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Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles is a Greek tragedy built on the basis of a riddle given by the maleficent Sphinx, who in Egypt is considered the protector of the three pyramids, however, the perspective given to us by the narrator in this drama allows us to view that it is really a "disease" which plagues, torments and confines the citizens of Thebes. Despite that fact, the Sphinx can represent all that is rational about man, as in the tragedy she chooses to challenge man's thought and intellect by imposing a riddle in which only those who possess the qualities and abilities could solve such as Oedipus, though arrogant and self-confident, he is the only one of those who tried and---died able to unravel the "mystery" the riddle, or so it may seem. "What is it that walks on 4 feet and 2 feet and 3 feet and has only one voice, when it walks on most feet it is the weakest?" Oedipus responded confidently with the answer, Man and like the old saying the answer to any great riddle is just as important as the person who answers it.

Middle

First, Oedipus, as a baby suffers from the blindness of his parents King Laius and Queen Jocasta, believing that they could fight for their freedom from Gods will. This will supposedly from Apollo stated that Laius' son, Oedipus, would one day kill him and marry the future widow, Jocasta and rule over Thebes. This prophecy unfortunately drove them to the extent that they simply left Oedipus to die at the slopes of Mt. Kithairon only to risk an attempt at avoiding predestined fate. In this first situation, the blindness, which they suffer, is in the mind and rather a intellectual blindness, as evidently they both know about the prophecy, but even after their horrendous actions, which by the way fails and now Laius and Jocasta believes that their son, Oedipus is dead up in the mountain. Moreover, even Jocasta has no idea that she has married her son. Nevertheless, as the story progressed pieces of information started to come together to a point where even she refused to accept what had really happened. Frankly, her way of dealing with this epiphamy is to kill herself.

Conclusion

So, in response, Oedipus commits an act that is devastating, physically but it is a sense of enlightenment spiritually as he blinds himself so that he may not see anymore. Unfortunately, this does not help his problem. Sophocles wanted to show that because he didn't want to accept the situation the way he "saw" it, he decided instead not to see it at all. In addition to this Oedipus becomes physically blind and this is undoubtedly a representation of the last stage of life. Being physically blind he begins to see the errors of his path and ultimately the truth. As the staff is naturally considered the universal symbol of wisdom. With that being said, all three stages of life consists of different forms of blindness, from the indirect to direct and naturally Sophocles had used it with relativity to the Sphinx and her riddle. In Oedipus' case he is "blinded" from the truth. The answer to the riddle or solution to problem may have been obvious. Yet, from his point of view he could not "see" the answer, the real answer. Yet, perhaps not being able to see it, in the beginning is human weakness and is a part of life, which consists of a series of changes in which Oedipus experienced. ?? ?? ?? ??

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