Oedipus the king

Satisfactory Essays
Michelle Salcedo
OEDIPUS THE KING Mr.Marzian AP English

“Oedipus the King” was a tale depicting the human experience; each human has a great victory, shortly accompanied by a great demise; the rollercoaster of life. Oedipus had his great success soon become the reason for his fall. With Oedipus’ deadly flaw being ‘hubris’; his excessive pride led him to believe he was on the level of ‘gods’. Once he paraded that he was invulnerable (untouchable by even the gods), his fall would be all the more tragic. Throughout the tale however, Oedipus uses many rhetorical devices towards all his subjects without even recognizing. When King Oedipus first hears of the late King Laius’ assassination, he took it upon himself to tell the subjects of Thebes (his kingdom). Oedipus is in search of the killer and uses ethos to appeal to the crowd. “If self-incrimination keeps him silent, let him be assured he need fear nothing worse than banishment…” said Oedipus. This content of the text demonstrates ‘ethos’ because as king he is in charge of punishing wrong-doers. So by telling the people their punishment, credibility is due to his position as ruler of the land. Oedipus then proceeds to connect himself and Laius using metaphoric language. “Whose very scepter I hold in my hands as King… such ties swear me to his side, as if he were my father…” declared King Oedipus to ensure his determination in finding the killer of the son of Labdacus. By saying this, he basically set in stone his destiny without realizing it; he cursed himself. This could be seen as a metaphor because Oedipus in fact had no clue as to the depth of what he was saying to his people. He had spoken these words to his people in order to in some way appeal to them. A way of grasping his sincere intention of finding the culprit. However, being that no subject stepped forward to “confess”, Oedipus got anxious. To express his “disgust” on the topic, he proceeded to damn whoever went

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Oedipus Rex

    • 1710 Words
    • 7 Pages

    What is the effect of Oedipus' insistence and promises regarding the hunting down and punishing of the murderer of Laius? What does this suggest concerning his character as well as the meaning of Sophocles' play?…

    • 1710 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Oedipus vs. Everyman

    • 741 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Oedipus, when Jocasta re-tells the details of how Laios was murdered, begins his approach to denial. At first, he searches for more and more information that might prove he didn’t really kill his father. This shows the reader that Oedipus seems to know subconsciously that he is the slayer of his father. Everyman, in the first scene, quarrels with Death about going on the long journey. He pleads for even a few more days before making him take this voyage. Both characters argue “Not me…it can’t be!…” Both also look for a person or reason to displace their burden in order to avoid facing their strife.…

    • 741 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    People read literature because it teaches about humanity, both the positives and negatives. Sometimes, they learn more from reading about the mistakes and flaws of characters. Oedipus Rex is one of these characters, flawed even though he thinks he is divine. According to Bernard Knox, “these attributes of divinity – knowledge, certainty, justice – are all qualities Oedipus thought he possessed – and that is why he was the perfect example of the inadequacy of human knowledge, certainty, and justice.” In Sophocles’ tragedy Oedipus Rex, Oedipus’s untimely fall is caused by his false certainty of knowledge, his rash actions done without that certainty, and his injustice toward those trying to warn him.…

    • 691 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Oedipus Rex

    • 456 Words
    • 2 Pages

    The premise of the play is how Oedipus’s decisions unknowingly lead to his fate. Oedipus was free to make his own decisions, and his decisions tied in with his fate. Oedipus did not know that all his decisions would lead to the killing of his father and the marrying of his mother. Oedipus was a very stubborn and curious person; he forced the servant of Laios and also Teiresias to tell him the truth about his past, even though neither one wanted him to know the truth. The servant stated, “… if I speak the truth, I am worse than dead” (p.165). Both warned Oedipus that he did not want to…

    • 456 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    Emotions In Oedipus Rex

    • 1221 Words
    • 5 Pages

    From the beginning of the book, Oedipus remembers the oracle of Delphi telling him that he would later on kill his father and marry his mother. He puts this out of his mind, until Teiresias recounts the story of his father’s death, and it seems oddly familiar to him. Overtime, the anger and guilt towards himself is pent up, and once Teiresias continues to nudge him into admitting it was him, Oedipus snaps. “Ah God! It was true, all the prophecies! Now, oh light, may I look at you for the last time, I Oedipus, Oedipus damned at his birth, in his marriage damned, damned in the blood he shed with his own hand” (Sophocles,…

    • 1221 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Oedipus Rex

    • 970 Words
    • 4 Pages

    One of the characteristics of a high-minded man that Oedipus shows is in how one who is high-minded should always be expressive about the way he feels. “He must care for the truth more than for what men will think of him, and speak and act openly; he will not hesitate to say all that he thinks…” (Witt, 160). This passage explains that when one believes something, he must announce his thought without fearing in what way people may react to his remark. One passage in which Oedipus clearly shows this trait is when he speaks to his people about how he will punish the man who brought harsh times upon the land because of his wrong-doings. “As for the criminal… I pray that the man’s life be consumed in evil and wretchedness.” (Witt, 113). In this scene, Oedipus stands and announces what he believes is right to all the Thebans. He openly talks about how he will punish the man who’s brought misery upon Thebes. This clearly shows how Oedipus is not in any way frightened to declare what he understands to be right. Although this is a very important trait for a high-minded man to have, it is not the only one that Oedipus exhibits throughout the play.…

    • 970 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Oedipus and Hamlet

    • 1417 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Sophocles has Oedipus foretelling his own tragedy when speaking to the people of Thebes. The city suffers as a result of Oedipus'pride, and irony is shown when Oedipus suggest that by avenging Laius he will protect himself, or that by getting children upon Jocasta, the dead king's wife, he will be taking the place of the son of Laius, which, unknowingly, is himself. "I will bring it all to light... I shall rid us of this pollution, not for the sake of a distant relative, but for my own sake (Knox, 10)." The irony reaches its peak when Oedipus calls on the prophet Tiresias to help uncover the murder of Laius and seek an cure to the…

    • 1417 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Oedipus shows excessive pride by having strong judgement that he is not the “murderer’, doesn’t trust in an old wise prophet, Teiresisas, and is free because he escaped death by being banished. Oedipus always pointed fingers by saying burglars killed his father. He never came out and truthfully said that he killed his father it always had to be someone else, not him. Teiresisas always knew the truth and wouldn’t stop trying to get it out of Oedipus. Thinking that he was free from the Corinth prophecy due to banishment, Oedipus had no worries. Being banished from the village was not a bad thing to Oedipus…

    • 610 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Oedipus Vs Creon Essay

    • 856 Words
    • 4 Pages

    People began to get irritated with Oedipus and think differently about him when he acts sing-minded. One man was trying to help Oedipus figure something out, and Oedipus was not wanting to hear of his wrongs the man said to him:”You blame my mood and see not your own Which overcomes you; no, you’re bothering me”(lines 347-348). What is spoken to Oedipus shows how the one speaking, is irritated that Oedipus is blaming everything on others and not considering of what he could be doing mistakenly. Oedipus did not like to hear people's opinions on matters of his life; he only wanted people to believe what he thought to be true. While speaking to Oedipus a man says: “Your words, O king, are ill-spoken” (Oedipus The King 334) By saying this, he is doing his best but struggling to show Oedipus how ignorant he is being and how he is breaking up relationships with other by not listening to what people have to say about him. Oedipus is not intentionally trying to ruin his relationships with others, but his pride keeps him from repenting from his wretched…

    • 856 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    For instance, Oedipus killed Laius and three of his servants after they had tried to kick him off the road. Oedipus believed he had deserved better than to be kicked off the road, so he furiously attacked and killed them as a form of revenge. Instead of settling it in a nonviolent way, Oedipus let his pride get in the way and committed murder. Additionally, Oedipus again fell victim to his excessive pride when he refused to believe that he was the murderer. As soon as Tiresias disclosed that Oedipus was the perpetrator, Oedipus immediately denied it and alleged that Tiresias and Creon formed a conspiracy against him. He had no reason to call out Tiresias and Creon, two highly respected men in the city of Thebes, but he did so because he was overly confident in himself. Furthermore, Oedipus stubbornly searches for the killer even when he is warned about the consequences of continuing. Tiresias comes to Oedipus in the beginning of the search and is reluctant to share what he knows with Oedipus. Tiresias says, “Dismiss me, send me home. That will be the easiest way for both of us to bear our burden” (19). Oedipus’ hubris doesn’t allow him to ever suspect that he could be the killer, so he gave Tiresias a peremptory order to spill the truth. Also, Oedipus ignores Jocasta’s motherly warnings about ending the search. She pleads to him, “In God’s name, if you place any value on your life, don’t…

    • 505 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In the opening of Oedipus the King, Oedipus is portrayed as a caring and compassionate person. He seemed to be very concerned that the people of Thebes are suffering and wanted to find out why and how to fix as fast as possible. He declared that he would fix the problem regardless of what or who it was. However, within that same scene when Creon came back with the reasoning behind the suffering, it became more obvious that Oedipus was more arrogant than he was caring. He felt as though he could fix everything regardless of what it was. He was so confident that he could that even when Creon tried to tell him that it was best to discuss the problem in private, he insisted that it be told publicly in front of all the citizens of Thebes. Even after it was told what the problem was, he still felt as though it could solve the problem. His arrogance shows again when Tiresias tells him that he was the murderer. Instead of asking why Tiresias thought this, he immediately began to criticize and insult him. He also began to accuse Tiresias of conspiring with Creon to overthrow him. Although we know the truth now, at that time Tiresias could very well have just been telling him that something he did indirectly caused the death of Laius. Instead of trying to find out why Tiresias thinks he is the murderer, Oedipus immediately decides to doubt the powers of the prophet that he and all the other citizens have always believed.…

    • 651 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Oedipus learned that sometimes is necessary to listen to what others have to say. Also he had to learn the truth that he neglected for so long. Whenever someone tried to tell him the truth he denied the evidence and arguments that were presented to him. An example, Oedipus was mad at Tiresias because he said to him you are the murdered that you seek (721).…

    • 1024 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Othello vs. Oedipus

    • 1772 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Teiresias blatantly tells Oedipus the truth of what is happening around him, and Oedipus dismisses all he says. Oedipus' pride blinds him to all the evidence that points to him as the murderer of his own father. When Iocastê tells Oedipus the details of Laïos's murder, Oedipus is too ignorant to see that he was the one who murdered the previous king and placed a curse upon himself.…

    • 1772 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    At the beginning of Oedipus’ reign, dramatic irony is shown when he addresses Thebes, and the chorus about finding the murder of the former king Laios. Oedipus states “If any man knows by whose hand Laios, son of Labdakos, met his death, I direct that man to tell me everything”(Sophocles 13). Oedipus shows that he does not know who the actual murderer of Laios is, which in fact, is himself, while the audience knows all along that he is the killer. Earlier in scene one, The Chorus is praying to the gods for relief from the plague and Oedipus states “Is this your prayer? It may be answered. Come, listen to me, act as the crisis demands and you shall have relief from all these evils” (12). Oedipus acts as if he is a god, or can speak for the gods, which shows his pride even more.…

    • 608 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Oedipus is so quick to point out the flaws in others but is ignorant to his own flaws. Upon finding out the reasoning behind the plague, Oedipus makes a quick decision by demanding to kill the murderers of the king before him, Laius. He also declares that the murderers are to be exiled from Thebes and they shall suffer. Oedipus says “And where on earth are they? Where shall be found the dim-seen track-mark of an ancient crime?”(Sophocles 5) this signifies irony because these are the consequences that Oedipus has put upon himself. A senator advises Oedipus to seek Tiresias, a blind prophet. Though he unable to see, he more aware of the truth than Oedipus. He believes that Tiresias is the only saviour. Oedipus asks Tiresias who the murderer is and refuses to tell him. Oedipus is angered by this and thinks that Tiresias is being not loyal to him. Oedipus starts to wonder if Tiresias is out to destroy him and the city; this once again reveals that Oedipus is untrusting and worried. But Tiresias is only hiding the truth to keep Oedipus from distress. Oedipus becomes outraged by saying “Worst of Traitors! For you would rouse a very stone to wrath- will you not speak out ever, but stand thus relentless and persistent?” (Sophocles 13) This reveals a frustration and quick temper of Oedipus’ character. He quickly points out the flaw in Tiresias but he does not…

    • 1438 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays