Sophocles Oedipus The King

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Oedipus Rex is a Greek tragedy written by Sophocles, one of three classical Athens’ great tragic playwrights. Oedipus the King features a boy who was born into nobility and cursed to kill his biological father and marry his mother. The curse was placed on King Laius who had done an unforgivable sin to the son of King Pelops who reigned over Pisa. An oracle warns King Laius of Thebes that his wife, Jocasta, will bear a son who will one day kill him and bear children with his own biological mother. As Jocasta gives birth to the boy, Laius acts to defeat the oracle's prophecy. Laius drives a spike through the child's feet, hence the name Oedipus (means swollen foot), and then orders a shepherd to take the child to Mount Cithaeron and kill him. …show more content…
Oedipus was born into nobility and is raised as the prince of Corinth by King Polybus and Queen Merope. However when he flees from Corinth, he is considered as an outsider of no status. When Oedipus manages to solve the Sphinx's riddle correctly and lift the plague from Thebes, he is offered the throne of Thebes. The beginning of the play and scene opens with Oedipus praising himself before the people of Thebes. "Here I am myself—you all know me, the world knows my fame: I am Oedipus,” (p. 159, line 7-9). Oedipus' hubris shows at the beginning of the play when he announces and boast about his fame before the people of Thebes. A few lines afterward, the people of Thebes beg King Oedipus to lend his strength in curing the second plague that has spread among Thebes. “Oh, Oedipus, king of the land, our greatest power! You see us before you now, men of all ages clinging to your altars," (p. 160, line 16-18). The priest has spoken on the behalf of the people of Thebes and begs him to aid them through the second plague that has struck. Sophocles portrays how Oedipus was once abandoned but now gained the stature of a person who is higher than those of normal beings. As Oedipus is fed with praise after praise, his hubris continues to expand, becoming the main reason for his tragic …show more content…
Although short-lived, Oedipus was able to gain his stature through his own intelligence and morality. Oedipus also went through tragic flaws that eventually lead to his downfall and his catharsis. Oedipus eventually fulfills the oracle's prophecy of former King Laius as well as his own resulting in his catharsis and being exiled from the land of

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