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Literary Analysis - Essay Example

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The Greek play Oedipus the King by Sophocles is a close study of the psychological perspective of the protagonist Oedipus and the mythical elements related to the collective psyche of his times. The tragic element of the play belongs to the classical tradition. The mythical…
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Literary Analysis
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Download file to see previous pages The transformation of Oedipus from a quester to sinner in the play can be seen as a dramatic device to reveal the tragic flaw, hamartia, of the protagonist. From a man who was in search of his true identity, Oedipus ends up being the King of Thebes where he remains unaware of the very horrors present in his life, from which he was trying to run away. Even though it can be argued that the sins committed by Oedipus can be the outcome of his ignorance, the years he spent in Thebes without any effort to find out the people whom he came across in the life he chose shows the extent to which he was blinded by power. In fact, the moment he became the king of Thebes distanced him from his search for identity.
Tiresius’s accusations from the perspective of Apollonian reasoning and piety explore the irrational and irresponsible actions of Oedipus which were once considered heroic. When insulted by Oedipus for his blindness and alleged inability to foresee the future of Thebes, Tiresius retorts:
Oedipus can be seen as belonging to that aspect of Greek culture which operated on the pragmatic aspects of life which included action at the expense of introspection though the element of piety was a major element in their day-to-day existence. In a broad analysis, it is possible to analyze Oedipus as a Dionysian representation in Greek terms, exhibiting sudden action, excesses, violence, ruthlessness, and so on. The Apollonian representations, on the contrary would depict contemplative action with due emphasis on intelligence over impulse. Terry Eagleton, in his Holy Terror (2005) observes how in Sophocles’s Oedipus at Colonus, Oedipus “is transformed into a tutelary deity, protecting the citizens of Athens from assault” (15) and states that the Dionysian impulse for violence is normally a reaction to “lack of piety” (Eagleton, 16). In Oedipus the King, the question of morality is not strictly the concern of its ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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