• 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 Hero or Villain?

    Although Oedipus' fate was predetermined by the Gods, the issue is raised on whether Oedipus had any choice to commit these crimes or if it was unavoidable.

  2. A detailed study of 'Oedipus Rex'

    Oedipus's destruction is also foreshadowed as he will blind himself because of the blindness that he has of his fate. "And since you have reproached me with my blindness, I say - you have your sight, and do not see what evils are about you, nor with whom, nor in what home you are dwelling."

  1. In Sophocles play, Oedipus Rex is the archetypal tragic hero.

    He gets himself in trouble for this expeditious action. Due to his pride, he ignores them. If he only could get control of his emotions, maybe he wouldn't have murdered Laius. This character flaw is one that identifies him as the tragic hero.

  2. Oedipus Rex Study Question Answers

    - Tiresias to Oedipus: "So, you mock my blindness? Let me tell you this, you with your precious eyes, you're blind to the corruption of your life, to the house you live in, those you live with," p.1311 lines 468-472. He is basically hinting at the evils that Oedipus has already committed, unknowing as he is to it all.

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

    murdered by his son. [Sic] In the passage Jocasta is telling Oedipus not to worry and that he can not be the killer. First of all she has heard he had been killed by a group of foreigners. Secondly, her husband was destined to be defeated by one of his own making.

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

    that breathe on the void and are void and exist and do no exist?? (Strophe 1, 1-4) builds a livelier and human like quality to inanimate objects, enhancing the exasperation the chorus feels towards Oedipus? late realization. Such that minor examples of personification aids apprehension of complex ideas, ?And though

  1. What role does knowledge play in Oedipus Rex?

    The Thebans understanding of gods and tradition however, leads them to express that Oedipus ?cannot equal the gods?. The referral to god?s links knowledge to the notion of fate, as this eventually prevails when Oedipus gains knowledge. Further into the play, Oedipus often shows a subtle unwillingness to accept knowledge, suggesting that Oedipus lacks control over fate.

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

    ?You?ve lost your power, stone-blind, stone-deaf ? senses, eyes blind as stone?.[5] Oedipus? constant insults and mockery of Tiresias? blindness not only reveals his arrogance but also his unawareness of the obvious truth which Tiresias constantly refers to. The image is reinforced through the repetition of the word ?stone?.

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