Oedipus Rex And Oedipus At Colonus Essay

, 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. "


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