Oedipus Tyrannus" is "basically is a story of a man's discovery through persistent inquiry that he is guilty of unwitting parricide and incest, and his horrified reaction to that discovery. In "Oedipus the King", Oedipus king of Thebes unknownly killed his biological father and married his mother. On this Ancient myth, the playwright Sophocles weaves a complex story that can be interpreted on many different levels of intellectual thinking. This play, since the time it was staged has been subjected to countless forms of analysis and interpretations. The most famous one being the Aristole's interpretation of the play in his book "Poetics", on what makes it a perfect tragedy. So, what is "Oedipus Tyrannus is really about", that still keeps fascinating the intellectuals and readers alike. Is it the developing mystery that captivates audience or the feeling of catharsis effect that readers and audience get after vicariously experiencing the horror and the humiliation that Oedipus feeds at the end of the play or is it mankind's questioning of Gods and prophecy. Which ever way, a reader choose interpret the play, "Oedipus the King" remains one of the most admirable plays ever stages in literary world.
One way of approaching "Oedipus the King" can be by looking at it as if were a detective story. When we are first reading the book, one can see the whole plot revolves around the Oedipus quest for truth. Basically, Oedipus is trying to solve a murder mystery of the former Thebes King Laius with the required elements of suspects, crimes, clues and investigator to make it to be a normal detective story. The plot of the story revolves around one significant event, which is the killing of King Laius. So now that the we have the crime stated, what we is need of a hero. Enter "Oedipus" as the detective. Continues Next Page -------
Oedipus has proven himself as an able detective possessing the essential qualities of bravery and intelligence, proven by answering the Sphinx riddle and saving Thebes. He first utilities his interrogation skills upon "Prophet Tiresias" in a sort of bad-cop manner, yelling at him or forcing him into answering questions unwillingly. Very much like the modern day detective television shows such as "Law & Order" or "NYPD Blues". In the hope of deriving the truth out of
"Prophet Tiresais", Oedipus yell at him
"You would Prove a stone!
Tell us, you villain, tell us and do not stand there
quietly unmoved and balking at the issue" (Sophocles, "Sophocles 1", Pg-24, line 335)
Then as part of the intimidations process Oedipus begins to point fingers, first at Tiresias, For I would have you know. I think you were the completer of the deed and doer of the deed save in so far as for the actual killing. Had you had eyes. I would have said alonge that you murdered him" (Sophocles, "Sophocles 1", Pg-25, line 345). Despite these harsh accusations by Oedipus, Tiresais gives only handful of vague clues and this frustrates Oedipus even further. Then he goes on to accuse Creon, bring charges of conspiracy to overthrow him, "my friend Creon, friend from first and loyal, thus secretly attacks me, secretly desires me out and secretly suborns this juggling, trick devising quack" (Sophocles, "Sophocles 1", Pg-27, line 385). At this point the readers get the sense that Oedipus lost the skill as an effective investigator, because he seems to be pointing fingers at any one in a mad dash to save his own guilty soul. But then again, there is excessive amounts of clues given and people questioned. According to the concise dictionary of literary terms, "a basic rule of a detective story is that clues from which a solution can be drived from must be given to the reader at the same sequence as when the detective receives them. This is exemplified in the "Oedipus the King" play in many places during the play, for example when Jocasta revels to Oedipus that prophecy that she was given during her marriage...
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