Oedipus Rex - Martinez Pena 1 Deliana Martinez Pena Prof...

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Deliana Martinez Pena Prof. Cain Int. Literature 210.04 3 December 2014 Oedipus Rex : A Just yet Blinded King Oedipus Rex is an Athenian tragedy that was written by Sophocles, also known as The Father of Drama. Oedipus Rex is the prestigious king of Thebes. In the dramatic play, he quickly loses his power and fame as king by a tragedy that happened in his past. He was once prophesized that he would be the killer of his father, and that he would commit incest and be father to his own mother’s kids. His downfall is seen when the Shepherd, the only witness to the tragic murder, confesses that Oedipus is the man who killed Laios, the former king and husband of Iokaste; Oedipus’ queen. Even though Oedipus is known to be just, clear-sighted and comprehensive at the beginning of the play, by the end he discovers he was blinded for years, thus understanding his tragic downfall. Blindness is the motif in the drama, with irony prominently being showcased throughout the play. Sophocles presented many powerful classic themes, including the struggles of men between fate and free will. In Oedipus Rex , he uses the concept of blindness, which becomes the central thematic and metaphorical element. The central theme provides the irony shown in the play in that Teiresias, the blind man, sees the truth. Therefore, Sophocles uses blindness as an “ironic symbol” to represent the truth. It was fate that led Oedipus to commit his wrongdoings, but free will is him cutting his eyes out after he found out that the prophecy came true. Martinez Pena 1
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In the Prologue, the exposition is settled. Oedipus Rex, who is playing his role as a concerned and attentive leader, listens to the concerns of his citizens that claim Thebes, the city, to have been struck by a plague: “Thebes is tossed on a murdering sea” (Prologue, line 26). Oedipus Rex relates to their fears and concerns about the city, stating that he knows that “[the citizens] are deathly sick; and yet, sick as [they] are, not one is sick as I” (Prologue, lines 62-63). The reader is told that Oedipus has already taken action by sending Kreon, Oedipus’ brother-in- law, to the oracle of Apollo to obtain a solution for the defilement. “It is for them I suffer, more than for myself” is what Oedipus told Kreon after he came back from the visit to Apollo (Prologue, line 96). The reader can see the connection that Oedipus has with his citizens because he is not hesitant in sharing the information he obtains. The rising action is seen when Kreon returns with Apollo’s answer. The reason why the city is in a state of defilement, according to Apollo, is because there was a murder that was committed, but unsolved. The god Apollo commanded them "to expel from the land of Thebes,” by exile or death, the murderer of Laios (Prologue, line 99). Oedipus makes it his duty to find the murderer. Oedipus states that, if anyone holds in information about the murderer, he forbids his people to “receive that man or speak to him,” and shall be excludes from all activities” (Scene 1, lines 21-22). As for the murderer, he only wishes his life to “be consumed in evil and
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