Teiresias’s speech at the end of scene one of Sophocles’ play Oedipus Rex is fairly short but it is in this encounter between Oedipus and Teiresias where the main conflict of the story begins to unfold. This is a pivotal speech in the play as it helps to develop some of the major themes in the play as well as begin to build up the tragic irony at the center of the story. When this speech is analyzed using either Aristotelian or Formalist theory key elements can be found that are effective in increasing the drama in the play and in tying together one of the play’s central theme.
In the Poetics Aristotle outlines his vision of a successful tragedy and states that plot and character are the first two principle features of tragedy.…show more content…
The graphic imagery in the line “Who came to his father’s bed, wet with his father’s blood” helped establish this ominous tone that serves to build the tension through the rest of the play (Sophocles 720). After his encounter with Teiresias Oedipus becomes increasing confrontational with other characters in the play and the tone set by Teiresias’s speech helps to establish much of that conflict.
Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex is such a well-rounded piece of literature that regardless of what literary approach is used to analyze it the play will provide an endless vehicle for discovery. There are so many complex images, themes, and symbols weaved together that it is an ideal story to study.
Sophocles. Oedipus Rex. Gardner, Janet E., et al. Literature: A Portable Anthology. 3rd Edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's,