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Oedipus The King Essay

Oedipus is written as a play, there is no narrator, Sophocles explains the story line and then runs the story into playwright. I like this point of view because it can sometimes be more clear to the reader. There are many points of view in this play. That is there are many different individuals addressed this playwright. Thus there are many different points of view.

I think that Oedipus generally speaks in place of a narrator, because he is the main character. I believe he expresses some of the things that Sophocles is trying to say to the audience. An example of this is when he says: “Speak out, speak to us all. I grieve for these, my people, far more that I fear for my own life.” (Sophocles, 395) I think that Sophocles is trying to get people to speak their own mind, come together, and establish a community. He is saying this through Oedipus.

Oedipus goes through many changes. He goes through a state of innocence or ignorance, then through a state of denial and finally a state of acceptance and guilt. Throughout these different stages in his life, he reveals to his audience who he really is.

Oedipus believing he is innocent is part of the form in this play. Oedipus has come to the throne of Thebes by solving the Riddle of the Sphinx. There is a plague upon Thebes which Oedipus desires to heal. Creon returns to the palace after his visit to the Pythian House of Phoebus, an oracle. The oracle has said that the only way to cure the illness in Thebes is to find the man whom killed Laius, the previous king of Thebes. Odeipus tries to discover the murderer and requests that the murderer come forward and promises that instead of being killed, he will be banished from Thebes. If any man comes forward with the murderer he will be rewarded and if any guilty man is found and has not confessed, the murderer will be banished from all aspects of society.

Tiresias, an aged, blind prophet is brought to Oedipus to reveal the murderer. Tiresias says that Oedipus unknowingly killed Laius. Disbelieving this, Oedipus blames Creon for plotting this against him to gain the throne of Thebes. Tiresias states his innocence and before he leaves the palace, he gives Oedipus a riddle: The murderer seemed an alien is really a native to Theban, was once poor and now is rich, is the brother of his children and the child of his wife, the heir to his father’s bed and the cause of his father’s death. The form in this part of the play, plays into the certain buildup of the plot.

Now Creon comes to the palace after hearing of Oedipus’ charges against him. Oedipus questions Creon as to why Tiresias didn’t come forward when the initial investigation of Laius’ death occured. Creon says he is happy with his position in court and has no desire to take the throne from Oedipus. He tells Oedipus that for proof he can go to the oracle at Pytho and ask if Creon is telling the truth. Jocasta, Oedipus’ wife, tells him that an oracle came to Laius saying that he would die by the hand of his child. Learning this Laius has his newborn son tied at the ankles and taken away to be killed. She says that Laius was killed by robbers on his way to the oracle at Delphi at the place where three roads meet.

The content of this play is that of Greek tragedy, son of Laius, king of Thebes, and his wife, Jocasta. Laius had been warned by an oracle that he was fated to be killed by his own son; he therefore abandoned Oedipus on a mountainside. The baby was rescued, however, by a shepherd and brought to the king of Corinth, who adopted him.

When Oedipus is grown, he learns from the oracle that he would kill his father and marry his mother. He fled Corinth to escape this fate, believing his foster parents to be his real parents.

At a crossroad Oedipus encountered Laius(his father), and killed him. He continued on to Thebes, where the Sphinx was talking and all who could not solve her riddle. Oedipus answered it correctly and so he won the widowed queen’s hand(his mother). The prophecy was fulfilled.

Two sons, Polynices and Eteocles, and two daughters, Antigone and Ismene, were born to the unwittingly incestuous pair. When a plague descended on Thebes, an oracle declared that the only way to rid the land of its illness was to expel the murderer of Laius. Through a series of painful revelations, the king learned the truth and in an agony of horror blinded himself. His daughters, Antigone and Ismene, are left in the hands of Kreon, who proves to be a true friend of Oedipus.

The content of this play regarding time is that the time wasn’t very specific, but it does say that Sophocles lived from 496-406 BC. The place on the other hand is very specific, it introduces you saying: “The royal house of Thebes. Double doors dominate the facade, a stone altar stands at the center of the stage. Many years have passed since Oedipus has solved the riddle of the Sphinx and ascended the throne of Thebes, and now a plague has struck the city. A procession of priests enters”¦”(Sophocles, 392) I think that this introduction leads the reader into a world of curiosity. We really don’t know what is going to happen to Oedipus, all we know is there is a plague across the town that Oedipus must do something about. This leads the reader into Oedipus’ stages of innocence or ignorance, denial and finally guilt.

The content in the choice of setting affects the theme because it makes this story more believable, in a time unfamiliar to us, long ago.


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