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An Ancient Tragedy Oedipus King - Essay Example

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Name: Institution: Lecturer: Date: “Oedipus king,” is an ancient tragedy, which was first acted during the 429 BCE. It is a tragic play, which was written by Sophocles. It is Athenian by origin, and the second production of Sophocles’ Theban works. This is a play, whose glory in the field of literature, has not faded despite the passage of time…
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An Ancient Tragedy Oedipus King

Download file to see previous pages... This is because; it utilizes the universal literary devices in a very effective manner. As will discuss, in this paper. The play is about a young boy, and his parents. The boy’s name is Oedipus. He was the son of a king (Laius). The king finds an oracle, which was predicting the fate of his son. The oracle was foretelling that the king’s life would be taken away by his own son, who would then take over his wife. The son’s sole intention of killing his father was to marry his own mother; due to this, when Oedipus was born, the king tied his legs and discarded him on a mountain, with a hope that nature would take over the role of eliminating him from the world. This was a strategic manner, of preventing the oracle’s prophecy from taking place. Unfortunately, the young boy did not die. He was saved by a shepherd and landed on another king’s palace (King Polybus). Polybus was the king of Corinth. When the shepherd handed him Oedipus, the king took him in whole heartedly, as he did not have a son of his own. Oedipus grew up believing that Polybus was his real father. However, as time passed, Oedipus began questioning his parentage. He decided to consult with Delphic god and heard some word leading him to Laius. He fled from his foster father’s house. During his flee; he unwillingly murdered his real father. Coincidentally, when he went to Thebes, he answered a riddle correctly. This earned him a ticket to the bereaved king’s house. He took over the kingship and married the king’s wife. They were very successful in life and bore children. However, there came a great calamity in the town. On consulting the oracle, it was realized that he there was blood guiltiness. Oedipus denounced the crime, as he was not aware of it. He puts his foot forward to track the person responsible for the crime. Gradually, the play reveals that Oedipus is the man responsible for his own father’s death. One of the major themes of this play is the theme of fate. To begin with, the oracle to Laius states clearly Laius’ fate; “ he would demise a victim, at his son’s hands.” (711-714). In addition, Oedipus says “I was destined to sleep with my mother…I was fated to take the life of my father” (791-793). Both oracles show that fate was the determinants of the main characters life, and so they could do nothing about it. The theme of fate and fortune recurs in many parts of the play. For instance, fortune made it possible for Oedipus life to be saved from the mountains. Fate made Oedipus start questioning his parentage and made him flee away from his foster father’s house. The killing of his real father was an act of fate. The manner in which Oedipus came to sleep with his own mother can only be explained by fate. It is also fate that led Oedipus, to his real father’s kingdom. Most incidences in the play are beyond human understanding and can only be explained as destiny. Fate is a common theme amongst many Greek writings. The writer of this play was not an exception and utilized this theme perfectly. This theme helps explain things that are beyond human understanding, and hence is considered as a very strong literature device. Another theme of the play is that of freewill. The play reflects that human’s freewill has its own limit. As much as human beings have a desire for things to go according to their own wish, it is not always possible to accomplish this. For ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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