In his Poetics, Aristotle held it up as the exemplary Greek tragedy.
Throughout this mythic story of patricide and incest, Sophocles emphasizes the irony of a man determined to track down, expose, and punish an assassin, who turns out to be himself.
As the play opens, the citizens of Thebes beg their king, Oedipus, to lift the plague that threatens to destroy the city. Oedipus has already sent his brother-in-law, Creon, to the oracle to learn what to do.
On his return, Creon announces that the oracle instructs them to find the murderer of Laius, the king who ruled Thebes before Oedipus. The discovery and punishment of the murderer will end the plague. At once, Oedipus sets about to solve the murder.
Oedipus the King unfolds as a murder mystery, a political thriller, and a psychological whodunit. Throughout this mythic story of patricide and incest, Sophocles emphasizes the irony of a man determined to track down, expose, and punish an assassin, who turns out to be himself. As the play . Oedipus’s wife, Jocasta (also the widow of King Laius), enters and asks why the men shout at one another. Oedipus explains to Jocasta that the prophet has charged him with Laius’s murder, and Jocasta replies that all prophecies are false. Oedipus' uncle & brother-in-law who holds the same amount of power with no title until the end of the play when he becomes king.
Summoned by the king, the blind prophet Tiresias at first refuses to speak, but finally accuses Oedipus himself of killing Laius. Oedipus mocks and rejects the prophet angrily, ordering him to leave, but not before Tiresias hints darkly of an incestuous marriage and a future of blindness, infamy, and wandering.
Oedipus attempts to gain advice from Jocasta, the queen; she encourages him to ignore prophecies, explaining that a prophet once told her that Laius, her husband, would die at the hands of their son. According to Jocasta, the prophecy did not come true because the baby died, abandoned, and Laius himself was killed by a band of robbers at a crossroads.
Oedipus becomes distressed by Jocasta's remarks because just before he came to Thebes he killed a man who resembled Laius at a crossroads. To learn the truth, Oedipus sends for the only living witness to the murder, a shepherd.
Another worry haunts Oedipus.
As a young man, he learned from an oracle that he was fated to kill his father and marry his mother. Fear of the prophecy drove him from his home in Corinth and brought him ultimately to Thebes. Again, Jocasta advises him not to worry about prophecies. Oedipus finds out from a messenger that Polybus, king of Corinth, Oedipus' father, has died of old age.
Jocasta rejoices — surely this is proof that the prophecy Oedipus heard is worthless. Still, Oedipus worries about fulfilling the prophecy with his mother, Merope, a concern Jocasta dismisses.
Overhearing, the messenger offers what he believes will be cheering news. Polybus and Merope are not Oedipus' real parents. In fact, the messenger himself gave Oedipus to the royal couple when a shepherd offered him an abandoned baby from the house of Laius.A tragic story from the Greek dramatist, Sophocles, "Oedipus the King" is a well-known and studied play filled with murder, incest, and one man's discovery of the truth about his life.
It is the story that you may know because Oedipus murdered his father and married his mother (unknowingly, of course).
Oedipus' uncle & brother-in-law who holds the same amount of power with no title until the end of the play when he becomes king. Casual Analysis Essay: Oedipus the King Sophocles' play Oedipus the King has endured for over two thousand years. The play's lasting appeal may be attributed to the fact it encompasses all the classical elements of tragedy as put forth by Aristotle in Poetics nearly a century before it was written.
Oedipus gets his name, as the Corinthian messenger tells us in Oedipus the King, from the fact that he was left in the mountains with his ankles pinned together. This leaves Oedipus with a . A summary of Oedipus the King, lines 1– in Sophocles's The Oedipus Plays.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Oedipus Plays and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. The most famous tragedies of Sophocles feature Oedipus and also Antigone: they are generally known as the Theban plays, although each play was actually a part of a different tetralogy, the other members of which are now lost.