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The Vindication Of Oedipus The King Essay

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The Vindication of Oedipus Rex
In the midst of a rife plague, Athens held their annual Dionysia festival. The festival was comprised of a collocation of dramatic performances honoring the Greek god Dionysus. During the festival in 429 BC a local playwright named Sophocles entered the festivities with his presentation of the tragedy Oedipus Rex. Oedipus the King by Sophocles introduces a city, much like Athens, that is being threatened by a troublesome plague, much like Athens, and whose people are in search for the cause epidemic. After further investigation, it is divulged that their king, Oedipus, is the one who is to blame for the plague. Based on the plot of the play, it is Oedipus fault that Thebes has come down with a sickness. However, when considering the social context of the play and of its audience, it becomes difficult to assign blame to Oedipus beyond a shadow of a doubt. This essay will discuss the evidence brought up against Oedipus in determining his guilt along with reasons why it is near impossible to fault him within the context of the period. Then this essay will conclude with an interpretation of why the question of blame is irrational, but imperative for any city under a faceless threat.
When readers interpret the tragedy of Oedipus they may first cite the prophecy he received from the Oracle before leaving his home on his heroic journey. It stated “that [Oedipus] was doomed to marry [his] own mother, and to shed with [his] own hands [his] father’s
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