Oedipus Rex Essay, Research Paper
There have been many tragedies throughout history, including Sophocles play Oedipus Rex. I utterly agree with Aristotle in saying that Oedipus Rex, is one such tragedy. Through the plot, character and thoughts it is evident the Oedipus Rex is a model tragedy.
The plot is the soul of the tragedy; it is the arrangement of the incidents . Oedipus Rex is well planned out and follows the outline, which a tragedy should follow. Oedipus left all he had, and his family, all because he was afraid of murdering his father. He sets off by foot towards the city of Thebes, poor, and with nothing except the clothes on his back. He gains power of the thrown by defeating the Sphinx and answering her riddle. The irony sets in when it is made known that Oedipus actually did kill his father, and that his father was Laios, not the King of Corinth. He finds out that he married his mother and had children with her. By the end, Oedipus blinds himself and is in exile. He went from having nothing; to having everything, to once again having nothing. This is exactly how a tragedy s plot should be. The higher you climb, the further you fall is a clich that is reflective of the play and of Oedipus. I believe Oedipus Rex has the perfect plot for a tragedy and Oedipus is a tragic hero.
Furthermore, not only does Oedipus Rex have the correct plot for a tragedy, but it also has the proper characters. Oedipus is an ideal character that, by the end of the play, shows he has morals. He is looking to act justly and if still around would be a spokesperson for Magna Carta. He does what is right and knows it is best to seek exile after he finds out he killed Laios. Lead me away from Thebes, he instructs Choragos. Oedipus accepts that he should be punished and that he should not be treated any differently than others. Oedipus has high morals that make him choose punishment instead of living a life in denial.
Along with strong character there is also a solid presence of thought throughout the play. It provides a strong theme and supports it. Deep thought is often achieved through the Strophe and Antistrophe. Aristotle states that thought is required whenever a statement is made of it may be a general truth enunciated . Oedipus enunciates truth by comments in the Antistrophe, as seen in the following excerpt. If only I had died, / This weight of monstrous doom / Could not have dragged me and my darlings down. That statement is completely true and Oedipus makes sure it is well known. Thought is required in any great tragedy, and it is present in Oedipus Rex.
I agree with Aristotle when he says that Oedipus Rex is a model tragedy. It has all the great characteristics of a tragedy, including plot, character and thought. Sophocles created a tragic hero as seen in Oedipus, and made it easy for all of us to comprehend the tragedy and the irony in the play.