, Research Paper
Sophocles wrote both " Oedipus the King, " also known as "
Oedipus Rex," and "Oedipus at Colonus. " Although " Oedipus
at Colonus " is looked at to be a continuation of " Oedipus the King,
" the two do differ when dealing with the character himself, Oedipus. The
question though being is, did Oedipus acheive redemption by the end of the play?
In " Oedipus the King, " Oedipus had fallen by the end of the play.
His life had made a complete 360 after the truth was revealed about the murder
of the King and his true father. However, in the continuation of the play, in
" Oedipus at Colonus, " Oedipus begins to make a turn for the better.
It was quoted that in the second play " the central theme is the
transformation of Oedipus into a hero. In " Oedipus at Colonus, "
Oedipus " struggled to acheive death and transformation in accordance with
his oracle. " This was seen for the most part in the middle of the play.
Sophocles made his second edition of this play very dramatic. The play begins in
misery. This misery helped teach Oedipus resignation….." asking little,
receiving less than little, and content with that. "Oedpus, a suppliant, is
in need of a savior, of which that being Theseus, to help save him from the
pursued by his enemy ( Creon ). However, the " central paradox of this play
is that the suppliant is destined to be the savior. " This was seen most
clearly when dealing with the conflicts that took place within this play. There
was a plea scene in which Oedipus ( suppliant ) commends himself to Theseus (
his savior ); an agon between Oedipus and Creon ( enemy ) ending in violence and
an agon between Creon and Theseus, ending in Creon’s expulsion and a battle
sequence, ending in the salvation of Oedipus. All the misery and helplessness
that typify a suppliant’s condition are present in the character Oedipus, but as
the drama begins to unfold slowly, it quickly becomes apparent that he will not
be confined to just that role. Oedipus’ true redemption is seen however when
dealing with his stronger faith in his religion seen in the second play. Oedipus
had heard that the land on which he trespassed upon was sacred to the "
all-seeing Eumenides. " So, in hearing this to be true, Oedipus stands
there calmly with the wishes that the goddesses receive him as their suppliant
and he states " for never would I go away from this refuge. " Oedipus
proves to others that he is no longer the helpless beggar that was seen in the
beginning of " Oedipus at Colonus. " When stranger asked him "
and what help can there be from a blind man?, " Oedipus replied, "
what I say will be full of sight. " With this response, the stranger, along
with many others, were quite impressed. After the stranger left, Oedipus once
again began to pray to the Eumenides. He made a promise to them that his life
would end at the seat of the Dread Goddesses, bringing benefits to those who
received him and ruin to those from whom drove him to exile. By the end of the
play, Oedipus disappears mysteriously, without pain and suffering. Most agree
that this was the best way for life to end. It was quite obvious that Oedipus
did reach redemption in " Oedipus at Colonus. " However, it was stated
that " Sophocles does not bring Oedipus to Colonus to die and be venerated
as a hero, but to become a hero before our eyes. "