Use of Religion as a Literary Element in Oedipus Rex Essay

- The Use of Religion as a Literary Element in Oedipus Rex and how it Influences the Use of Religion in Modern Western Literature Famous novelist, C.S. Lewis, stated, “Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become” (“Literature Quotes”)....   [tags: Oedipus Rex Essays]

Powerful Essays
1107 words (3.2 pages)

Oedipus Rex as Social Commentary Essay

- Oedipus Rex as Social Commentary Oedipus Rex, written by the Poet Sophocles in the Golden Age of Greek Theatre, was described by Aristotle to be the greatest tragedy of all time. It encapsulates the very essence of the Greek cultural milieu, and it is these ideologies which are translated into the play. The very essence of Greek society; the political democracy, a moral belief in the power of the Gods and social recognition of hierarchy, are portrayed when the society is pictured in a state of chaos....   [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]

Powerful Essays
880 words (2.5 pages)

Oedipus Rex Essay

- Oedipus Rex Sophocles Awake ye men of earth; remove thy shackles from thy body and acquaint yourself with the mother as you pass through creation in the manner of a tragedian romance, embodying nature and spirit. And in your night crusade, you will perceive a revelation of the most superlative feelings that come not from words or form, but from light. Hope Saphos DeVenuto A vaporous energy passes before us as a wave which carries us through the categories of the mind of an ancient past in Aristotelian truth....   [tags: Oedipus Rex Poem Essays]

Free Essays
824 words (2.4 pages)

Oedipus the King: The Hubris of Oedipus Essay

- "Oedipus the King" written by Sophocles, is a powerful Greek tragedy story. The protagonist, Oedipus is a heroic mythical king who had it all. Oedipus pursues to find the true answers to his identity and destiny, while at the same time trying to avoid fulfilling his destiny. "Oedipus the King" was introduced around 429 B.C.E. in Athens. This was Sophocles' most celebrated play. It is recognized by many titles, such as its Latin title "Oedipus Rex" and "Oedipus Tyrannus." Sophocles' performed this play at the annual festival of Dionysus--a religious festival, which celebrated Dionysus, the god of intoxication, death, and fertility....   [tags: Oedipus Rex, Sophocles]

Powerful Essays
1682 words (4.8 pages)

Oedipus the King and Oedipus Complex Essay

- Oedipus Rex, is a Sophocles play, that according to Freud exemplifies a formative stage in a individuals psychosexual development. The psychosexual stages are the age related developmental periods in which sexual impulses are exerted through different bodily zones and then activities are associated with those areas in the bodily zones. These is when a young child will transfer his love object from the breast to the mother. When the child gives up the breast and moves to the mother it is known as the oral phase....   [tags: Oedipus Rex, Sophocles]

Powerful Essays
618 words (1.8 pages)

Oedipus the King: Unrealistic or Realistic Essay

- Oedipus Rex – Unrealistic or Realistic                Let’s explore the traces of realsim and its opposite in Sophocles’ tragedy, Oedipus Rex.   The first obvious question is: How can this drama possibly be considered realistic since it relies so heavily on predetermination and fate in the life of the protagonist, Oedipus. As Jocasta recounts to Oedipus:   An oracle Once came to Laius (I will not say 'Twas from the Delphic god himself, but from His ministers) declaring he was doomed To perish by the hand of his own son, A child that should be born to him by me....   [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]

Powerful Essays
2005 words (5.7 pages)

Oedipus the King: Characterization Essay

- Oedipus Rex – Characterization                This essay will illustrate the types of characters depicted in Sophocles’ tragic drama, Oedipus Rex, whether static or dynamic, flat or round, and whether protrayed through the showing or telling technique.   Seth Benardete in “Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus” portrays the protagonist in just one dimension of his well-rounded character, that of a suffering soul:   Everyone else is ill, but no one is as ill as Oedipus, for all the rest suffer individually, while he alone suffers collectively....   [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]

Free Essays
2442 words (7 pages)