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

Oedipus's Transition From the Beginning to the End.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Ryan Sy November 22, 2003 English IBS 1-2 Mrs. Ching Oedipus's Transition From the Beginning to the End Sophocles' Greek tragedy, "Oedipus" displays how fate and destiny, rather than chance, determine the events within human life. It is this fate that turns Oedipus' seemingly perfect existence full circle, leaving him with less than nothing in the end. During the course of this story, Oedipus undergoes a complete conversion because of his personal quest to find out his true identity. He eventually learns the truth, but at a great cost. He finds that he isn't who he believed himself to be, and he loses everything in the process. Oedipus therefore undergoes an absolute transition from a kingship to exile, from wisdom to confusedness, from admirability to utter shame. When Oedipus is first seen, he is clearly noted as the ruler of Thebes. The priest in fact regards him as, "Great King of Thebes and sovereign Oedipus..." (Line 14). At the moment, Thebes is afflicted with a terrible and mysterious plague, which can only be eliminated when the murderer of Laius, the former King of Thebes, is exiled or killed. ...read more.

Middle

The riddle was, "What has four legs in the morning, two at noon, and three at night?" Oedipus was the only one who answered, "Man", causing the Sphinx to finally kill herself. Man crawled as a baby in its youth, walked with both feet during mid life, and walked with a cane when old. Answering this riddle saved the kingdom of Thebes from the feared Sphinx, and so Oedipus was forever recognized for this. Oedipus' wit, however, was also the cause of his downfall. This is shown during Oedipus' debate with Teiresias. As Oedipus exclaims, "...my skill has brought me glory", Teiresias replies, "And this success brought you to ruin too" (lines 441-443). In other words, Oedipus fulfilled the dark prophecy placed upon him by defeating the Sphinx and thus, marrying Iocasta. In this tragedy, Oedipus is faced with the riddle of his identity. However, despite his wit, he is never able to solve the riddle on his own. In fact, he is confused practically throughout the course of the story. Iocasta even solves this riddle before he does, explaining her sheer reluctance of him trying to find out. ...read more.

Conclusion

And thus, killing one's own father was the most dishonorable action, next to marrying one's own mother. Oedipus, sadly, performed both of these shameful crimes which were considered worse, even, than mass murder. So Oedipus went from being the pride of Thebes to its worst shame. Oedipus is indeed so ashamed of his actions that he tells his advisor, "...Quick as you can, I beg, banish me, hide me, slay me! Throw me forth into the sea, where I may sink from view... There is no man alive can bear this load of evil but myself". Oedipus' transition is evident in how he is now pleading and begging his own advisor to banish him from Thebes. Thus, Oedipus loses everything, including his own dignity. In conclusion, Oedipus makes a tragic transition from having everything to having nothing. Because of his quest for the truth, he finally found it and suffered the most in the end. However, despite the shame in what Oedipus did, one must still admire his spirit to continue looking for truth. It is admirable how he chose blindness rather than death, and in a way, punished himself for his past sins. Such a trait still makes him a hero, at in that sense. Sources: 1. http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~loxias/myth.htm#interpretation 2. http://cgi.sparknotes.com/hlite.rmpl?words=oedipus&pd=0&page=section5.rhtml&guide=%2fdrama%2foedipus ...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".

    You don't know me?" he replies "No, sir"9; we further see that although they know that they are Vladimir and Estragon, they need other people to acknowledge them as individuals. This is so that they can gain their sense of self and therefore feel that they exist as members of society.

  2. To determine the indicator range of some acid-base indicators

    In order to have a higher accuracy, accurate calibration of pH meter was needed. The pH meter was first dipped into standard buffer solutions of known pH before use and then the meter was adjusted to match this standard pH.

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

    Frightened of this prophecy, Oedipus was abandoned by them and was left for dead. The child was found by a shepherd man and was presented to King Polybus and Queen Merope who raised him as their own. Oedipus was unaware of this, although some suspicions did arise in his life about who his parents really were.

  2. Review of Oedipus the King

    some flaw in his character of the kind found in men of high reputation and good fortune such as Oedipus." This harmatia is clearly reflected by the pride and determination significant in the protagonist's personality throughout the play. However, these characteristics figuratively blind Oedipus to the truth initially and eventually

  1. Oedipus.Try to visualize Oedipus as a forceful, powerful ruler who begins the trilogy in ...

    Perhaps his restrained, grand actions emphasize his heroic, almost superhuman qualities. Consider these possible meanings when Oedipus first appears. Then, as the trilogy progresses, notice how he changes. As Oedipus loses his noble posture, he gradually becomes more like any other human.

  2. Greek Tragedy

    Aristotle defines tragedy as " a drama which concerned better than average people (hero's, kings, gods) who suffer a transition from good fortune to bad fortune and who speak in an elevated language." 6 It is also defined as " a literary composition written to be preformed by actors in

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