Oedipus Rex Analysis Essay

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The chorus play an important role throughout the play, they not only set up various scenes, but they represent the collective moods and feelings that are supposed to be felt at the time. When the chorus mourns, the audience mourn. They are also the voice of reason, clarity and sense, attributes to which we cannot associate with Oedipus. And so they play a vital role, connecting his actions back to the play. A way to describe the chorus, would be that they're the collective conscious of ‘the people' of Thebes, but they also act as guardians. For although they are seen appealing to Oedipus to help them, they in turn have to help the king, they represent the faith that the city has in him. The chorus appears mainly in sections of the play in which mood is ambiguous, their comments add to the continuity of speech. This gives us insight into the episodic structure of the play. For we can see that some paragraphs like the accusation of Teiresias and Creon are bound by the soothing comments of the chorus. This structure is evident in that it has separate events separated by the mediation of the chorus. This is essential as it allows us to view the way the mystery unfolds unto Oedipus, thus adding to the dramatic effect.

When the play opens, the city of Thebes is wasting away under a plague that has destroyed their fields and left their women barren. Oedipus, the king of Thebes, has sent his brother-in-law, Creon, to ask the house of Apollo to ask the oracle how to put an end to the plague. Creon returns, bringing good news. Hearing this, Oedipus swears he will find the murderer and expel them from the land. Oedipus asks the people of Thebes if any of them have any knowledge concerning the king's death. The Chorus proposes that Oedipus confer with Teiresias, a blind prophet. Oedipus informs them that he has already sent for Teiresias. This opening passage, like much of the play, is about the feeling of strength, ego and power, as well as the notion of control....
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