Oedipus The King Analysis

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Do you remember the biggest secret a family member or friend of yours has ever told you? Did that information make you think differently about a said person? Knowing something so the shocking can often alter the vision on how we think about someone, usually based on what we have heard of their past or on what we know about them. Out of all the movies produced in all of Hollywood cannot even approach the confusion and subtle hint of just plain ignorance of Oedipus in the play.

Throughout the play of Oedipus The King is continuously plagued by the events of his past that he just never seems to piece together until the very ending of the play. The first instance of Oedipus’s past affecting his future happens before he is even old enough to do anything. I’m talking about when his father, King Laius, and mother, Queen Jocasta consult the Oracle of Delphi and are alarmed to find out their son was doomed to kill his father King Laius and sleep with his wife.

This destined precursor occurs so soon in the drama that it just leads me, the reader, to assume that this is a man who will never be able to escape his trials no matter what he does to try and alter his gloomy future. But nonetheless, the king and queen still try to influence the future by leaving their son Oedipus on a mountain to die. Even this plan goes wrong because a Shepard finds the young baby and brings him to the king and queen of Corinth who raises the boy without him knowing his true family. This is where one may ask themselves how was Oedipus never told about his true parents.

In a malformed scene, Oedipus screams these lines
‘Dark, dark! The horror of darkness, like a shroud,
Wraps me and bears me on through mist and cloud.
Ah me, ah me! What spasms athwart me shoot,
What pangs of agonizing memory?’

After Oedipus blinds himself by piercing his eyes with two of his mother’s brooches when he finds that his mother has killed herself from the humiliation. Oedipus cannot bare the displeasure of what he has done. At this point, Oedipus has realized that he has in fact killed his father and married with his mother. He is unable to cope with the sincerity so he symbolically blinds himself physically after he has been blinded by the truth for so long.

Now, all Oedipus can see is ‘darkness, like a shroud” realizing what he’s done, Oedipus is tormented by his memories. Oedipus displays a sense of release by expressing his downfall of horror. Oedipus’s act of blinding himself his insensible decision to dismiss Teiresias’s deep knowledge of his past, by purposefully overlooking his message and the signs.

When Oedipus is officially exposed to the truth, he is overcome with shame, grief, and remorse. Once Oedipus realizes that he was not able to avoid the prophecy and is responsible for the plague, he is disgusted with himself. Oedipus blinding himself reflects his emotional pain and reveals that he has taken responsibility for his actions. Oedipus acknowledges that his hubris has left him blind to the truth and is too ashamed of himself to witness the citizens’ reactions. Overall, Oedipus chooses to stab out his eyes as a way of punishing himself for his arrogance and ignorance.

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Oedipus The King Analysis. (2021, Feb 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/oedipus-the-king-analysis/



What are the three themes from Oedipus the King?
The three themes from Oedipus the King are fate versus free will, the consequences of pride and arrogance, and the power of knowledge and truth. These themes are intertwined and contribute to the tragic outcome of the play.
What is the message behind Oedipus the King?
The message behind Oedipus the King is that fate is stronger than free will. Oedipus is a victim of his own actions, but he is also a victim of the prophecy that was made about him.
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