Untitled Essay Research Paper Oedipus Rex

Untitled Essay, Research Paper

Oedipus Rex

In many plays a character has a misconception of his her

self and/or his or

her world. When this misconception is destroyed it can be a major turning

point in

the story. “Oedipus Rex” by Sophocles is one such story. In the story Oedipus


such a misconception where he thinks he has a good life, but really his life

is morally

wrong. This contributes to the theme or themes of the play

when they serve as the defining climax of the story. When the misconception


stopped Oedipus sees that you cannot escape or change your past, but you

can still

do great things even if you have been evil or immoral in your life.

When Oedipus was born it was prophesied that he would

kill his father and

marry his mother. His father naturally feared this and told a shepard to

take the

boy out and kill him when he was still a child. The kind old shepard could

not bring

himself to kill a innocent little boy so he gave him to a passing messenger

to take as

his own. When Oedipus was older he learned of this prophecy and left home

because he loved his foster father who he believed to be his real father.

A while

after he ran away he traveling down a road when he saw a coach coming. It

contained his true father, King Laios of Thebes and his bodyguards. When


almost ran him over Oedipus attacked them killing the bodyguards and his


thinking that they were highway bandits, and by doing so he unwittingly fulfilled


prophecy. When he realizes this he is devastated. This really contributes

to the

theme, that you cannot escape your past. The fact that he killed a king and


father no less, is a major factor in his exile later in the story.

When he discovers that King Laios was his real father

he sees that by not

running away that he could have prevented this whole catastrophe. This just

goes to

show that hindsight is always 20/20, Oedipus saw this and realized his mistake.


realizing that he cannot go back and change his past is also a big theme

of the story.

This fact too. plays a big part in his mental breakdown later in the story.

After he kills his father he is walks further down the

road when he is accosted

by the Sphinx who tells him that if he cannot answer her riddle correctly

that she

will kill him. He however does succeed in solving her riddle and she kills

herself out

of fury. When word gets out the he was the one who caused the death of the


the people of Thebes ( whose king he just recently killed ) adopt him as

their new

king, thanking that their real king was killed by bandits, and give him the


Queen Jocasta ( his mother ) for his bride. They lived happily for many years


had four children. When Oedipus learns of the heinous crime he has committed


nearly dies. Jocasta upon learning that she had been married to her son


herself and when Oedipus sees her body dangling he cuts her down and stabs

out his

eyes with her brooch. Having disgraced his country he is banished and he

and his

daughter Antigone leave Thebes. He later dies in exile at a shrine of Apollo


Colonus. Before he leaves Thebes however he states that he will do great


before he dies the horrible death he believes is reserved for him. He speaks


great hubris in the end of the play when he tells Creon to care for his daughters


tells of the things he will do before he dies. This, being able to still

accomplish great

things even after doing such horrendous crimes such as incest and regicide.

Realization that you cannot change or escape your past

and that you can still

achieve great things even after committing awful crimes in your life are

all the

things that Oedipus sees after his misconception of his entire life is destroyed

and he

sees the things he could have prevented. When you look back on your life

and see

something that brought about bad consequences you most often see how you


have easily avoided the usually small detail that caused the whole ordeal.

that is

usually a great learning experience for you.



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