top-rated free essay

Oedipus Rex

Dec 02, 2000 297 Words
OEDIPUS REX

In the tragedy Oedipus Rex, Oedipus commits several immoral acts. Typically, society views these as evil and unjust. However, although Oedipus commits several licentious deeds, Sophocles makes the reader sympathize because Oedipus is oblivious to the incriminating facts.

Throughout the play Oedipus Rex commits numerous crimes the society see as immorally wrong. Oedipus believes that if he leaves Corinth he will be able to avoid his fate. The oracle says the Oedipus will kill his father and bear children with his mother. Needless to say, he unknowingly kills his father in a chance meeting. Because he is able to kill the unavoidable Sphinx, Iokaste, who is unaware that she is his mother, wants his hand in marriage. After they marry they have four children together. Oedipus remains clueless that the oracle's prediction has come to pass.

Furthermore, most consider Oedipus' wrongdoings justifiable despite their horribleness. When he leaves Corinth, he has the well-being of his "mother" and "father" in mind. He does not want to jeopardize his family. When Oedipus kills a man and his entourage, he has no idea that it is his father, Laios. He believes he is only doing it in self-defense. When Iokaste hears of Oedipus' feat against the Sphinx, she becomes interested. Later they marry, and he is ignorant to the fact that she is his mother. Most of Oedipus' evil doings are justified since he is completely ignorant when he commits them.

At the time he participates in his wrongs, Oedipus appears innocent because Sophocles' is able to present him in a compassionate way. In this play, Oedipus shows virtue and character by carrying out his own exile without hesitation. Despite all of his flaws, Oedipus has good motives and a heart for his people.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Oedipus Rex

    ...Aristotle said “Oedipus Rex” by Sophocles is the best Greek play ever written. The audiences might agree with Aristotle depending upon their understanding of the “healthy confusion” of both pleasure and perplexity portrayed. “Oedipus Rex” is one immense riddle that lifts the audience’s minds’ to a higher understanding of the hum...

    Read More
  • oedipus rex

    ... In Sophocles’ play, Oedipus Rex, there are many themes that are woven through the life of King Oedipus, and revealed through the key points of the plot. One of the most important themes is the inevitability of ones’ fate. Although fate is considered the usual genre of the Greeks in playwriting there, are specifics that Oedipus conducts ...

    Read More
  • Oedipus Rex

    ...Proper Punishment and Justice in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex Within Sophocles’ play, Oedipus Rex, Oedipus’ destiny was to marry his biological mother and murder his biological father. Oedipus pointlessly tries to change his fate, but was powerless in changing anything. With no control over his destined fate, unaware of his family history, a...

    Read More
  • Oedipus Rex

    ...Essay on Oedipus Rex 4-3-97 In Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, the theme of irony plays an important part through the play. What Oedipus does, what he says, and even who he is can sometimes be ironic. This irony can help us to see the character of Oedipus as truly a 'blind' man, or a wholly 'public' man. A great irony is found in Oedipus's decree co...

    Read More
  • Oedipus Rex

    ...Characters Protagonist: Oedipus Antagonist: Fate, the Truth Oedipus (ED ih pihs or EE dih pihs): King of Thebes. Jocasta: Wife of Oedipus. Creon: Jocasta's brother. Teiresias (ti RE se uhs): Blind prophet. Antigone(an TIG uh ne): Daughter of Oedipus. Ismene (iz ME ne):Daughter of Oedipus. Messenger Shepherd Chorus of T...

    Read More
  • Tragic Hero Macbeth & Oedipus

    ...result of his downfall.  For example, Oedipus kills his father in ignorance and then learns of his true relationship to the King of Thebes,(Ley Graham,1991).  Peripeteia is a reversal of fortune, the downfall of the tragic hero and it occurs when a situation seems to developing in one direction, but then suddenly "reverses" to another. F...

    Read More
  • Oedipus and The vicario twins

    ...Jonathan Smith Writing and Literature Oedipus and the twins There are many themes in the book, “Chronicle of a Death Foretold,” which have been used throughout time. Many of the themes were used back in the time period of the Greeks and Romans. A two of the main themes used are Machismo, the masculinity and pride of a man, and Fate, ...

    Read More
  • Odysseus vs Oedipus

    ...Pride is one of the seven deadly sins. Its effect on people, however, is often subtle at the start and hard to detect. Most proud people will never consider themselves to be truly proud until they come face to face with the consequences of their pride. Sophocles and Shakespeare both address this dilemma in their plays Oedipus and Othello. Throug...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.