Oedipus rex as a classical tragedy

By any standard, Oedipus Rex clearly meets these five criteria. In The Poetics, Aristotle uses Oedipus to illustrate the ideal tragedy. In other words, Oedipus is a man with heroic qualities socially King of Thebesintellectually he is the great solver of riddlesand morally he is determined to find the murderer and end the plague on his peoplewho commits an error of judgment because of his flaws and who then must suffer the consequences of his actions in the result of a catastrophic end.

Oedipus rex as a classical tragedy

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This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. March Learn how and when to remove this template message Painting by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres depicting Oedipus after he solves the riddle of the Sphinx.

Many parts or elements of the myth of Oedipus occur before the opening scene of the play, although some are alluded to in the text. Oedipus is the son of Laius and Jocastathe king and queen of Thebes. The misfortunes of his house are the result of a curse laid upon his father for violating the sacred laws of hospitality.

Oedipus rex as a classical tragedy

Laius seduced or abducted and raped Chrysippus, who according to some versions, killed himself in shame. When his son is born, the king consults an oracle as to his fortune. To his horror, the oracle reveals that Laius "is doomed to perish by the hand of his own son". Unable to kill her own son, Jocasta orders a servant to slay the infant for her.

The servant then exposes the infant on a mountaintop, where he is found and rescued by a shepherd in some versions, the servant gives the infant to the shepherd.

Oedipus Rex - Wikipedia

The shepherd names the child Oedipus"swollen feet", as his feet had been tightly bound by Laius. The shepherd brings the infant to Corinthand presents him to the childless king Polybuswho raises Oedipus as his own son. As he grows to manhood, Oedipus hears a rumour that he is not truly the son of Polybus and his wife, Merope.

He asks the Delphic Oracle who his parents really are. Desperate to avoid this terrible fate, Oedipus, who still believes that Polybus and Merope are his true parents, leaves Corinth for the city of Thebes.

On the road to Thebes, Oedipus encounters Laius and his retainers, and the two quarrel over whose chariot has the right of way.

The Theban king moves to strike the insolent youth with his sceptre, but Oedipus, unaware that Laius is his true father, throws the old man down from his chariot, killing him.

Thus, Laius is slain by his own son, and the prophecy that the king had sought to avoid by exposing Oedipus at birth is fulfilled. Before arriving at Thebes, Oedipus encounters the Sphinxa legendary beast with the head and breast of a woman, the body of a lioness, and the wings of an eagle. The Sphinx was sent to the road approaching Thebes as a punishment from the gods, and would strangle any traveler who failed to answer a certain riddle.

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The precise riddle asked by the Sphinx varied in early traditions, and is not stated in Oedipus Rex, as the event precedes the play; but the most widely-known version is, "what is the creature that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three in the evening?

Bested by the prince, the Sphinx throws herself from a cliff, thereby ending the curse. Plot[ edit ] P. Oedipus, King of Thebes, sends his brother-in-law, Creon, to ask advice of the oracle at Delphiconcerning a plague ravaging Thebes.

Creon returns to report that the plague is the result of religious pollution, since the murderer of their former king, Laiushas never been caught. Oedipus vows to find the murderer and curses him for causing the plague.

Oedipus summons the blind prophet Tiresias for help.

How is 'Oedipus Rex' a classical tragedy

Outraged, Tiresias tells the king that Oedipus himself is the murderer "You yourself are the criminal you seek". Oedipus cannot see how this could be, and concludes that the prophet must have been paid off by Creon in an attempt to undermine him.

Eventually Tiresias leaves, muttering darkly that when the murderer is discovered he shall be a native citizen of Thebes, brother and father to his own children, and son and husband to his own mother. The King demands that Creon be executed; however, the chorus persuades him to let Creon live.

Jocasta enters and attempts to comfort Oedipus, telling him he should take no notice of prophets. As proof, she recounts an incident in which she and Laius received an oracle which never came true.

The prophecy stated that Laius would be killed by his own son; however, Jocasta reassures Oedipus by her statement that Laius was killed by bandits at a crossroads on the way to Delphi. The mention of this crossroads causes Oedipus to pause and ask for more details. Oedipus then sends for the one surviving witness of the attack to be brought to the palace from the fields where he now works as a shepherd.

Jocasta, confused, asks Oedipus what the matter is, and he tells her.“Oedipus the King” (Gr: “Oidipous Tyrannos”; Lat: “Oedipus Rex”) is a tragedy by the ancient Greek playwright Sophocles, first performed in about BCE.

It was the second of Sophocles' three Theban plays to be produced, but it comes first in the internal chronology (followed by “Oedipus at Colonus” and then “Antigone”). Oedipus Rex meets all of these requirements fully.

In Poetics, Aristotle writes, "Tragedy is an imitation of an action in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament in the form of action, not narrative." Sophocles wrote Oedipus Rex as a play, in the form of action and not narrative.

A Greek drama by Sophocles, Oedipus Rex, was praised in the Poetics of Aristotle as the model for classical tragedy and is still considered a principal example of the genre.

In this essay I will analyze Oedipus Rex using Aristotle's concepts praxis, poiesis, theoria. Oedipus Rex is considered by many to be the perfect tragedy and as the model for all tragedies.

Perhaps the strongest reason this story is lasting is the idea that tragic events happen if you don. Oedipus, a tragic hero Sophocles's Oedipus Rex is probably the most famous tragedy ever written.

Sophocles's tragedy represents a monumental theatrical and interpretative challenge.

Oedipus rex as a classical tragedy

Scholarship on the performance and adaptation of Greek tragedy in the United States has begun to appear in the International Journal of the Classical Tradition, Classical and Modern Literature, Arion, the electronic journal Didaskalia, and a range of theater.

Sophocles' Oedipus Rex as Modern Tragedy Essay Example | Graduateway