Oedipus Rex Literary Synthesis

Good Essays

Michael Patrick
Mrs. McGill
AP Literature and Composition / Period 7
24 October 2012
The Tragic Destiny of Oedipus Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex is one of the most well- known tragic plays in existence. Oedipus, the King of Thebes, is the victim of a curse in which he must suffer the tragedy of his own unchangeable fate. The tragic heroism of Oedipus befalls him because of his heroic qualities and his loyalty to his Thebans and to himself. His unchangeable destiny affects so many others throughout the play. These others’ subsequent suffering that Oedipus brings upon them helps contribute to the tragic vision of the work as a whole. Many provide insight on the fact that the gods or the fates destined Oedipus to kill his father and …show more content…

Oedipus saved Thebes, but in the process became the scourge that striped its back. Teiresius is considered the foil to Oedipus—he dances the dance with Oedipus as fencers riposte. While he only appears shortly in a beginning scene of the play, Teiresius reveals his visions of the future and, ironically, the murderer of Laios. The seer is blind but sees more than anyone else is able to. Teiresius can be likened to the Trojan princess Cassandra who was gifted with the power of prophecy, but later punished that nobody would believe her prophecies. Oedipus had good reason to be angry with him because he would not reveal the identity of the king’s killer. Teiresius reveals that it is pointless to reveal the truth because what is going to happen in the future is fated to happen and cannot be changed. Upon such a revelation, Oedipus is described as having a “wave of darkness” was over him when he discovers the truth, the very tsunamic happening that Teiresius warned him about. Here the soothsayer is revealed to be a symbol of the main enveloping theme in the play. Oedipus is responsible for his own actions but his fate is determined on a basis of his moral innocence and his tragic destiny. Creon was created to stand in stark contrast to all the other characters. He is good in every way and is a model that allows Oedipus to conveniently be based off

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