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Retrospection In Oedipus The King

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Retrospection In Oedipus The King Retrospection plays an important and eminent role in Sophocles' masterpiece "Oedipus The King". Retrospection is, according to Webster's Dictionary, the act or process or an instance of surveying the past. In "Oedipus The King" retrospection begins when a messenger from Corinth arrives at Thebes to inform Oedipus that king Polybus of Corinth has died. Then the messenger dispels the idea that Polybus is Oedipus' true father , telling him that he was a gift to Polybus and his wife Merope, brought to Corinth as a baby. Afterwards, we start to know Oedipus' true story and history. We come to know that Oedipus is the son of king Laius of Thebes and Jocasta. ...read more.


Horrified, he fled Corinth to avoid fulfilling the prophecy. On the road to Thebes, he meets Laius, his true father. Unaware of each other's identities, they quarrel over whose chariot has right-of-way. Oedipus's pride leads him to murder Laius, fulfilling part of the oracle's prophecy. Shortly after, he solves the riddle of the Sphinx, which has baffled many a diviner: "What is the creature that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three in the evening?" To this Oedipus replies, "Man, who crawls in infancy, walks upright in his prime, and leans on a cane in old age". On hearing his answer the Sphinx flung herself into the sea and died. ...read more.


In response, an angry Tiresias tells Oedipus that he is looking for himself, causing the king to become enraged in incredulity. He then accuses the prophet of conspiring with Creon, Jocasta's brother, to overthrow him. Oedipus remains stubborn and incredulous until the shepherd arrives and reveals that Oedipus himself was the child abandoned by Laius. He realises what he is, and leaves in a rage. An attendant then breaks the news that Jocasta has hanged herself. On discovering her body, Oedipus gouges out his eyes with the golden brooches on her dress. The play ends with Oedipus entrusting his children to Creon and declaring his intent to live in exile. Although he initially begs for the company of his children, Creon refuses, and Oedipus is exiled alone. Overall, it appears clearly that recognition, in "Oedipus The King" of what may be latent depends upon guidance supplied by retrospection. Khalifa ...read more.

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