Oedipus remains in the dark. Do you agree?
This question asks you to consider the importance of dark and light, and therefore perhaps also sight, in the play. Think metaphorically (i.e. 'in the dark' - unknowing) but also literally (Oedipus' blinding at the end of the play).
Oedipus is old before his time. Do you agree?
This question asks you to consider question of youth and age in Oedipus - though the action of the play happens in a single day, how might Oedipus be considered old? You might also want to think about fathers and children and the impact generation has on age.
This play happens backward. Do you agree?
This question asks you to consider the structure of the play. Look at the section on 'Myth' and consider the way Sophocles alters the story to turn it into a drama. What does Oedipus know at the start of the play? What does he know at the end? What events actually occur during the play - or have all the events happened before it begins?
How might a consideration of the conditions of Greek theatrical performance impact upon our understanding of Oedipus Rex?
This question asks you to consider the importance of the Greek theatrical conventions (particularly masks) that would have originally been employed when Oedipus was performed. Think practically - there were no electric lights, no recorded music, and perhaps even no props. How might this change your interpretation of the play? (See 'About Greek Theater' for more information).
Is Oedipus Rex a private or a public play?
This question asks you to consider the relationship between public and private (or between oikos/polis) in the play. What is the outcome for Thebes? What is the outcome for Oedipus? Is Oedipus to be considered as a father/son/brother or simply as the king of Thebes?
Might Oedipus be more than one man?
This question asks you to consider the play's central inconsistency as potentially one of its themes. The Thebans have heard that Laius was killed by more than one man; in fact, Oedipus alone committed the murder. Think of Oedipus' various roles in the play - king/brother/father/son - and consider whether the conflict of the play might be a conflict between the one and the many.
Do you agree that Oedipus' tragedy happens because of a 'tragic flaw'?
This question asks you to consider that Oedipus' tragedy happens because of a tragic flaw - an opinion that many critics would strongly disagree with. Why do the events of the play happen? Whose fault is it - if anyone's? See Oedipus and Aristotle for more information about the idea of tragic flaws.
"The old seer had eyes" (Oedipus the King, 748). Discuss ideas of sight and blindness in the play.
As well as thinking literally about blindness in Oedipus (Teiresias, in particular) consider the relationship between knowledge and sight. Does Oedipus have any insight into things - can he, perhaps, see better without his eyes?
"I stumbled when I saw" (Gloucester, in Shakespeare's King Lear). Compare Oedipus Rex to any other play of your choice.
This question invites you to compare Oedipus to any other play. You might want to think about themes, about characters, or what you consider to be the ultimate lesson of the play - just remember to keep comparing: write about both plays at once, not one and then the other. See Useful Comparison Points for some good ideas.
How does Oedipus come to embody the riddle of the Sphinx?
This question requires you to make a connection between the Sphinx riddle's answer - 'man' - and Oedipus' fate. Oedipus, as a consequence of seeking the answer to his kingdom's plague, manages to go through the three stages of the Sphinx's riddle. He is the baby with pierced ankles, crawling on four feet to escape a messenger who would kill him. Then he is the proud adult, king of Thebes, walking on two feet. And finally he is the old, blinded man, walking with a cane, cast out of his own kingdom.
An Intellectual and Emotional Response to Oedipus the King
- :: 1 Works Cited
- Length: 1214 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
An Intellectual and Emotional Response to Oedipus the King
While reading the play Oedipus the King, my response to the work became more and more clear as the play continued. When I finished the play, my reaction to the work and to two particular characters was startling and very different from my response while I was still reading. My initial response was to the text, and it was mostly an intellectual one. I felt cheated by the play because the challenge of solving the mystery of the plot was spoiled for me by the obvious clues laid out in the work. My second response was not as intellectual; instead, it came more from a feeling that the play evoked in me. I felt a strong disappointment in the drastic actions that Oedipus and Jocasta took at the end of the play. My two different responses to Oedipus the King, one intellectual and one not, now seem to feed off and to amplify each other as if they were one collective response.
The play's plot, in a nutshell, develops like this. After solving the riddle of the Sphynx, who had kept Thebes under a curse of some kind, Oedipus is invited to become king of the city. He marries Jocasta, the widow of the previous king, and they have two children. When the play begins, Thebes is again under some sort of curse, and Oedipus tries to find out its cause so that he can rescue the city. He is told that the cause of the curse is that the murderer of the previous king is still in the city and has gone unpunished. In the process of searching for the murderer, Oedipus discovers that it is he, himself, who is responsible and that he is actually the son of Jocasta and her previous husband. Horrified by his sins of incest and murder, Oedipus claws out his eyes. Jocasta commits suicide because she is so disgraced.
My disappointment in the lack of mystery in the plot of the play was evoked by the continual clues appearing throughout the play. For example, in Oedipus's first speech to the people of Thebes, he condemns the murderer of the previous king, stating that "he will suffer no unbearable punishment, nothing worse than exile" (261-62). This is the first of a multitude of clues about the outcome of the play.
How to Cite this Page
| The Overwhelming Emotional States of Hamlet in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay - The Overwhelming Emotional States of Hamlet in Shakespeare's Hamlet Depression, melancholy, disillusionment, and disconnectedness are the burning emotions churning in young Hamlet?s soul as he attempts to come to terms with his father?s death and his mother?s incestuous, illicit marriage. While Hamlet tries to pick up the pieces of his shattered idealism, he consciously embarks on a quest to seek the truth hidden in Elsinore; this mission of Hamlet?s is in stark contrast to Claudius. fervent effort to obscure the truth of King Hamlet?s murder.... [tags: Papers Hamlet Shakespeare Essays]|
:: 6 Works Cited
|Letter from Birmingham Jail, by Martin Luther King Jr. Essays - Is it not ironic that Martin Luther King Jr. s, “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, which testifies to his struggle for Civil Rights; not only contradicts the time Martin Luther King wrote it in, but also echoes the same sentiments of today’s moral causes and laws. . Dr. King (&*) then known as Baptist minister Martin Luther King Jr. wrote the Letter to Birmingham in response to his fellow clergymen’s criticisms of him being locked up for his actions in Birmingham’s Civil Rights protest. The letter’s emotional appeal of pathos and uprightness are apparent as Dr.... [tags: Analysis, His Struggle]||945 words|
| A Person's Emotional Response to Food Essay examples - Since the beginning of time, food has been a necessity of life. Eventually, it became a pleasurable necessity of life as the Romans would throw private parties where they would entertain a small group of guests and serve a feast full of Roman delicacies. Since then food has become an emotional aspect of our lives. Certain foods, such as cakes and cookies, might create a pleasurable experience for an individual, while other foods, such as vegetables and seafood, might create an unpleasant experience for them.... [tags: behavioral science research]|
:: 3 Works Cited
|Audience's Emotional Response in The Triumph Of The Will, Cabaret, Schindler’s List and The Lion King - Audience's Emotional Response in The Triumph Of The Will, Cabaret, Schindler’s List and The Lion King Why are people still so fascinated and emotionally enthralled by the Nazis. I think it is because of the “horror factor” which is similar to scary films. You ask yourself how a human can do such things as the Nazis did and the same question is asked in psychological horror films.... [tags: Papers]||1164 words|
|Music Has a Profound Effect on the Emotional, Social, Intellectual and Physical Aspects of a Person - THESIS: Music has a profound effect on the emotional, social, intellectual, and physical aspects of a person. Music has a strong tie with human emotion. Different genres of music produce different emotions. The type of music listened to can influence the feelings a person experiences. Music also has the astounding ability to quickly change emotions from one to another. Hearing a happy song could change the emotions of sadness or anger to happiness or peace. There are several different aspects of music that change how a song is interpreted.... [tags: music and the psyche]||804 words|
|Essay on The Emotional vs. Intellectual Growth of Children in "Hard Times" - In Hard Times, Charles Dickens explores the importance of the developments of both intellect and emotions throughout a child’s upbringing. However, to an extent, Dickens emphasizes on the greater importance of emotional growth compared to intellectual growth; such as the much happier and more compassionate human being Sissy is compared to Louisa and Tom, whom have had all ‘fancy’ rooted out of their childhood. Furthermore, although Bitzer may not be unhappy in any way, he still lacks compassion and an understanding of emotions as a result of his education under Gradgrind’s “fact only” system.... [tags: Hard Times, Charles Dickens, children, education, ]||931 words|
| Essay on Emotional Intelligence and Altruistic Tendency - Emotional Intelligence and Altruistic Tendency Using emotional intelligence (EI) to predict altruistic tendencies can be beneficial in creating a more harmonious society. The human capacity for altruistic tendencies, such as empathy and compassion, are part of what makes humans “human”. This is what separates man from beast. “Evolutionary scientists speculate that altruism has such deep roots in human nature because helping and cooperation promote the survival of our species” (Greater Good, 2014, para.... [tags: intelectual skills, social awareness]|
:: 16 Works Cited
| Essay about Cisco vs. Huawei: Intellectual Property - Cisco vs. Huawei: Intellectual Property Introduction On Jan. 23, 2003, Cisco Systems, Inc. announced that it has filed a lawsuit against a Chinese equipment manufacturer, Huawei Technologies, Co., LTD and its subsidiaries, Huawei America, Inc. and FutureWei Technologies, Inc. over Huawei's unlawful copying of Cisco's intellectual property. Cisco is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet with the headquarter located in US. Huawei, based in Shenzhen, China, is China's biggest telecommunications equipment maker, has a wide reach in Asia, and recently entered the U.S.... [tags: Lawsuit Law Intellectual Property Essays]|
:: 12 Works Cited
| Intellectual Property Essay - Intellectual property are the legal rights (control and ownership) of creations, such as ideas; inventions; designs, etc. for the use in commerce (Bainbridge, 2012). Intellectual law in countries seeks to deter individuals or organizations from copying or capitalizing upon another’s work. The main areas protected by protect intellectual property law include: patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secret. Intellectual Property can be categorized under the following: Monopoly Right to prevent copying De Facto Monopoly Contractual Patents Unregistered Trade Marks Trade Secrets Confidential Information Registered Trade Marks Unregistered Designs Know-How Registered Design Copyright... [tags: Intellectual Property Essays]|
:: 7 Works Cited
| Intellectual Property Essay - Intellectual Property Globalization of the economy is helping companies to reduce product costs but is also creating a new set of challenges and issues. Managing intellectual property on a international landscape is tricky and the differences in the approach to patents between China, Europe and U.S. are profound. This paper focus and list some of the issues and differences on Intellectual Property between U.S. and Europe. The differences are analyzed from a business and ethical point of view. The paper end looking at the growing trend of open source.... [tags: Intellectual Property Research Papers]|
:: 8 Works Cited
Emotional Response Intellectual Oedipus Play Oedipus Jocasta Clues Disappointment Widow Riddle Rescue
Perhaps the most obvious of the clues is in a speech by the blind prophet Tiresias who knows the answer to the mystery but who is reluctant to reveal it. His words, "So you mock my blindness? Let me tell you this. You with your precious eyes, you're blind to the corruption of your life" (469-73), were so obvious to me that I lost any chance to figure out the mystery of the play on my own.
As the play neared its end and Oedipus was about to discover the truth about his past, I began to hope that he and Jocasta would somehow dodge their fate and thereby add an interesting twist to a plot that had become pretty boring to me. However, instead of being pleasantly surprised at the ending of the play, I was shocked by the drastic actions of the two characters I had had so much hope for. Oedipus was indeed both the son and husband of Jocasta and the son and murderer of her previous husband. Both Oedipus and Jocasta reacted violently to the revelation of his crimes--he gouged out his eyes and she committed suicide. I was appalled bly the fact that two characters who had seemed noble, wise, and powerful and who were the symbols of good in the play would end up so pitiful.
Throughout the play, Oedipus was treated with the respect of a god; he was called "king of the land, our greatest power" (16) by the people of Thebes. Jocasta was treated with similar respect. When Oedipus accused Creon, Jocasta's brother, of plotting against him and spreading rumors, it was Jocasta who was called upon to settle the dispute of the two most powerful men in the city (770-775). The play's emphasis on the greatness and innocense of Oedipus and Jocasta led me to admire both of them. I was shocked and a little hurt that Sophocles allowed two individuals who had so much going their way to fall so quickly and so hard.
I was really emotionally affected by the downfall of Oedipus and Jocasta. Usually, I'm not very upset reading about a tragic character and his eventual fall, but in this play my response surprised me. Jocasta's suicide really bothered me, and I saw Oedipus's self-banishment as almost a suicide. Suicide has been a very difficult subject for me to understand. The sources of my difficulty and probably the sources of my response to Oedipus and Jocasta are experiences I had with two classmates in the years before I came to college.
In sixth grade I had a friend who seemed to have everything collapse in on him at one time. He and his mother had been abused by his father for several years, and his mother had finally divorced his father. My friend and his mother were left with no money and no place to live. The only thing they had for sure was each other. I developed an admiration for him because he seemed to have conquered his sufferings and survived a difficult time in his life. But just as things were looking looking up for my friend and his mother, he committed suicide, not only taking his own life but also breaking his mother's heart. When I read in the play how Jocasta had killed herself and how Oedipus had gouged his eyes out, I had the same feeling that I had had when I heard of my friend's death. I admired Oedipus and Jocasta like I had admired my friend, but I guess all of them were unable to handle their fate.
Another part of my response to the end of the play comes from my belief in the preciousness of life. I am shocked and hurt that Oedipus and Jocasta chose to harm themselves, and I believe that some of the source of my shock comes from an experience I had during my senior year of high school. On the day of the last game an awful event occurred. We held our last pep rally, and when it was over, the cheerleaders boarded a bus. As the bus was leaving, one of the cheerleaders stuck her head out the window. Her head hit a telephone pole, and she was instantly dead. The sight and especially the sound of her death are still very vivid in my mind. The girl I had talked to just a few minutes before was gone. She had been the most popular girl in school, and someone who seemed to have more life than life itself. I admired my friend for her attitude towards life just as I admired the nobility of Oedipus and Jocasta. But because I saw my friend die, I cannot understand why anyone would choose death over life.
Sophocles. Oedipus the King. Trans. Robert Fagles. The Bedford Introduction to Literature.
4th ed. Ed. Michael Meyer. Boston: St. Martins, 1996. 1120-1161.