Analysis Of Oedipus Rex

Oedipus Rex Discussion Questions
1) How does Oedipus treat those who are reluctant to obey him throughout the play? What does this tell you about Oedipus’ character?
In the beginning of the play Oedipus speaks as a strong king ruling his people. He waves his hands over the people as a kind ruler over his servants. But suspicion builds very quickly when he is shows anger with anyone who questions him or speaks up in disagreement. Oedipus makes the inner fear and hesitation that is within him very clear with his open hands held up and his leaning backwards and holding his mouth open. He is very reluctant to hear what he does not already agree with and he gets defensive. There is something he is trying to hide or is very worried about. One example
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An example early in the play that sets up the tension is when Oedipus promises the people that he will hunt for the killer as if he was hunting for the murderer of his own father. He does not realize that Laius was his own father. Key words are used by the chorus that give clues to the audience but Oedipus does not seem to hear them. The tension is known to the audience but he has not discovered it yet. When he says that the killer of the king will be killed the tension builds more as the audience is thinking about what he will do when he realizes he is the killer. Sophocles also builds tension with the symbolism of darkness. The blind seer Tiresias knows and sees what Oedipus does not. The seer is physically blind but he can see the future that is coming because of the blindness that Oedipus has within himself. He is blind because he cannot understand how what he is doing right now is shaping the future. Darkness symbolizes the weakness within the fearful king. Tiresias told Oedipus “you, with both your eyes are blind.” Then at the end Oedipus blinds himself physically but he had already been that way in his thoughts and emotional …show more content…
The twist of the play is that he was so set on avoiding his fate and his reacting to the horrible words caused him to run right towards it. He was set on changing what the Greeks believed was almost impossible to avoid. By trying so hard to make this not happen, he becomes a victim of fate. He prays to Apollo but no help from the gods came. If he had stayed with his adopted parents he would not have created the even larger mess that he does for the queen and the people of Thebes. He also would not have been on the road to commit the murder of Laius. He cannot accept the supernatural words of the oracle that tell him he will commit incest with his mother and murder his father. His wish to protect the parents he loved pushes him so hard that he uses and pushes others. Seeing the play and seeing the love expressed by Jocasta and Oedipus to each other, the audience sees the horrible truth underneath the relationship. Both are blind to their involvement in incest. Even in his best attempt to do what was good he falls blindly into doing the very things he never wanted to do. The gods did not appear to warn Oedipus because his horrible fate was

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