Oedipus Essay, Research Paper
Unlike Columbine and any other mishap that is commonly misrefered Odeipus Rex is a tragedy. Not only is it a tragedy but Aristotle believed it was the pinnacle of its age. Why? Nobody really knows. Aristotle is dead so we can t really ask him. He never really wrote down why he felt the way he did. Even if he did it s long gone now, used to light the funeral pyre of a marauding Celt or some other band of barbarians (Romans). We cannot be concrete in the analysis of his Rexian preference, but we can do what Humans do best. Argue. Hence is why I m here tonight/today/this morning. I am going to help fulfill my part in human history by arguing the validity of some dead guy s opinion by prying the ruler out of his cold dead hands and waving it about like a weapon. No, let s be frank. This essay is going to suck with a capitol UCK. Even with all of your extensions and mercy (?) I m now lowering your bar and mine. So drink or smoke em if you got em because Russ is nothing short of annoyed at his computer and he has just stopped caring at this time of night.
Aristotle was nothing short of a Greek Renaissance man. He knew many different aspects of the sciences for a man of his day. This knowledge of the scientific world translated into his love of epic drama. So when he set out to define what a tragedy s quantitative parts were he used very boring and technical terms. Instead of whim or personal reasons internal forces not unlike gravity or inertia were now supposed to govern a character. The aforementioned Odeipus Rex was and is a good example of tragedy. When the laws of tragedy were created, Aristotle probably modeled most of them on the aspects contained within Sophicles es greatest play. Thus words like praxis, poiesis, and theoria entered the modern English (class) language.
So what Russ , says the reader, I already knew that. I want a freak in application of these dusty terms! Calm down. Breathe in and release. Now rest assured you ll get what you want.
The beauty of this play is that when the praxis finds its end so does the entire world of Odeipus. This finality, in Odeipus, leaves the reader with a sense of closure. The reason for this is that the quantitative parts of the play are written to complement each other with pure simplicity. Near the end, when all is discovered about the incestuous past of Odeipus, his theoria becomes a deathblow for his sanity, mission, and curses his family even worse than it already was. The theoria of Odeipus is linked very closely with his praxis. They are interrelated because praxis and theoria are only two out of three forms of energia.
In Odeipus Rex Odeipus has a simple motive. Unlike other plays his praxis is very easy to find and fathom for all those who would seek. His unwavering goal is to find and dispense justice to the killer of the former king. This is the action that keeps the play moving and dictates the actions that Odeipus will take. In turn his character of a single-minded king almost paradoxically translates the actions he takes to resolve his motive.
The third and final form of energia is poiesis, the motive to make something. What is Oedipus s creative motive? For him to be a believable human his motive could only be self-destruction. Odeipus is given a chance to give his quest up when his wife/mother begins to see the dark design of the fates and advises against further inquiry. Instead of letting ignorance be inbred bliss Odeipus ignores his mother/wife and continues on his inevitable (almost fated hmmm ) downward spiral. By ignoring his wife and following his theoria Odeipus spends the whole play digging his own grave with things like the curse he put upon the unknown murderer.
The three forms of energia were wisely grouped and help to show the values that can be found in the play Oedipus Rex. Sophocles made a play in which each of the three energia has its own flavor but still intermingles with its counterparts and this makes for a more interesting play. The only problem with the energia is that they can be very intangible and hard to pin down. This makes it so the reader has plenty of elbowroom for a loose interpretation of their true meanings.
Another part that Sophocles left open for mobility was the plot. The way that he designed Odeipus Rex was by taking a couple events in history and linking them with bits of the Odeipus story that he knew. For budget and the imagination of the viewer he weaved these bits into a play which showed little actual action onstage yet still had these important parts through the testimony of visiting characters. Another good aspect of the plot is that, through the Oracle of Delphi, Odeipus Rex needed only one piece of help from the Gods. Sophocles did not cheapen his play by creating any silly interventions or plot holes with their absolute power and thus makes his characters more human and easier to relate with.
Odeipus Rex is a very deep play. Whether he was conscious of it or not Sophocles created a fine tapestry with the whole of the play. He did so by masterfully using many of the different aspects and machinations that Aristotle considered the hallmarks of tragedy. Through these aspects of epic drama Odeipus Rex is worthy of its place in Aristotle s crumbled mind.