Oedipus Rex by Sophocles Essay Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  853 Words
Date:  2021-04-12


The Oedipus Rex is a play written by a prominent and successful writer, Sophocles, which unfolds as a mystery of death. Throughout the play - that concerns incest and patricide - Sophocles, Oedipus Rex author, broadly depicts irony concerning a given man possessing a determination of finding the assassin that turns out to be him. Over the past few years, the play has come to be acknowledged as a Greek misfortune according to its excellence and, precisely, as a depiction of the achievements of the author.

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Oedipus Rex Plot Summary

Recapping on a brief elaboration of Oedipus, the Oedipus Rex plot is straightforward as it avails a narrow interpretation of the Greek myth. After the birth of Oedipus, an oracle foresees the death of his father. To prevent the occurrence of the prophecy, the king orders his sons to have their feet broken and thrown away. However, his requirements are not met since a shepherd comes across the baby and rescues him. For this reason, Oedipus becomes lucky to be raised as a prince, although he later on eavesdrops that he is not the real son of the king. Thus, he decides to remove his doubts by seeking confirmation from the Delphi Oracle, which narrates that he would kill his father and later marry his mother. In despair, he flees Corinth, hoping to restore his family.

Oedipus Rex's fate begins to haunt him at the crossroad, where he engages in a slight argument with another man and ends up killing him. Following the sequence of events, he arrives at Thebes, which is the Oedipus Rex setting, where he is asked a Sphinx Riddle, which wins him the throne and the detached queen. Later on, the Kingdom is hit by a plague as god's punishment concerning the escape of the Laius killer. For this reason, Oedipus orders for Tiresias the seer who exclaims that he was responsible for his fathers death. The allegations raise his suspicion that the man at the crossroad could have been his father.

Oedipus Rex Character Analysis

In Oedipus Rex the play, Sophocles uses the main characters to depict various themes such as destiny and free will. The author portrays how Jocasta, Laius, and Oedipus try to run away from their fate, hence ending up taking particular matters into their hands. Concerning Jocasta, despite the fact that her character is not clearly visible, her role is significant. For instance, she portrays her role as a good wife at the beginning of the play, after ordering a shepherd to kill her son. At the same time, at some point, she consoles both her son and husband that prophecies were not valid. Furthermore, at the Oedipus Rex ending, she protects her son after realizing that the oracle's prophecy had come to pass.

Concerning Oedipus, he is highly renowned following his high levels of intelligence and the ability to find solutions for riddles. In spite of this, the author depicts him as blind enough to realize the whole truth about his own image. At the same time, after Oedipus learns that the death of his father lies in his hands, he flees Corinth with a hope of saving his parents. In light of this, fate seems to deny the characters a free will due to its foreboding nature throughout the play. For instance, the previous characters possess an invalid sense of sovereignty as they try to escape from their fate.

At the same time, the play portrays Tiresias as the blind soothsayer found in Thebes. Throughout the play, he values the truth at all cost. For instance, he reveals to Oedipus that he killed his father, although he despises his views. However, at some point, Oedipus seems to trust him, since he sends the only survivor to confirm the real killer of his father. Thus, the author uses his blindness to elaborate about those who hear the truth and ignore to heed to it.


Regarding the human drives, hate, it is typically an act of dislike. It is vivid at the end of the play when Oedipus attests that the gods hate him. On the other hand, love involves the possession of an intense feeling that incorporates deep affection towards somebody or something. From the Oedipus Rex story, Oedipus portrays the love for his parents. For this reason, after learning about the death of his father, he flees Corinth to save him. Also, seeking to avenge his fathers death proves his love for him. At the same time, Jocasta also expresses her love for her husband and son. In light of this, she comforts both of them concerning the Tiresiass prophecies. At the same time, after solving the riddle before her son, she protects him from the knowledge due to her love for him. On the other hand, greed concerns an overwhelming desire for something. From the play it is clear that Oedipus mainly kills his own father to inherit his throne and wife. More specifically, the play depicts love in several instances as compared to other human drives. It is evident that most of the characters portray love in various ways as elaborated above.

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Oedipus Rex by Sophocles Essay Example. (2021, Apr 12). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/oedipus-rex-by-sophocles-essay-example

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