In one of the most famous Greek plays, Sophocles introduces a King on a man hunt in order to solve a riddle given to him by the Sphinx. Although typically not considered a mystery or the Greek Sherlock Homes, Oedipus Rex is contains the underlying themes of a mystery story. There is suspense, frustration, reasoning, despair, and a shocking ending that resolves the issue. However, although the play contains all the elements of a mystery, the play is truly used to convey a deeper meaning of life; there is an understood premise that runs the discourse of the story conveying the message that fate is something that cannot be escaped or outmaneuvered.
Prior to Oedipus’s birth, it was prophesied that Oedipus would end up killing his father and marrying his mother. Due to this, Oedipus was abandoned at birth and raised by the King and Queen of Corinth. As he eventually discovered, via a drunken man, that he was not a birth son of theirs, he sought the guidance of the Delphi Oracle to confirm this discovery. In frustration of this prophecy manifesting itself, Oedipus ends up killing an old man, who happened to be his father, King Laius. The death of his father led to the imposition of a plague in Thebes delivered by Apollo, and in attempts to follow proper leadership, Oedipus is determined to apprehend the murderer and remove the plague from Thebes. After Teiresias blamed Oedipus for the
The use of hamartia is a key component to a tragedy in Greek times. In the festival of Dionysus, the use of hamartia played a key role in the production of tragic plays that enhances the audience experience in establishing morals and ideals in many different ways. Sophocles’ Oedipus the King is a key example of this, a play about the unfortunate destiny bestowed upon Oedipus. During the play, Oedipus attempts to flee from his destiny that he will marry his mother and kill his father. The dramatic irony where Oedipus tries to doubt the gods is imprudent and foolish, and his hamartia further led him to his tragic downfall. Throughout this tragedy, the use of hamartia is used to justify the catastrophic events that happened to Oedipus and his
Fate is defined as the development of events beyond a person’s control. A person’s predetermined course of events better yet. In Sophocles’s Oedipus the King, fate is primary theme in the play. The influence of fate goes beyond the play but how Greeks viewed fate entirely. Also, Oedipus somewhat represented the Athenian political system and the people of Athens by his leadership. And lastly, having the play unfold, one is able to sympathize with Oedipus and strike pity and fear rather than disgust from his sins.
In the beginning of the play Oedipus meets Laios on a road. Both were driving chariots and neither would yield the right of way. Laios attempts to kill Oedipus’ horses but Oedipus reacts fast killing Laios attendants and his own father, Laios. Oedipus went to Thebes to help and destroy a monster and bless their town. Because of his heroic act, Thebes recalls him again to help and find the murderer who killed their king Laios and punish the man. Oedipus goes and does everything he can to get evidence and find the man who killed Laios the king: “Is this your prayer? It may be answered. Come, Listen to me, act as the crisis demands… Until now I was a stranger to this tale, As I had been a stranger to the crime. Could I track the murderer without a clue?” (Sophocles 1. 1. 204 - 209). Teiresias, a chorus of Theban, elders tells Oedipus he is the murder who killed his father and also mentions he married his own mother along with having children. Oedipus finds all of that to believe and what Oedipus does is find more people to tell him the truth. Jocaste, wife and mother of Oedipus, tells him through the play to not believe such a thing. In Act three Scene five, Shepherd the man, who took Oedipus to Corinth city’s reveals to him that everything is true. Oedipus makes the decision to gouge his eyes out making himself blind to not see the whole catastrophe. He begs Creon to send him away from Theban
Oedipus killed a person that just so happens to be his father and that makes him guilty. “Crimes worse than deadly done against them both”, says Oedipus, as he realizes the extent of his actions. He knew what he has done was way out of his control even though he fought hard to avoid his fate. Oedipus knew wrong was wrong, agreeing that his actions were indeed a crime.
Like all classical Greek tragedies, Sophocles’s Oedipus the King features a chorus that sings several odes over the course of the play. In Sophocles’s play, the chorus is composed of old Theban men and represents the population of Thebes as a whole. The chorus recites a parodos, four stasima, and a brief exodus. Through the choral odes, Sophocles reflects on the events and motifs of the play, including piety and faith in the Gods, the inevitability and the uncertainty of fate, and the dichotomy of right and wrong.
Oedipus the King was written by Sophocles and was is titled Oedipus Rex in Latin. It is one of the most well-known Greek tragedies. As is the case with Greek tragedies—or roughly most tragedies that make their way to stage—fate plays a key role in the events in Oedipus Rex. Oedipus discovers there is a plague on his city. The only way to lift the plague is by slaying the former king’s killer. As the play’s acts unfold one discovers about the prophecy concerning Oedipus. The prophecy states that Oedipus is destined to kill his father and marry his mother. But was this just by chance or his predetermined fate.
Oedipus the King is a tragedy that displays irony throughout the play. In the play, King Laius and his wife Jocasta learn that in the prophecy their newborn son, Oedipus, will kill his father and marry his mother. In order to prevent the prophecy from occurring, they decide to bind and tie his ankles and then abandoned him. When Oedipus grew up, he eventually learned about this prophecy and decided to leave his parents. What he did not realize was that the parents who raised him were not his biological parents. On his voyage to Thebes, Oedipus ended up in a chariot accident
Sophocles ' play “Oedipus Tyrannus” is an enigma. His play includes incest, murder and self-enlightenment all leading into the main theme of fate. Athenians believed that fate is not left up to man, but that is provided solely on the whims of the gods. Because of his dramatic approach to his plays Sophocles was considered one of the most brilliant and creative writers of his time.
The pursuit of justice is an endeavor that many find to be challenging and a quest itself, as one will come across various trials and complications that may stop them in their pursuit or may mislead them. As humans, we find moral correctness and righteousness a very appealing state to be in, as justice will act as a platform to satisfy the desire for this correctness. In Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, we meet our miserable anti-hero, Oedipus, in his pursuit for truth and righting the wrong of the plague that is affecting his people of Thebes. As he makes efforts to solve this problem, he comes to find out that he is the source of the issue, thus exposing the tragic flaw of Oedipus and effectively making this play a very effective Greek tragedy. This pursuit of righteousness ends up being the downfall of Oedipus. In Sophocles’ Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex, Oedipus pursues justice through his realization of his past, his interactions with various characters in the play, and comes to understand more of justice in his situation through his reactions to adversity in this play, in order to portray a questionably successful pursuit of justice.
Many people believe that fate has planned out their lives and despite efforts on their part what was meant to happen, will eventually happen. This belief has been handed down over the centuries from some of the first civilizations, such as the Greeks. However, not all Greek citizens wanted destiny to take control of their lives. Some decided to choose freewill over the will of the gods. In Oedipus the King, Sophocles writes a cautionary tale meant to warn the doubters in Greek society that regardless of their beliefs in gods and prophecies, it is necessary to heed their warnings. Oedipus, Jocasta, and Laius are Sophocles’ characters that prove that escaping one’s fate is not possible, as each of their predicted fates is realized despite extensive efforts to thwart them.
The affairs in Oedipus the King, authored by Sophocles, show a relentless desire to discover the truth around Laius’ murder and the question neighboring his own birth, force him to the awful realization of his dreadful deeds. Oedipus’s pride depicts the distrust in the gods and the expedition for the truth, leave the king restless. The idea of fate and free-will which the Greeks believed to guide everything in creation to a balanced direction. The choices a manmade was simply accountable for his own actions. The concept of both fate and free-will play a extensive role in Oedipus’s destruction. Even Though, Oedipus was the sufferer of his fate, his intentions were
Oedipus the King, written by Sophocles, follows the tragic story of a king named Oedipus who goes from an all-powerful ruler to a hopeless blind peasant. Oedipus the King was written as a play and performed in front of an audience. Sophocles shows in Oedipus the King that one cannot escape the fate of the gods. Throughout the play Oedipus struggles to find a solution and change all the troubles in his life. The play observes the story of Oedipus who defies the gods and through the journey experiences hardships in tragic flaw, tragic fall and tragic realization.
Sophocles’ play, Oedipus the King, has risen many questions concerning the main character and whether or not he acts on free will or if his future is predestined by the gods. I am going to test the theory that although Oedipus believes he is acting on his own free will, he is in fact a victim of the gods. I will analyze several different sources that discuss fate and human agency in Oedipus the King and then proceed to build my original argument on the archaic debate.