• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In Sophocles' Oedipus The King, King Oedipus of Thebes is confronted and strangely obsessed with the mystery of who killed Laios

Extracts from this document...


Benjamin Goldenstein English 11 SL Mrs. Capur 4/29/2005 2. Discuss a scene in which a particular mood or atmosphere contributes significantly to the total effect of Oedipus. Mystery Catch-22 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. ...read more.


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. Oedipus' past is mainly described by an abnormal will to escape his fate at all costs, leading him to flee Corinth. ...read more.


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. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Classics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Classics essays

  1. Discuss the themes of identity explored in "King Oedipus" and "Waiting for Godot".

    Therefore, the revelation that Oedipus was the man who killed his real father, King Laius, married his true mother, the Queen, and raised a family through incest, begins to erode his confidence. Further evidence of this loss of identity is presented, when Oedipus goes through this discovery that he has fulfilled the prophecy.

  2. How far do you agree that Sophocles "Oedipus the King" is nothing more than ...

    An example of this could be when the audience knows that it was Oedipus who killed Lauis whereas Oedipus is convinced it was someone else and is desperately trying to find the murderer. This heightens the sense of tragedy as it means that the audience being privy to information, which the character is not, increases sympathy and increases the suspense.

  1. The Use of Religious Beliefs in Oedipus and The Stranger

    For instance, when the magistrate lectures Meursault about God, he seems to "want to get rid of" (p.69) him and he is "not really listening to" (p.69) him. He shows that he does not care what the magistrate is saying.

  2. "Oedipus the King".

    We also see his bravery when he solves the riddle of the Sphinx. Oedipus is a person whom is committed to his own freedom to be what he thinks he must be, to live up to his own conception of heroic greatness.

  1. "In the play, 'Oedipus the King' Sophocles argues that it is fate not the ...

    A Greek audience unlike a modern audience would not be questioning why Jocasta and Oedipus have never discussed the past before. Oedipus now experiences a desire to seek the truth about Laius' death, but the more Oedipus probes, the closer he gets to revealing his fate.

  2. Cinderella - play script

    Then he'd smile and kiss my hand... Minerva: That's so romantic. Calliope: Say it again, Cinderella! Stepmother: Rubbish! This isn't about Love, it's about marriage! Have I taught you girls nothing?! (sings) Falling in love with Love is falling for make-believe Falling in Love with love is playing the fool!

  1. An examination of why lines 370- 447 form a key passage in Sophocles' Oedipus ...

    The King might use this as justification for his disrespectful behavior, too. On the other hand, the root of Oedipus's insult might lie in anger coming from his fierce nature.

  2. Abandoned and Redeemed: Comparing the works of Ibsen and Sophocles

    Oedipus was a victim of society in this play. He had been respected by his people, but also expected to protect them and to destroy the plague that infected them. He was put under pressure to find a solution to the plague and also to his prophecy.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work