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

Oedipus Rex

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Oedipus Rex" During the times of the Ancient Greeks, the pursuit of knowledge was an important part of their society. Although throughout the Greek history, stories portray the "hero" realizing that he cannot avert fate, Oedipus ignores this and attempts to garner more insight into his heritage. In Oedipus Rex, Sophocles presents Oedipus' pursuit of the truth and his will to be a "hero" as his character flaws that eventually lead to his downfall. At the beginning of the play, the readers learn that Oedipus, the new king of Thebes has sent Creon to find out from the Delphic Oracle how to stop the plague. When Creon arrives and announces that the murderer of Laius needs to be exiled before the plague can end, Oedipus acts as the hero and tells his people that he will not stop until the murderer is punished. ...read more.

Middle

Sophocles gives Oedipus many character flaws including his inclination to ignore the facts. What I found interesting was the fact that the prophet was blind yet he could see the truth and Oedipus had sight but he was too blinded by his ignorance to realize the truth. Although a good tragedy consists of the main character falling to his demise by his own hand, Sophocles is cruel in the way that he portrays Oedipus' life. When first reading the play, Oedipus is hailed as the hero for solving the Sphinx's riddle and he is crowned the new king of Thebes. Oedipus seems to have the perfect life complete with a doting wife, who we later find out to be his mother, and a city that respects him. ...read more.

Conclusion

I believe that only a hero of the tragedy should be lead to their downfall and not the rest of their family. It is then no longer about the hero's realizations ruining not only their own life but also their families. At the end of the play, the reader sees that Oedipus is humbled and has gone through a lot of pain while he apologizes to his family members. After Oedipus blinds himself for not being able to see the truth, I felt even more compassion for this character and I wondered how Sophocles could be so cruel to this character. But, I realize that every great tragedy has a hero that falls by his own hand and a surprise that will shock all readers by the end. These are most likely the reasons why Oedipus Rex was Sophocles' most famous tragedy. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature 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 International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Oedipus Rex Study Question Answers

    The minor characters add a sort of realistic sense, showing how the rulers of a country and the lowest social class interact where the lowest stand bow headed before people who are ranked higher than them. We see a sense of unity as well as the citizens' respect of Oedipus (for now).

  2. A detailed study of 'Oedipus Rex'

    he decides to look into the dark and blind himself in order to lose his sight because he does not want to accept the truth. Unfortunately, it doesn't really help his problem. The fact that he blinded himself was an act of cowardice as he didn't want to see and

  1. Oedipus Rex Hero or Villain?

    However, after discovering that he is the killer, all perceptions of him becomes completely skewed as he is seen as a completely different man. Oedipus may have been a hero to the people of Thebes, but after committing patricide and incest, it could be argued that he is indeed a villain.

  2. How Invisible Characters in Ghosts and Oedipus Rex Affect the Future of Their Male ...

    That predestined son was left for dead in an abandoned area, with no way to defend itself against the elements and wild creatures. If Jocasta's second reason had been true Oedipus would have been in the clear. Jocasta's second detail did not quite come to pass.

  1. What role does knowledge play in Oedipus Rex?

    Jocasta suffers similar traits as she dismisses prophecies of Oedipus killing his father, asking ?where are you now?. This ultimately is representative of the dismissal of fate and overcoming of knowledge. Despite this mild celebration, Oedipus desires for more, and begins to question the messenger in order to obtain knowledge.

  2. The significance of the fatal flaws of Meursault and Oedipus in The Outsider and ...

    This idea of a tragic hero is reinforced and emphasised through his redemption, his bearing of the pain to gouge out his own eyes ? another positive attribute ? as he promised to do so. When his tragedy and his ?pains on pains? ? denoting physical and emotional pain, could

  1. Oedipus Rex Commentary. The excerpt taken from Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles presents ...

    Such that ?What measure shall I give these generations that breathe on the void and are void and exist and do not exist?? (Strophe 1, 1-3) is hard to apprehend quite immediately, needing deep acknowledgement and analysis.

  2. The Context of "Oedipus Rex"

    After the death of Zeathus and his brother Amphion Laius resumes his kingship. He marries Jacosta sister of Creon. However, Apollo warns Laius that his son will kill him one day as punishment for his abduction of Pelops? son. In an attempt to avoid the fulfillment of the prophecy, Oedipus?

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