Sophocles' Oedipus

Sophocles' Oedipus

Length: 509 words (1.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

In Sophocles’ Oedipus The King, King Oedipus of Thebes is confronted
and strangely obsessed with the mystery of who killed Laios, the
former king of Thebes, for a great plague has overtaken the city of
Thebes because due to this murder. During his quest for the truth, he
begins to discover that the answer to his query is also the answer to
another disturbing mystery about himself, who am I? The work as a
whole seems to be a study of the nature of the mystery and how its
discovery brings out the true identity of Oedipus. The clues involved
in Oedipus’ puzzle surface a dark truth about his past and the fate
that he simply cannot shake the fact that he is the murderer and is
indeed controlled by the Gods, not as powerful as them.

When Kreon returns from Delphi, he tells Oedipus that he must, “avenge
the murderers of King Laios. (l.131)” In a desperate situation to save
his city, Oedipus focuses on Laios’ murder, consequently beginning the
play with the mystery of, “Who killed king Laios?” To help him in his
quest, Oedipus calls for the blind prophet Teiresias to use his powers
and identify the murderer. After receiving a ruthless interrogation
and many threats from Oedipus, the prophet reveals that Oedipus is in
fact the true slayer, “I say you, you are the killer you’re searching
for. (l.492)” Though calling Teiresias’ news as foolish deceit,
Oedipus later learns that the murder of King Laios had been foretold
to be at the hands of his lost son, which he exiled and sentenced to
death when his son was still a baby. Knowing that the same prophecy
was told to him by Apollo, Oedipus now knows that he is implicated in
the murder, and searches to find the underlying mystery of who he is,
which holds the key to the solution of the original mystery.

The mystery of who killed Laios quickly becomes dependent on the
mystery of who Oedipus really is and the events of his infancy and
upbringing.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Sophocles' Oedipus." 123HelpMe.com. 28 Jan 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=141735>.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay about Sophocles ' Oedipus The King

- In Sophocles play “Oedipus the King,” a young King learns his lesson that life teaches in general about fate, and irony of life itself. The theme of this play, is fate and free will, and the realization of how one can never change their own fate. In the beginning, Oedipus the King, is told by his brother-in-law Creon, that the oracle has spoken. Creon presents Oedipus with the message from the oracles, saying that the plague will end when the murderer of Laius, former king of Thebes, is caught and expelled; the murderer is within the city....   [tags: Oedipus the King, Sophocles, Oedipus]

Research Papers
1048 words (3 pages)

The Tragedy Of Sophocles ' Oedipus The King Essay

- Dramatic irony is a commonly used literary device where the audience understands something that some of the characters may be oblivious to. Among the many playwrights who have employed dramatic irony in their plays, Sophocles is highly popularized for his use of it in his tragedy Oedipus the King. When using this literary device, Sophocles does so to highlight Oedipus’ tragic flaw of ignorance. Throughout the entire play, Oedipus is trying to figure out mysteries such as who his real parents are and who killed Laius....   [tags: Oedipus, Sophocles, Oedipus the King, Truth]

Research Papers
788 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Sophocles ' Oedipus The King

- Sophocles remains one of the most outstanding playwrights of the classical period. Sophocles had a way of tabling his characters linking their actions with the thematic concerns in his literary oeuvres. The stylistic devices and the use of diverse character traits always made most of his artistic work thrilling. Oedipus the King is one of the most exciting masterpieces Sophocles has ever authored. Oedipus the King explores the role of fate, pride and the possible consequences of one’s actions about the societal myths and norms....   [tags: Oedipus, Sophocles, Tragedy, Oedipus the King]

Research Papers
1385 words (4 pages)

Sophocles ' The King, And Oedipus At Colonus Essays

- Did you know. Sophocles was the most awarded writer in dramatic competitions in the city of Ancient Athens. One of Sophocles significant play was Antigone. Antigone was an overriding tragedy written around 442 B.C. The play primarily focuses on the power of the state and individual moral sense, and feminism which was a huge issue in Ancient Greece during that time. Although, it was not Sophocles intentions to make a trilogy of Oedipus, it is the third of the Three Theban plays following Oedipus the King, and Oedipus at Colonus....   [tags: Sophocles, Oedipus, Oedipus at Colonus]

Research Papers
1485 words (4.2 pages)

The Tragedy Of Sophocles ' Oedipus The King Essay example

- Greek Drama had three main categories The Comedy, Satyr Plays, and The Tragedy. The most popular of the three is The Tragedy, its themes are often such as loss of love, complex relationships between men and the gods, and corruption of power. These dramas taught the people of the city the difference between good and bad behavior and the ramifications of going against the gods. According to Aristotle, the perfect tragedy consisted of the downfall of the hero through a great misunderstanding, causing suffering and awareness for the protagonist meanwhile making the audience feel pity and fear....   [tags: Oedipus, Oedipus the King, Sophocles, Tragedy]

Research Papers
1733 words (5 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]

Research Papers
1387 words (4 pages)

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]

Research Papers
1385 words (4 pages)

Tragedy in Sophocles' Oedipus The King and Antigone Essay

- Tragedy in Sophocles' Oedipus The King and Antigone The Greeks considered tragedy the greatest form for literature.  However, the tragic ends for the characters were not ordained or set by fate, but rather caused by certain characteristics belonging to that person.  Such is the case with the characters of Sophocles' plays Oedipus the King and Antigone.  Oedipus from King Oedipus, and Antigone and Creon from Antigone posses characteristics, especially pride, that caused their tragic ends.  As the play progress, other characteristics appear and further add to the problem to such a point that it is inevitable that it will end in tragedy.  Therefore the tragedies were not a result of a plot b...   [tags: Sophocles Oedipus King Antigone Essays]

Research Papers
1405 words (4 pages)

Sophocles' Oedipus Essay

- Sophocles' Oedipus You can Run, but you can’t Hide Sixteenth century play writers often focused on the tragic irony of fate. One such play-writer is Sophacles. In one of his later plays, “Oedipus”, he writes the tragic story of a man who can’t avoid his pre-destined fate, and that some things just can’t be changed by the people in your life no matter how hard they try. Oedipus, the main character of this tragedy, he is a protagonist ruled by conflict and fate. This is evident in the characters traits and motivations, interactions with others, and the characters language and what others say about him....   [tags: Sophocles Oedipus Play Greek]

Research Papers
1381 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Sophocles' Oedipus

- In Sophocles’ Oedipus The King, King Oedipus of Thebes is confronted and strangely obsessed with the mystery of who killed Laios, the former king of Thebes, for a great plague has overtaken the city of Thebes because due to this murder. During his quest for the truth, he begins to discover that the answer to his query is also the answer to another disturbing mystery about himself, who am I. The work as a whole seems to be a study of the nature of the mystery and how its discovery brings out the true identity of Oedipus....   [tags: Oedipus Rex, Sophocles]

Free Essays
509 words (1.5 pages)

Oedipus’ past is mainly described by an abnormal will to
escape his fate at all costs, leading him to flee Corinth. Oedipus is
extremely paranoid about his foreseen path, and fears its coming.
Jocasta, who is dually his wife and mother, wanting to help her
husband, tells Oedipus about the prophecy of her son killing his
father and marrying her, and since the king was supposedly killed by
marauders, “Apollo didn’t make that child his father’s killer. Laios
wasn’t murdered by his son. (l.945)” Once Oedipus gains this
knowledge, the quest for his identity begins to revolve around the
question: Is Oedipus doomed to his foreseen fate, or are the God’s not
as powerful and controlling as believed? With his wife desperately
hammering the idea that the Gods are wrong into Oedipus mind to hide
him from the truth she knows, he begins to question their true power
and his own power, comparing the two, he assumes an ignorant attitude.
He believes that he is almost equal to the Gods, and is not subject to
prophecies. Short after, however, the mystery is canceled out, because
when Oedipus learns about the presumed false prophecy, he also learns
that Laios was to suffer the same fate that Oedipus was prophesized to
give his father many years ago at the shrine at Delphi. As all of the
pieces come together, the solution to all of the mysteries explored by
Oedipus is Oedipus himself: he is Laios’s son and killer.

As a whole, the work is a portrait of the nature of Oedipus’ mystery,
and how the investigation of the murder is also an investigation of
his true identity, leading to the discovery that no man can escape his
fate. During the exploration of Laios’ murder, Oedipus learns his real
identity piece by piece, and is ultimately destroyed by this very
discovery. The mysteries and investigations are what make up the
entire play. The plot is the search for the murderer, from start to
finish.
Return to 123HelpMe.com