The Three Theban Pays are the absolute pillar stone of ancient Greek drama, and in my opinion they contain two of the best plays ever written:
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It is so-called because it describes the suffering of the protagonist or the main character as a result of a misfortune of which he has no control.
The severity and harshness of the ending is also seen as something which the protagonist does not deserve. A brief summary, including a background, will be discussed in the beginning of the paper which will be followed by several arguments that aims to prove that Oedipus the King is a perfect model of a great tragedy.
Background of Oedipus the King As a backgrounder, Laius, the King of Thebes, was informed by a prophet that a child born to him and his wife, Jocasta, will murder him.
Fearing that that the prophecy may come true, Laius took his child, pierced his ankle and ordered a servant to leave the child in a mountain. A shepherd found the boy, took pity on him and took him to Corinth. This boy, named Oedipus, meaning swollen feet, was raised by the King and Queen of Corinth as if their son.
When the boy grew up, a drunken man revealed that he was not the true son of Polybus, the King of Corinth.
Eager to find out the truth about himself, he consulted the Delphic Oracle who told him that he would murder his father and marry his mother. For fear that the oracle may come true, Oedipus left Corinth. Upon arriving at a fork, Oedipus met Laius and four other people. A quarrel followed, Oedipus eventually killed all the men.
The sphinx had asked everybody a riddle.
Anybody who failed to answer the riddle or gave an incorrect answer to the riddle was immediately eaten. Bold and self-confident, Oedipus faced the Sphinx and answered the riddle. As a result, the Sphinx killed itself. The grateful people of Thebes proclaimed him as heir hero and king.
They begot two sons and two daughters. Several years after, a plague struck in Thebes. In his desire to put a stop to the plague, Oedipus consulted a prophet who revealed that the plague would not end until the people of Thebes drive out the murderer of Laius who was within the city.
Oedipus thought that this was a scheme of Creon, his brother-in-law whom he thought desired to replace him as King. At this point, Jocasta told Oedipus that the oracle once prophesied that Laius will be killed by his son.
She told him that the prophecy was not true as an eyewitness said that Laius was killed by highway robbers in a location where three different roads meet. Oedipus suddenly remembered an incident in his past where he fled from Corinth and killed a man along the way because of quarrel as to who had the right of way.
He thought that the same man could be Laius. As a result he asked that people to look for the herdsman who witnessed the killing of Laius. Later on a messenger brought news that the King Polybus was dead.
Laius was asked to return to Corinth to rule the kingdom. The messenger told Oedipus not to worry about the prophecy since Polybus was not his real father and that the messenger took the baby from the shepherd who found Polybus.
The shepherd then revealed that Jocasta once handed to him a baby boy for him to leave on the mountain to die. He however took pity and gave the boy to a messenger.
At that point, Oedipus realized that he was indeed Laius child who killed his own father and married his own mother.
Jocasta committed suicide after the revelation. Oedipus on the other hand, realizing his mistakes, took his eyes out and pierced it with a knife making him blind. He then left Thebes after asking Creon to take care of his daughters.
A human weakness that is evident throughout the play is pride. Oedipus was a very proud, arrogant and confident man.
He had such a high regard for himself that he confidently challenged the Sphinx oblivious of the possibility that the Sphinx may kill him. He knew that he had the intelligence to answer the riddles of the Sphinx no matter how difficult it was.
He was successful and became the King of Thebes and married the Queen. As the King, he became more proud and the people exalted and praised him for his courage and intelligence. He considered the people of Thebes as his children who needed his guidance and protection.This volume of Antigone, Oedipus the King, Electra contains three masterpieces by the Greek playwright Sophocles, widely regarded since antiquity as the greatest of all the tragic poets.
The vivid translations, which combine elegance and modernity, are remarkable for their lucidity and accuracy, and are equally suitable for reading for /5(20). Antigone and Oedipus: Comparison and Contrast. Hegel’s central insight with regard to Greek tragedy has been clearly articulated by Walter Kaufmann: “He realized that at the center of the greatest tragedies of Aeschylus and Sophocles we find not a tragic hero but a tragic collision, and that the conflict is not between good and evil but between one .
“Oedipus the King” by Sophocles Essay Sample. The play “Oedipus Rex” by Sophocles is a tragedy in which the main character, Oedipus Rex, killed his . Oedipus the King and Antigone are Sophocles’ most well-known dramas. These two plays emphasize the catastrophic events that take place following a series of incidents and decisions.
Throughout the two plays the audience is continuously uncovering details that . This paper is the rough draft version. There are grammatical errors and other such errors in it. Oedipus vs. Hamlet: A Character Comparison After reading Sophocles' Oedipus the King and Shakespeare's Hamlet, it is quiet clear that Oedipus is by far the more admirable character of the two.
A Character Comparison: Nora Vs. Antigone In the novels A Doll's House and Antigone, Ibsen and Sophocles respectively create two lead female characters, Nora and Antigone, who confront society's expectations of women in fundamentally different ways.