Elements of Literature in the Oedipus Rex

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Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

1.Human Significance. The connection between literature and life is intimate and vital. Sophocles' Oedipus Rex shows variety of human struggles. Of all the themes in Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, fate is the most profound. Oedipus' struggle against his fate, as has been mentioned throughout this essay, is arguably the primary conflict of play. Oedipus' story demonstrates some people’s belief that men were bound by fate no matter how they fought against it. Yet, this might also be in contradiction to other people’s perspectives that man’s fate is determined by his choices in life. This masterpiece challenges one to think for some purpose – to bring about some inner transformation.

2.Universality. It has a universality that is truly remarkable: it is read and admired by all nations of the world regardless of race, religion or culture.

3.Timelessness / Permanence. As one of Greek literature’s masterpieces, Oedipus Rex has an enduring quality. It is as alive today as it was when it was written more than 3,000 years ago.

4.Artistry. Oedipus Rex is one of the products of Sophocles who purposely and conscientiously developed his physical and intellectual powers. It is known that the Greek mind became the foundation of the literature of the western world, and this Sophocles’ masterpiece affords the most splendid example of artistic beauty and excellence that the world has ever known. Thus, it cultivates literary perfection.

5.Style. Oedipus Rex is generally considered as Sophocles’ greatest work. This tragedy of fate explores the depths of modern psycho-analysis as Oedipus unwittingly kills his father and marries his mother in an attempt to avoid the very prophecy he ultimately fulfills. A masterful work of plot and suspense, Oedipus Rex is often heralded as a "perfectly structured" play. One example is Oedipus’ tragic rise and fall (from King of Thebes to a blind beggar). In that sense his fall is the jewel of the tragedy,...
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