Free Essays - The Themes of Oedipus the King (Rex)

Free Essays - The Themes of Oedipus the King (Rex)

Length: 719 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓


The Themes of Oedipus the King

 

 

In the play Oedipus the King, by Sophocles, two themes appear; one that humans have little control of their lives because fate always catches up with them and the theme that when someone makes a mistake, they will have to pay for it.

 

The theme that the lives of humans are controlled by the gods, in Oedipus, show that everything humans do are futile and result in no gain but only loss. This theme is mainly shown by the character Oedipus, king of Thebes. In the beginning of his life, Laius the king planned to kill his son by leaving him on Mount Cithaeron to die. "...at the moment I was your savior."

 

From the very beginning, Oedipus was destined to fulfill Apollo's prophecy of killing his father. Even though King Lauis tries to kill Oedipus to stop the fulfillment of this shameful prophecy, fate drives the Corinthian messenger to save Oedipus. What the gods fortell will come true and no human can stop it from happening, not even the kings. Oedipus is once again controlled by this power when he leaves the place of his child hood after he hears that he is to kill his father and marry his mother. "I shall shrink from nothing...to find the the murderer of Laius...You are the murderer..." Oedipus tried to stop the prophecy from coming true by leaving Corinth and only fate can make Oedipus turn to the road where he kills his true father. Leaving Corinth makes Oedipus lose his childhood by making him worry of such issues young people should not have to worry about and becoming a king of a strange land. Last of all, Oedipus carries the last part of the prophecy out, marrying his mother. " I would... never have been known as my mother's husband. Oedipus has no control over the outcome of his life. Fate causes Oedipus to have known the answer to the Sphinx's riddle and win his marriage to his mother, Jocasta. Had fate not intervened, the chances of marrying Jocasta would have been small since there is an enourmous number of people and places to go. Oedipus loses his sense of dignity after he discovers he is not only a murderer, but also that he had committed incest.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Free Essays - The Themes of Oedipus the King (Rex)." 123HelpMe.com. 21 Aug 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=14685>.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Themes in Oedipus Rex Essays

- The Themes in Oedipus Rex          Sophocles’ tragedy, Oedipus Rex, contains one main theme, which this essay will consider. The theme is the general doctrine or belief implicit in the drama, which the author seeks to make persuasive to the reader (Abrams 170).   In “Sophocles’ Moral Themes” Robert D. Murray Jr. cites a critic who is strictly moralist in the interpretation of the theme of Oedipus Rex:   Let C. M. Bowra speak for the moralists:   The central idea of a Sophoclean tragedy is that through suffering a man learns to be modest before the gods....   [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]

Research Papers
2786 words (8 pages)

tragoed Destiny and Fate's Triumph Over Free Will in Oedipus the King (Oedipus Rex)

- The Tragedy of Fate in Oedipus the King      Oedipus the King is widely regarded as a tragedy of fate.  Briefly stated, it begins with a terrible plague that destroys the city.  King Oedipus sends a messenger to the oracle at Delphi to find a cure.  The answer that is received suggests to find out who the killer of King Laios was.  Oedipus sends for the prophet Teiresias, who after much arguing, finally reveals that Oedipus himself is the murderer.  Slowly but surely the history of Oedipus' situation begins to unravel, and it is discovered that there was a prophecy made that he would unwittingly kill his father and marry his mother; Oedipus fulfilled his prophecy....   [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]

Free Essays
808 words (2.3 pages)

Oedipus Rex: Imagery of Blindness and Sight as a Medium to the Themes Essay

- In the play, Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles, an honourable and admirable Greek king named Oedipus rules the town of Thebes. He is left in mental turmoil and decay as his unknown, corrupt and immoral past is slowly revealed during his quest to find the culprit who murdered King Laius. The newly exposed past suddenly transforms his glory and respect into shame and humiliation. After he learns about his wicked past he stabs his eyes, which lead to his blindness. During the course of the play, references to blindness and vision constantly recur, giving the reader an enhanced and more insightful look into the themes of the play....   [tags: Theatre]

Research Papers
1225 words (3.5 pages)

Destiny, Fate, Free Will and Free Choice in Oedipus the King Essay example

- The Concept of Fate in Oedipus Rex                 To the first-time reader of Sophocles’ tragedy, Oedipus Rex, it seems that the gods are in complete domination of mankind. This essay will seek to show that this is not the case because the presence of a tragic flaw within the protagonist is shown to be the cause of his downfall.   In the opening scene of the tragedy the priest of Zeus itemizes for the king what the gods have done to the inhabitants of Thebes:   A blight is on our harvest in the ear, A blight upon the grazing flocks and herds, A blight on wives in travail; and withal Armed with his blazing torch the God of Plague Hath swooped upon our city emptying T...   [tags: Oedipus Rex]

Research Papers
3908 words (11.2 pages)

Essay on Oedipus, King Of Thebes

- In the opening scene, Oedipus, king of Thebes, comes outside of his palace to find a priest and group of children praying to the gods to release them from the city-wide plague which has destroyed the crops and left the women barren. He sends Creon, his brother-in-law, to the Oracle at Delphi to find the solution to the plague. At his return, Creon declares that Thebes would be cured once the murderer of the previous king, Laius, was found. Thus, Oedipus swears to find the killer and banish him. At the Chorus’s suggestion, he sends for the blind prophet Teiresias for consultation....   [tags: Oedipus, Oedipus the King, Jocasta, Tiresias]

Research Papers
1211 words (3.5 pages)

The Tragedy Of Oedipus The King Essay

- In Oedipus the King, Oedipus seeks out knowledge and truth, even though he is warned not to mess with the oracles. However, he is determined to uncover the mystery behind the murder of Laius and to learn the origins of his own identity. But was he better off not knowing. Is ignorance bliss. People seek to understand things that go beyond their capability to understand. Obvious examples would be sudden deaths or unforeseen disasters. No one wants to feel like a victim of fate, but know one can answer questions like: is there a God....   [tags: Oedipus, Oedipus the King, Tiresias, Creon]

Research Papers
726 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

- Ancient Athens of the fifth century B.C saw evolutionary developments in philosophy, science and the dramatic arts of which provided citizens a very different perspective of life as it was. It was a patriarchal society which has been ruled by an Aristocratic system for hundreds of years that centred their ideals and beliefs not on individualism, but utterly the power of the gods. However in the Golden Age society’s devotion towards piety began to crumble as humanity started to examine the power of man’s achievements....   [tags: ancient athens, philosophy]

Research Papers
1018 words (2.9 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]

Research Papers
1682 words (4.8 pages)

Oedipus the King: A Painful Path to Truth Essay

- Truth in Oedipus Rex    The play "Oedipus Rex" is a very full and lively one to say the least. Everything a reader could ask for is included in this play. There is excitement, suspense, happiness, sorrow, and much more. Truth is the main theme of the play. Oedipus cannot accept the truth as it comes to him or even where it comes from. He is blinded in his own life, trying to ignore the truth of his life. Oedipus will find out that truth is rock solid. The story is mainly about a young man named Oedipus who is trying to find out more knowledge than he can handle....   [tags: Oedipus Rex Essays]

Free Essays
742 words (2.1 pages)

Free Oedipus the King Essays: The Downfall of Oedipus Rex

- The Downfall of Oedipus Rex The greek playwright, Sophocles, was born around 496 B.C., and died in 406 B.C.  During his life, he wrote many plays, one of which was Oedipus Rex.  Sophocles was the first dramatist to add the third actor to the play.  Actors were able to perfrom many different parts, but the play was limited to only three actors and the chorus.  (Literature, page 1065)             The downfall of Oedipus transpired due to the tragic flaw of his character.  Oedipus was very temperamental and became easily angered....   [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]

Free Essays
427 words (1.2 pages)

Related Searches

From his birth to the end of the play, fate intervenes when Oedipus is saved from Lauis' wrath as a baby, when Oedipus goes to the fork in the road where he kills his father, and lastly,when he answers the Sphinx's riddle and marries Jocasta.

 

The second theme, mistakes and wrongs toward other people will be paid, for is told by Tiresias,the prophet, and carried out by Jocasta, and once again, King Oedipus. Tireseis states, after being accused of being a fool and mocked by Oedipus, "These reproaches you fling at me, all these people here will fling them at you..." Tireseis realizes that mockery and false accusations will not go unpaid forever. This foreshadows the mockery Oedipus will experience after the truth to his marriage is discovered, these people will jeer at him. Jocasta makes a detrimentale mistake when she marries Oedipus. She even says, "...he had more or less the same build as you." Jocasta ignores all the obvious features between Laius and Oedipus because she was so in love. If she had taken notice of these things, her pain would be more endurable because Oedipus would not know that the prophecy was being fulfilled. Lastly, King Oedipus made a mistake losing his temper when he meets King Laius. "The driver tried to push me off the road...he aimed at my head with a two-pronged goad, and hit me. I paid him back in full...I killed the whole lot of them." Oedipus wronged Laius here by killing him over a small incident and fit of anger. Had Oedipus not killed Laius, the murderer of would not have to be searched out and ultimately, the truth about his marriage to his mother would not be told and the kingdom would continue to thrive along with the family happiness. The statement by Tireseis and the mistakes of the royal family, show that the mistakes and insults toward others will be returned to that person who has wronged the other.

 

 

 
Return to 123HelpMe.com