Oedipus Rex Themes

1239 Words 5 Pages
Jennifer Liu
Ms. Toerien
IB English HL
August 16, 2015

1) Write a summary of the main events of the play.
Oepidus was aware that a curse was placed on Thebes. The city was blighted by disease and countless of citizens were dying. The curse would only be lifted when the murderer of the former king, Laius, was punished. Oepidus sent Creon, his brother-in-law, to ask for advice from the god Apollo through an oracle. Oepidus started to look for answers to Laius’ murder. Numerous ways were used, such as questioning citizens who were reluctant to give any information. He also asked a elderly blind prophet named Teiresias. She told Oepidus that he was the one responsible for Laius’ death. Oepidus went to his wife for more answers. His wife, Jocasta,
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I think the main themes of the play are free will, determination, knowledge, memory and the past.
In Oedipus Rex, free will and determination plays a huge part as one of the themes. Oedipus was determined to find out who he truly was. What he discovered was the thing that ruined him. He had the choice of choosing to stay naïve or to possess a very unpleasant knowledge of his past, family, and background. Oedipus was determined to find out the truth and he freely chose to pursue knowledge and suffered the consequences. The other important theme is knowledge, memory and the past. The thing that ruined Oedipus was the knowledge of who Jocasta was really was. The memory of his real past and family caused his guilt and him gouging out his eyes. By delving too far into one’s past, can damage you. The message the play might be sending is that we should all “live in the
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When both Jocasta and Oedipus found out the truth,

9) Define the term “catharsis.” How would an audience experience “catharsis” by watching Oedipus Rex?

10) What is the role of the Chorus in the play?
The Chorus in many classical Greek acts as a narrator of the play. The Chorus in Oedipus Rex helps foreshadow many events in the play. They try to inform us of the things that might happen to Oedipus before they actually happen. The audience could use the Chorus to “see” beyond the actual things happening in the play and to identify the action happening outside of the play. But when Choruses are used in a visual play, the chorus provide an addition to the action of the play.

11) What does Oedipus mean when he says that he is the “child of Fortune” (1300)? Why is this an example of dramatic irony?
When Oedipus called himself “child of Fortune,” he was being extremely sarcastic. What he has gone through and what he has suffered made him seem more like a “child of misfortune.”

12) Which techniques does Sophocles use to heighten the suspense in the

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