Greek Tragedy about King Oedipus

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Oedipus Rex is a Greek tragedy which tells the tale of King Oedipus, a man who sets out to find King Laius’ killer and ends up finding out more about who he is and what he has done.

He finds that all along it was he who had killed King Laius, who turns out to be his real father, as well as finding out that his wife Jocasta, is actually his mother. Upon this realization, he witnesses Jocasta committing suicide, and him being unable to bear the pain of what has just happened, gouges his own eyes out.

The text states “I do not know how I could bear the sight Of my father, when I came to the house of Death, Or of my mother: for I have sinned against them both…” (73). This shows that Oedipus realizes the extent of what he has done and how he cannot bear to be alive now that he knows who he is. He would rather accept death but even that too is not enough of a punishment, he believes, for what he has committed.

He then comes to the conclusion that he must leave to preserve any dignity his daughters have left. He states “ Your father killed His father ; sowed the womb of her who bore him … “ showing that he has come to fully realize who he is and the effects this will have not only on him but his children as well (78). He then leaves Thebes, the man who was once a king runs away from his his home as a shamed man.

In the case of Oedipus, suffering represents a type of clarity, although it is not one he wants, he needed to suffer and continues to suffer in order to know who he truly is. He had to kill his own father and watch his own mother commit suicide to learn who they really were.

For Oedipus the only truth in his life was received through suffering and therefore to the Greek suffering is viewed as a gateway to knowing oneself because pain is what allows us to look at ourselves more closely and this is what happened in the case of Oedipus.


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Greek Tragedy about King Oedipus. (2020, Sep 24). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/greek-tragedy-about-king-oedipus/



Is Oedipus a Greek tragedy?
Yes, Oedipus is a Greek tragedy written by Sophocles in the 5th century BCE. It is one of the most famous tragedies in Greek literature and explores themes of fate, free will, and the consequences of actions.
What is the summary of Oedipus Rex story?
Oedipus Rex, also known by its Greek title, Oedipus Tyrannus, is an Athenian tragedy by Sophocles that was first performed around 429 BCE. The play was later revised by Sophocles(c.425 BCE) and retitled Oedipus at Colonus. It is the second of the three Theban plays chronologically, but was written first.
What makes Oedipus the King a Greek tragedy?
Oedipus the King is a Greek tragedy because it tells the story of a man who falls from a great height and suffers a terrible fate. The play is full of suspense and tragedy, and the ending is both unexpected and sad.
Why is the story of Oedipus family a tragedy?
Oedipus' story is very ironic and tragic, readers have sympathy and pity for him even with his flaws. Through it all Oedipus is a perfect example of a tragic hero, he went against all odds and the Gods to try and avoid the prophecy from coming true even though, it backfired on him and his past caught up to him .
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