Oedipus Rex Paper

678 words - 3 pages

The scholar Bernard Knox once stated, “these attributes of divinity – knowledge, certainty, justice – are all qualities Oedipus thought he possessed – and that is why he was the perfect example of the inadequacy of human knowledge, certainty, and justice.” Oedipus’ assumption that he had certainty of knowledge led him to make rash judgments in moments of anger and hasty decisions in moments of pride, characteristics which ultimately guided him towards his downfall. Oedipus believed he could control his prophesized destiny, and by so believing he was shrugging off the omnipotence of the gods, a blatant act of impiety that ensured that the prophecy would come true. In Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, Oedipus was a man characterized by belief in his own certainty of knowledge; a belief which contributed greatly to the fulfillment of the prophecy and guaranteed his downfall.
After a plague descended on the city due to Oedipus’ crimes against his family, it came to light that the plague would cease if the killer of the former king was brought to justice. Because of his certain belief in his innocence Oedipus uttered a curse, “no one of this land…give shelter or speak word to that murderer….may he wear his unblessed life out evilly, as he is evil” (Sophocles 118). Oedipus felt safe making the curse because he felt safe from the fulfillment of the curse. This was foolish, especially since he was aware of his own prophesized destiny. He was making his fate worse because he thought he knew for sure that he wasn’t the killer. In reality he was guilty and just as he was a victim of the prophecy, so he would become the victim of his curse.
Oedipus’ presumed certainty of knowledge also made him feel comfortable hurling accusations and making rash decisions both of which impaired his effectiveness as a true and just leader. Oedipus charged Creon and Teiresias both with killing the former king. Oedipus first raged at Teireisas saying, “If you had eyesight I would have said that the doing of this...

Find Another Essay On Oedipus Rex Paper

Oedipus Rex Essay

1505 words - 6 pages With its popularity equivalent to the modern day version of the tale of Snow White, the title character of the Greek tragedy of Sophocles’ Oedipus the King can turn iron-fists into timorous wimps. As an honorable king and a miracle worker, the positive attributes of Oedipus would have been worthy of taking into account had he not committed one of the greatest sins of human life – and yes, this was even worse than a verbal sin. Portrayed as the

Oedipus Rex Essay

806 words - 3 pages In Oedipus Rex, Sophocles explores the conflict between a man’s intellectual reasoning and the universe beyond his grasp. This may seem like a generalization, but the play’s minor conflicts are arguably derivatives of the main struggle. As we would see, the fate or destiny that opposes Oedipus does not act directly on him, but creates a domino effect that through other conflicts drive him to face his destiny by unearthing his true identity

Oedipus Rex

748 words - 3 pages Oedipus Rex written by Sophocles is an ironic tale with a sick twist. It is jammed packed with events that that will make you cringe in disgust. The plot is very unpredictable but in a way you can somewhat guess to what is to become of our main character, Oedipus. Before I begin to tell of this horrifically enchanting tale there is some background knowledge that must be shared. The story takes place in a land by the name of Thebes; it has a

Oedipus Rex - 825 words

825 words - 4 pages Could anyone live with knowing his or her fate? Well that is precisely what is happening to Oedipus, King Laius, and Jocasta in the story of Oedipus Rex. These three people are caught in the grasp of fate and they don’t have a choice but to go along with the story. In Oedipus Rex by Sophocles the plot, setting, characters, foreshadowing, irony, and themes rely on one thing…fate. In Ancient Greek times gods and the people that were chosen to

oedipus rex

675 words - 3 pages Oedipus Rex Oedipus Rex, written by the playwright Sophocles, is a story of a tragic hero who underwent many changes throughout his life. He fell from being sure and proud of where he stood to darkened and disgusted, wanting to ruin his own life. Oedipus learned who he was by experiencing knowledge, ignorance and truth.The first step in Oedipus' self-awareness was new knowledge. When he heard that Polybus and Merope were not his real parents, he

Oedipus Rex - 1098 words

1098 words - 4 pages Oedipus Rex, when broken down into its core ingredients, is a story of a man's dealing with his guilt at inadvertent murder of his father and incest with his mother.Many people over the decades have thought that King Oedipus didn't deserve the troubles and misfortunes he encountered. It was believed that the god's predetermined people's lives, and it was unavoidable. Others thought that everyone had their specific place in life. They must die on

Oedipus Rex - 804 words

804 words - 3 pages Bernard Knox, in an excerpt from his novel, Oedipus at Thebes, celebrates Sophocles' most distinguished character, Oedipus, as a figure that exceeds literary boundaries, and becomes someone symbolic of an entire age. Not only does he represent one specific age, but his message transcends time as well, as a universal icon. According to Knox, Oedipus exemplifies human achievement, while at the same time realizing its fleeting existence

Oedipus Rex - 752 words

752 words - 3 pages A tragic hero, in the typical sense, ??is not a superman; he is fallible. The hero?s downfall is the result, as Aristotle said, of his harmartia; his error or transgression or (as some translators would have it) his flaw or weakness of character? every tragic hero has some fatal weakness, some moral Achilles heel, that brings him to a bad end.? Oedipus is the perfect example of a tragic hero in many senses of the term. A tragic hero is usually

Oedipus Rex - 535 words

535 words - 2 pages Jared Hensley Many stories have tragic heroes. The prince from the movie The Gladiator server as an example. The prince has a high social a high social standing at the beginning of the movie. The princes' tragic flaw, pride, caused him to loose his status and die. Similarly Oedipus, of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, starts with a high social standing and then falls. Oedipus, of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, represents a tragic hero because of his high social

Oedipus Rex - 1756 words

1756 words - 8 pages began to diminish as humanity started to examine the power of man’s achievements; an unorthodox movement led by the Sophists . It was thus the role of dominant Greek powers to re-establish the traditional pious values of their society. As a conservative with high status, Sophocles wrote with the intention to reinforce these dominant values in his renowned play Oedipus Rex (c. 429BC). The ancient play tells the story of Oedipus the king who in the

Oedipus Rex - 283 words

283 words - 2 pages In the ancient Greek culture, theater was used to honor Dionysus, their god of fertility and spring. Sophocles was among the most famous playwrights of the time. His play "Oedipus the King" tells the story of a King who falls from greatness. Oedipus is the main Character born to Laius and Jocasta, the king and queen of Thebes. His parents were warned by an oracle that their child would kill his father and marry his mother. This left his parents

Similar Essays

Oedipus Rex Film Paper

820 words - 3 pages Pasolini's film adaptation of Oedipus Rex stays mostly faithful to Sophocles's source material. While Pasolini takes some liberties with the structure and chronology of the play, the plot is mostly the same and many of the themes of Sophocles's play from over 2000 years ago are present in the film.The main difference between the two pieces of work is reflective in their medium. Though Sophocles's tragedy was told through a visual medium, today

Life Of Oedipus Rex Essay

933 words - 4 pages Oedipus Rex suffered a strange, confusing, awkward, and sometimes embarrassing childhood. His trauma as a child, wretched beginning, strange fetish for older women, and unfavorable standing with the gods left him with no alternative but to suffer a terrible life. But what really drove the man to become what he will forever be remembered as? Little to nothing is truly known about his early life before his ascension to the throne and triumph over

Oedipus Rex Essay 1328 Words

1328 words - 5 pages Many Greek myths and legends have a valuable point or lesson which is revealed when told.Each individual who hears it obtains a different meaning from what the author tries to throw outto the audience or reader. In Oedipus Rex, one part of The Oedipus Cycle by Sophocles,there is a lesson of allowing life to take its course instead of steering it to your own advantage ortrying to prevent it from coming true as Oedipus and parents have attempted

Oedipus Rex Essay 754 Words

754 words - 3 pages Good Essay! A Paper! Don't remember... must have been good!Oedipus the King is widely regarded as a tragedy of fate. Briefly stated, it begins with a terrible plague that destroys the city. King Oedipus sends a messenger to the oracle at Delphi to find a cure. The answer that is received suggests to find out who the killer of King Laios was. Oedipus sends for the prophet Teiresias, who after much arguing, finally reveals that Oedipus himself is