Character Analysis : Oedipus The King

Decent Essays

Anyone would lose their confidence if they had learned not only did they kill their own father, but also slept with their mother. The focus today is on Sophocles’ dramatic play Oedipus the King where the new king of Thebes does just that. As the play unfolds readers see Oedipus as a self-assured man ready to save his people from the blight plaguing their city who quickly goes downhill in insecurity and denial. This style of writing is a staple to Sophocles by having few roles in the play that have determination and/or faults to create a set of extraordinary circumstances ending in tragedy. Few characters mean that each one is incredibly important to shaping the main character’s outcome. In Oedipus the King, Oedipus had important dialogues with Creon, Teiresias, Jocasta, and the herdsmen who met him at birth helping to shape his character as the play progressed. Oedipus started as a confident king wanting to help his people in a time of trial, but as the play progressed he became more insecure and finally ended the play as an understanding yet defeated blind man.
In the beginning of the play, Oedipus is confident he can save the people of Thebes but doesn't realize he is actually their problem. By saying “I Oedipus whom all men call the Great” (line 7), he is setting what the reader should think of him when the priests come asking for help in saving Thebes from the plague. His credit comes from what made him into the king in the first place, solving a riddle from the Sphinx

Get Access