King Oedipus Essay, Research Paper
When Sophocles wrote, King Oedipus, he was writing a form of play called a crisis drama, or sometimes called a drama of catastrophe. Little did he know that upon writing this story he was actually building on something that Freud would base a theory on and that professionals would still use in the modern world today, in the 21st century. This form of history has truly played its part through time, and Sophocles was a man ahead of his time.To explain more of what I am writing of, let me start at the beginning of the story that Sophocels so dramatically wrote. I have never been so emotionally touched by a story in all of my life. The way that this pulls you in and lets your imagination draw such a vivid and maybe even an explicit portrayal of what Sophocles successfully suggested.King Laius, is the ruler of Thebes, he has the famous oracle of Delphic Apollo explain unto him that Queen Iocasta will bear a son that will in fact, kill him and marry her. So when Queen Iocasta delivers a baby boy the couple takes his feet and pierces them, to cripple the infant. They then have a slave take him to a mountaintop to parish.Because of the kind heart of this slave, the child is allowed to survive. Not only did this slave save his life, he was given the chance to succeed as the son and er to the throne of King and Queen of Corinth. The named him Oedipus.
One day as most children due, Oedipus began to get teased. The called him the fake son, when he questioned his parents both denied the entire thing. Because of this confusion Oedipus went to the Oracle Delphi, who explains that he will kill his father and marry his mother. Hearing this Oedipus flees from Corinth, fearing that he will act out this oracle. Not knowing of the adoption that had taken place when he was an infant.Upon his travel Oedipus comes to a three-way intersection. Focused on what he had heard earlier he ran into a rude old man, who shouted crude words to the young Oedipus causing his rage. In this haste of anger Oedipus grabbed the old mans staff and hit him in the head with it, causing sudden death. As soon as he had finished this fight, he ran face to face into the Sphinx. The Sphinx, with the head of a woman and the body of a lion questioned him with her riddle. “Who in the morning walks on four legs, at midday on two, and in evening on three?” she spoke. Looking around at all of the men whom had lost this riddle, along with their life, Oedipus said with his wisdom, “It is a man”.Winning this battle not only forced the Sphinx to plunge to her death but saved Thebes from the torture of her reign, and since thieves had just killed King Laius in a highway accident, Thebes needed a new King. Who better then their newfound Hero? Finding this young man attractive Queen Iocasta, seeing that this man was a man of intelligence, thought he would make a fine young King. So they courted having four young children together. Two daughters, Antigone & Ismene, along with their twin sons Eteocles & Polyneices they lived peacefully and happily until?The beginning of this play is narrated so you come into the action in accordance with this next paragraph. During the time that Sophocles wrote this they did not have special effects, or computer generated graphics, all they had was theatre and the audience’s individual imagination. If you take the time to think about that, who really was/is enjoying the show? Is it them whom let there mind wonder and draw conclusions on the grotesquely tragic story or us who simply watch whatever gore the makeup artist can create, with absolutely no imagination or creativity on the our part.The plague started to take over Thebes, after the people’s pleadings he (King Oedipus) calls for the Oracle of Delphic Apollo to explain how to elevate this plague that has contaminated his domain.The Oracle tells Oedipus that in order to free the Kingdom; he needs to revenge the death of King Laius. To his curiosity he questions why this has not been brought to his attention before. His patrons explain that the whoop de do of the ordeal with the Sphinx distracted them from their investigation. And so King Oedipus makes a vow that he himself will find this felon and revenge King Laius’ death. Upon his research, King Oedipus finds out that the only clue is that one of King Laius’ men escaped and is hiding out of fear. Oedipus puts a curse on whoever the murder is and anyone that helps him will pay. He states ” I will avenge his death as if he were my own father”. (Ironically funny in a solemn way)Oedipus calls for Teiresias in order to find what her knowledge can produce. This prophet pleads with Oedipus to eliminate his conquest and just let it go. Without consideration Oedipus explains that the life of his people are at stake and he can not be a suitable King without this question answered. As he pursues this investigation he becomes irate with Tieresias and blames that she herself is conspiring against him or worse yet with the murderers. Before Teiresias leaves she states that “if you must know, before the sun is down, you will find out yourself a husband and a son and brother of your children”.Queen Iocasta enters because of the ruckus that she hears from the palace. She finds King Oedipus upset and distraught. She inquires to why he has these feelings, as he complains about the prophet, she interrupts explaining that you can’t believe a prophet because he own life was displayed without prevail. Instead of creating peace of mind she did the exact opposite planting a seed of disbelieve even great than the one before. Inquiring as to what the King Laius looked like the Queen hesitates as she explains “well, he was tall, about your size, some gray showing in his hair?He did in fact, resemble you now.” “Why are you asking me this?” “What is bothering you?” she replied. King Oedipus is extremely confused, as well as terrified at this point. Seeing in his mind the truth of the prophecy, he questions where the King Laius was found? She then replies, “He was killed at the crossing where the road to Thebes, Corinth and Delphi meet”. King Oedipus then remembers killing the rude man in the chariot just before arriving upon the Sphinx.The story is unraveled when the “happy messenger” appears he explains that his father King Polybus has pasted away and the prophecy is wrong because King Polybus was not slain by Oedipus’ hand and also because was adopted. He had been found with his feet pierced and delivered to King Polybus by the happy messenger himself. This was done because the King and Queen of Corinth could not bear children of their own. Queen Iocasta begs Oedipus to stop at once, when he denies this request she retreats never to be seen alive again.At this point Oedipus forgets about King Laius and questions his origin to find out the truth about whether or not he has in fact married his mother Queen Iocasta.The shepherd was then questioned and the truth is known that King Oedipus had seen and touched the naked body of his mother, making King Oedipus the most wretched man who ever lived.King Oedipus hears the cries from the palace. He run to see what has taken place and finds that his wife, the mother of his children and his own mother, all of the same person Queen Iocasta has taken her own life by a rope. Unable to bear the agony King Oedipus takes the broach pin from her dress and digs out his eyes with several stabs. He believes that because of what he has done he should not be aloud the beauty of the sun any more. He requests that he be walked from the palace to become a blind beggar.Freud defined the Oedipus complex as a crisis of psychosexual development in which children must give up their sexual attraction for their opposite-sex parent. Now, this was and is still today used to treat psychological patients. I believe that if this isn’t a most critical part of history and how theatre has played a part in?then I don’t know what is.Reference:Essentials of psychology. Robert A Baron, Allyn & Bacon 1999http://mason.gmu.edu/~oarans/oedip-story.htmlhttp://www.pathguy.com/oedipus.html