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what impressions do we gain of Oedipus as a king and as a man?

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Introduction

In the Prologue and the First Episode, what impressions do we gain of Oedipus as a king and as a man? The play 'Oedipus Tyrannus' is a famous tragedy written by an ancient Greek tragedian called Sophocles. The main protagonist of this play is Oedipus, happens to complete a prophecy that stated that he would kill his father and marry his own mother. Like in almost all greek tragedies, Oedipus is the tragic hero here and from the prologue and the first episode one may think that the tragic flaw or the weakness of the tragic hero is his intense anger. The play begins with a dramatic situation where the Thebians are undergoing a deadly plague. In the opening scene there is a civic gathering where the desperate Thebians ask for help from Oedipus. This is a key scene in the play, because Sophocles uses it to portray Oedipus as a good King from the very beginning of the play. ...read more.

Middle

An example from the play would be when Creon returns from Oracle and suggests to go inside to speak about what the Oracle has said about the reason of the plague, and where Oedipus says 'Speak out in front of us all. I suffer more For these people than for myself' (l. 93-94) This could be a good characteristic of a King although this shows that he doesn't think around in situations because here he could have risked to be nominated as the 'pollution' directly by the Oracle. At times the lack of diplomacy could be quite dangerous. One of the main features of Oedipus as the King and as a man is his taking of immediate, swift actions. The first situation in the play where the audience notices this is where he sends his brother-in-law to the Oracle as soon as he finds out about the plague. 'I have sent Creon, my own brother-in-law, to Apollo's shrine, in Delphi, to see if he can find out What I can say or do to save the city' (l.69-72) ...read more.

Conclusion

' 'Famous Oedipus' as everyone calls me.' (l.8) This aspect of his character makes him also be pompous. 'I, ignorant Oedipus, stopped her. I used my wits; I didn't rely on birds' (l.397-398) This quote also shows that Oedipus has great insight. In actual fact, he was the person who solved the riddle of the Sphinx with his intelligence and who saved the Thebians from the plague. However, Oedipus commits blasphemy by comparing himself to a god by boasting about his great insights. 'You pray. Now in answer to your prayers, if you are willing to hear and accept my words and attend to this sickness, You will find protection and relief from your afflictions' (l.216-218) These are some other main impressions that the audience is given about 'Oedipus as a man' in the play. Overall, I believe that Oedipus was a good King even though his tragic flaw was his own curse which made him jump in to dangerous conclusions that sometimes involved violent acts which as a result made him face problems that he could have avoided only if he controlled his temper. ...read more.

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