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Oedipus Rex

  • Date Submitted: 04/20/2010 02:49 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 60.5 
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Oedipus Rex
      The tragic story of Oedipus Rex is a very important piece of work that has continually puzzled, inspired and entertained audiences throughout the ages by touching then on many levels. The tragedy that Sophocles created remains alive today, because it is filled with human mistakes and immortal questions. It is the story of what appears to be a lucky prince who runs away from home to avoid the fulfillment of a terrible prophesy. Through amazing circumstances and with the use of his wits and at times arrogance, he becomes king of a foreign land and marries a beautiful queen. However, despite having everything, Oedipus cannot abandon his quest to find the truths about himself and the ailments of his new land. Though he is recommended against this quest, Oedipus, who fears nothing, perseveres, only to find that he has murdered his father and married his own mother. This knowledge and the unlucky events that follow cause Oedipus to strike his own eyes for he cannot bear to see what has become of his life and family. The role that Oedipus’ free will plays in his destruction and terrible fate has been debated by scholars for centuries. Oedipus gives his opinion on the matter when he explains,
      Apollo. Apollo. Dear
      Children, the god was Apollo.
      He brought my sick, sick fate upon me.
      But the blinding hand was my own,
as he finally takes responsibility for his actions and their effect on his ultimate fate (Exodos, Strophe 2:110-113).
The quote above is a key part of the story because it reflects upon a very big question present throughout the entire play: was it fate that caused his undoing or were his actions responsible? The initial lines are very repetitious, emphasizing that it was the gods who chose that those terrible events would occur. Perhaps this is Oedipus’ last attempt to find an excuse and convince himself that he was not to blame. The thought of what he has caused is too unbearable, and he emphasizes his disgust...


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