Oedipus Rex | Study Guide


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Oedipus Rex | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Sophocles's Oedipus Rex. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

oedipus-rex-sophoclesOedipus Rexby the NumbersChildren born to the incestuous couple, Oedipus and Jocasta4Sequence of numbers in the Sphinx's riddle423Parts into which Sophocles divides the Chorus's song—the Strophe and the Antistrophe2Sophocles's dramas that survive in full of the 123 plays he wrote7MotifsFateBy trying to avoid fulfilling the oracle's prediction, Oedipus causes it to happen.Self-DiscoveryOedipus pursues Laius's murder with proud certainty, but his hubris dissolves as he discovers the lies of his past.BlindnessBlind Teiresias sees the truth; Oedipus blinds himself; Jocasta blindly refuses to see the truth.OraclesSymbolize a person's fate, as determined by the godsCrossroadsSymbolizes the paths of fate and free willAlong with Aeschylus and Euripides, Sophocles is one of classical Athens's three great tragic playwrights and is considered the greatest of the three. His plays focus on the clash between flawed personal judgment and an indifferent or even cruel fate that leads to catastrophe.SOPHOCLESC. 496–406 BCEAuthorThemesA plague has struck Thebes, and the blind prophet Teiresias tells the city-state's beloved king, Oedipus, that the plague will end only when the murderer of Laius, the previous ruler, is discovered and punished. As he questions the old man, Oedipus discovers his own history and the futility of attempting to avoid one's fate.I. An oracle tells King Laius of Thebes and his wife Jocasta that their son Oedipus will kill Laius. Laius arranges for his servant to abandon Oedipus.II. The servant rescues the boy, who is raised by the rulers of Corinth. "Oh Zeus, What Have You Done?"OVERVIEWIV. Oedipus leaves Corinth to avoid his destiny—but meets Laius and kills him.III. The Oracle at Delphi tells Oedipus he'll kill his father and marry his mother.Sophoclesc. 430–426 BCEAncient GreekPlayAuthorFirst PerformedOriginal LanguageOedipus RexTragedySources: Columbia College, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Merriam-Websters Encyclopedia of Literature, Vancouver Island UniversityCopyright © 2016 Course Hero, Inc.V. After solving the riddle of the Sphinx, Oedipus is made king of Thebes and marries Jocasta. Oedipus, Lines 1334 and 1335hy should I have eyes / When there was nothing sweet for me to see?VI. Seeing that his fate was fulfilled, Oedipus's tragedy ensues.

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