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

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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.

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