Oedipus the King

Oedipus the King

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In this essay of Oedipus Rex there are four characteristics I will discuss. The first
characteristic I will discuss is if the story of Oedipus Rex is an example of a Greek
tragedy and if so what is the fundamental tragedy. Next I will describe the basic tension
in this play. The third characteristic I will explain is what motivation I find in the
character Oedipus and last but not least I will give a character Analysis on the character

     The play Oedipus Rex is a clear example of a Greek tragedy, as you read
thorough the story you first find out that Oedipus was the son of Laius and Jocasta, who
were the king and queen of Thebes, a town in Greece. After Oedipus was born an oracle
prophesied the boy would grow up and kill his father and marry his mother. As a result of
this Laius and Jocasta decided to kill Oedipus. They eventually took Oedipus into the
wilderness and left him to die. This being at the beginning of the story it begins to tell
you that this story is bound to be a tragic one. The tragic plot only thickens from this
point. The story goes on to tell you that Oedipus is found by a shepherd and given to a
friend and then taken to the town of Corinth, were the king and queen of Corinth later
adopted him, because they could not bore a child of their own. The story continues on to
tell of him never finding out the truth of his adoption. Once again in the story the plot
begins to thicken even more. It goes on to say that Oedipus comes upon an old man on
the road and he gets into a bitter quarrel over something. The quarrel then turns into a
fight and in the end the old man and his servants lie dead on the road. Little did Oedipus know but the old man he had killed was his father and also the king of Thebes. The story
goes on to tell how Oedipus goes on to become the king of Thebes and marry Jocasta. He
later has four children with her and he vows to find out who killed Jocasta’s late husband
in his attempts to find the culprit, he begins to see the resemblance between what had
happened and what he had done.

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It’s not until the Sheppard who originally found
Oedipus is questioned that the truth is finally revealed. This is where the story comes to a
tragic end as the Jocasta hears word of this she commits suicide by hanging herself. As
Oedipus hears of this he runs in and takes the pins from Jocasta’s dress and in an act of
despair he pokes his eyes out. The story is no doubt a tragedy, but maybe it was in a way
payback for past crimes seeing as Lucias and Jocasta left their child to die and in turn
they were the ones to die. This sums up that this story is a tragedy and it shows that the
basic tension to me in this story was everything you do comes back on you.

     The third characteristic in this story was the motivations I found in Oedipus was
that he wanted to be righteous and live his life in truth and in doing so he searches for the
truth about everything that had occurred in the story such as, who he was, where he was
from, and who killed the king. He chose to know the truth instead of living in a closet and
in doing so he is punished. It just showed how the truth really does hurt. In the end of the
story Oedipus had no motivation because he had nothing left to live for.

     Last but not least I am going to do a character analysis on the character Jocasta. In
this story Jocasta played an integrate role, she was very important to the story itself. It
would seem in this story that jocasta was an innocent victim but her goal in this story was
to test the king of Thebes. It is said that the gods had wished this upon her. So maybe
Jocasta was a victim or maybe she was a catalyst in this story.

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