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Reaction Paper on Oedipus The King

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Oedipus the King, also known by the as Oedipus Rex, is an tragedy written by Sophocles. It was the second of Sophocles’s three Theban plays to be produced, together with Oedipus at Colonus and then Antigone. Oedipus Rex chronicles the story of Oedipus, a man who becomes the king of Thebes who was destined from birth to murder his father Laius and marry his mother Jocasta. The play is an example of a classic tragedy, noticeably containing an emphasis on how Oedipus’s own faults contribute to the tragic hero’s downfall, as opposed having fate be the sole cause.

Oedipus the King shows us unity of time, place, and action. The play focuses on Oedipus’s search for the killer of King Laius. The play takes place in front of the palace of Thebes. The action is also continuous and it has no breaks. In fact, if the action occurred in reality, it would take nearly the same amount of time as it takes to perform the play.

Oedipus the King, being a tragic hero, was shown till the end of the play. He is not perfect, and has some flaws, just like anybody else. Through his own arrogance and pride, he makes an error, and consequently he is destroyed. In the end, he realizes that this destruction of his life is his own fault. He sees that character flaws are the harbingers of downfall. Oedipus himself shows his hamartia when he tells the story of the day that he killed Laius. Oedipus was walking along a road, and when Laius’ chariot came by, Oedipus was forced off to the side. His pride was so hurt that he killed Laius and his party. In this way Oedipus killed his own father, as it was prophesied. Hubris is a dangerous characteristic that Oedipus clearly exhibits and that a lesson can be learned from. Oedipus later shows that he believes he is never wrong-though he actually is-in his conversation with the prophet Teiresias, who said Oedipus was Laius’ murderer. Oedipus blamed Teiresias for the murder simply because he would not speak about the truth at first, and when Teiresias revealed the truth, Oedipus thought it was part of a conspiracy or an attack towards him rather than the truth.

Oedipus’ pride and arrogance prevented him from being able to understand the truth, and he continued to blindly target others for the blame. Anagnorisis refers to recognition oneself and what one stands for. The description fits Oedipus’ realization of his mistaken self-image and recognition of his true self-identity. It comes at the end of the interview with the Theban shepherd about Oedipus’ true identity. Peripeteia means a reversal of intention or a turning point. In Oedipus this happens when the Messenger shows up from Corinth. The man tries to ease the King’s mind by telling him that he’s not really Polybos’s son. Though the Messenger intends only good things with this information, it ends up being the thing that drives Oedipus toward his horrible fate. Catharsis describes an emotional release that leads to cleansing and healing. The description fits Theban King Oedipus’ self-blinding.

He released many emotions upon discovering that he is the prophesied killer of his father and husband of his mother. He the emotional experience into healing by taking away the sight that gets in the way of processing what is staring him directly in the face at every unfortunate turn in his life. Oedipus Rex allows a person to witness the result of knowing one’s destiny and strength of one’s character. Oedipus Rex portrays human blindness and the devastating effects it has not only on oneself but also everyone. Examining the differences and variations in plot structure helps us to develop a deeper understanding of the play.

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