This paper is comparing Oedipus Rex and Odysseus from Homer's Odyssey, personalities and the control each one has on their fate. In order to have an understanding of these characters it is best to give a slight description of each play. Oedipus, the king of Thebes, is the protagonist of the play. Oedipus is born with a terrible prophecy to kill his own father and marry his mother. To prevent this from happening, Oedipus' father orders the baby to be killed but instead he is given to a childless king and queen who raise him as if he were their own. In attempting to deny his fate, Oedipus runs away from who he is and yet ironically ends up in the homeland of his origins, ruling as king and marrying his mother. When he finally realizes the truth of the prophecy, Oedipus must accept his punishment and his limitations as a man.
Dramatic irony plays an important part in Oedipus the King. Its story revolves around two different attempts to change the course of his fate: Jocasta and Laius's killing of Oedipus at birth and Oedipus's flight from Corinth later on. In both cases, an oracle's prophecy comes true regardless of the characters' actions. Jocasta kills her son only to find him restored to life and married to her. Oedipus leaves Corinth only to find that in so doing he has found his real parents and carried out the oracle's words. Both Oedipus and Jocasta prematurely rejoice over the failure of oracles, only to find that the oracles were right after all. Each time a character in the play tries to avert the future predicted by the oracles, it is futile creating the sense of irony that permeates the play. Even the manner in which Oedipus and Jocasta express their disbelief in oracles is ironic. In an attempt to comfort Oedipus, Jocasta tells him that oracles are powerless; yet at the beginning of the very next scene we see her praying to the... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2006, 06). Odysey. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 06, 2006, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Odysey-90363.html
"Odysey" StudyMode.com. 06 2006. 06 2006 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Odysey-90363.html>.
"Odysey." StudyMode.com. 06, 2006. Accessed 06, 2006. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Odysey-90363.html.