Analysis of Oedipus the King
Components of Oedipus the King’s Inner Character “Oedipus the Rex,” or Oedipus the King, is renowned by some to be the “par of excellence” for Greek disaster (Brunner, 1). The 2nd produced of the 3 Theban plays by Sophocles, “Oedipus Rex” shows a variety of character qualities of the king that may not have been shown without the severe circumstances he underwent. What components of his character are exposed through the course of the play?
There are distinct aspects, positive and unfavorable, that are exposed in Oedipus’ character from occasions prior to the play’s start, during the play’s advancement, and after Oedipus understands for sure that he is the boy of Jocasta and Laius. History Prior to the Play’s Opening Scene There is much of the story of Oedipus that occurs prior to the play has actually ever started. Oedipus, the protagonist, was born to King Laius and Queen Jocasta of Thebes. When an oracle told the king that “he should die by a kid’s hands, whom he must have by me(Jocasta the Queen) Laius had his kids ankles “pinned” and “cast him out” (28 ).
The boy was given to a servant with orders to kill him. The servant unwilling to eliminate the child deserted him in the mountains of “Cithaeron’s wooded dells”( 39 ). A Sheppard discovered the boy, who didn’t have enough cash to raise him, and called him, Oedipus that implies “swollen foot” (Brunner, 1). The Sheppard then provided Oedipus to a guy from Corinth who in turn provided the child to the unproductive King Polybus of Corinth. Oedipus was raised to be a king in Polybus’ family. When a drunk called Oedipus a “changeling” he went and asked Polybus if he truly wasn’t his boy (30 ).
The king “took the scandal grievously” but Oedipus still needed to know for sure so he consulted an oracle (30 ). That was a fantastic quality of Oedipus; he constantly needed to understand for sure. He needed to know the fact. The oracle told him that he “must wed [his] mother and produce a race excruciating for guys to see, and be [his] natural dad’s murderer” (31 ). In order to not kill his moms and dads Oedipus fled Corinth. I believe that Oedipus left so there was no chance, in his mind, of the prophecy coming to life or for his dad to hear the prophecy and having him killed.
A prime flaw in Oedipus’ character was his anger. He was set to rage easily. He was a proud kid of a king so he felt warranted in whatever that he did whether it was best or wrong. Along the roadway to Thebes, Oedipus run into King Laius and they argue about who ought to have the right-of-way. King Laius “thrust” upon Oedipus, he ended up being “angered” and he did “kill them all” (31 ). Oedipus’ pride led him to satisfy that part of the oracle’s prediction. His pride drives him to his ultimate down fall. Oedipus was a smart man. He had a knack for fixing riddles.
A sphinx was controlling Thebes with a curse and no one might rid the city of her. Oedipus confident in his abilities approached the sphinx. The sphinx gave Oedipus a riddle to resolve: “What is the animal that walks on 4 legs in the early morning, two legs at twelve noon, and 3 legs at night” (Brunner, 1)? Oedipus answered properly by saying it was guy. The sphinx was troubled that her riddle had been resolved and tossed herself off the side of the wall breaking her curse over the city. His benefit free of charge the city was to be wed to the newly widowed queen, Jocasta, who was his real mom.
This fulfilled the rest of the oracle’s prophecy (Brunner, 1). This need to have pleased Oedipus significantly. He was raised to be a king but he deserted a sure kingdom since of the oracles prophecy. He should have feared he would never be a king. Maybe the reward for eliminating the sphinx and being crowned king was well known. If it were that would probably have actually been Oedipus’ inspiration for challenging the sphinx. To the very best of my knowledge if Oedipus had actually gotten the riddle incorrect the sphinx would have killed him. Oedipus had a rough start but appeared predestined to be a king.
He had qualities of a king like being intelligent, demanding and seeking the truth, and doing things that he would not have typically done had it not been for the best interest of his household and himself. He also had characteristics of his personality that might have been bridled and would have conserved him lots of challenges. He was really happy and quickly angered. These are 2 qualities that any king will suffer in spite of. Oedipus’ Prior to Play Qualities Exposed Positive: Had to know the reality of things Had love for his moms and dads and didn’t wish to injure them
He was intelligent Negative: Easily enraged Pride Oedipus’ Character During the Play’s Development At some point after Oedipus is king– perhaps years after, “Long seasons might be numbered, long gone by”( 23) since Lauis was king, there is an illness that pesters Thebes. King Oedipus tries to console the people by feeling sorry for them. Empathy was not a strong characteristic Oedipus had. His speech appears rather condescending as if he were stating I do not have the afflict but I experience it even worse than you because I need to hear you grumble about all of it the time.
To his credit at least he tried to be understanding. He says “You are all ill, I know it; and in your sickness there is not one of you so sick as I.” (5) As a king he must attempt to comprehend his people however he does it in such an uncomfortable way. While he pities his people he likewise pities himself. “For in your case his own particular pain concerns each singly; but my heart simultaneously groans for the city, and for myself …”(pg. 5) I believe that the only reason that he pitied the people of Thebes was for his own advantage, to keep control.
Had he overlooked them they might have risen up versus him or not followed his word. Quickly Oedipus learns that the afflict is supposedly a direct result of the male that killed Lauis, the previous king, was not put to justice. To end the afflict Oedipus swears, superciliously, that he will put the man to justice. “So shall you see me, since right, with you, venging this country and the God together. Why,’t is not for my neighbors’ sake, however mine, I shall dispel this plague-spot”( 8 ). This is yet another example of Oedipus doing things for himself rather the good of others.
Oedipus has a seer, Tiresius, come and recognize to him who the male that is responsible for the plague and Laius’ death is. In the beginning, Tiresius is resistant to inform Oedipus. Oedipus is extremely undesirable when he doesn’t get his method. He starts to act rash like a child throwing a fit due to the fact that they didn’t get what they wanted. Oedipus then begins to accuse the seer of killing Laius or a minimum of being in league with the murder. Instantly after that he then accuses his brother-in-law of being the designer of the murder. Oedipus is a rash individual.
He does not manage this circumstance well at all. Tiresius lastly says “I say that you are Laius’ murder– he whom you look for”( 16 ). At this Oedipus once again becomes furious and threatens Tiresius’ life. This is Oedipus’ favorite way of handling individuals when they are contrary to him; just threaten their life up until he gets what he wants. A senator steps in and Oedipus, still outraged, sends the seer away. Not long after this Creon hears of the accusation of Oedipus versus him and faces Oedipus. Oedipus concludes his concepts really just and in a rash manner with Creon.
Oedipus act in this way due to the fact that he is incredibly conceited and he protrudes the idea that anybody who thinks contrary to his belief is wrong and must have no argument with him. He states, “Why that unless he [Tiresius] had actually conspired with you he never ever would have stated that Laius’ murder was of my doing”( 23 ). Creon competes with Oedipus until Oedipus breaks down to his favorite approach of intimidation, threatening a person’s life. He said, “Your death I function, not your banishment”( 25 ). Then Jocasta enters the room to diffuse the situation.
The senator persuades Oedipus to let Creon go without a charge. Oedipus understands that he is wrong otherwise he would not have let Creon go, although he would never admit it. He dismisses that concept by acting as if dismissing Creon was his idea. Jocasta and Oedipus start to speak about what took place. Oedipus informs her about the seer stating his regret and in an effort to put his mind at ease she tells him to, “take thou no hearken”( 28 ). She tells him about a time, in her mind, that a seer was wrong. This was the prediction that her kid would kill Lauis so they “cast him out”( 28 ).
As she was saying this she pointed out where Laius was killed, where the 3 roads fulfilled. Oedipus realizing that he killed males there began asking numerous concerns to learn the truth. Jocasta informs him about the servant who saw the event which it took place just before Oedipus ended up being king. Oedipus ask for that servant to come and inform him the occasion from his own mouth but Oedipus already understands that he is guilty deep down. He states, “With embraces of the arms whereby he [Laius] perished, I pollute my victim’s bed! Am I not vile! Am I not all dirty”(31&& 32)?
With a slim hope that the man who experienced the occasion would clear his name by stating it was numerous guys who killed Lauis and not just one Oedipus had Jocasta send for the servant. A messenger originates from Corinth and tells Jocasta that Polybus, the king of Corinth and Oedipus’ non-biological dad, has died of natural causes. Jocasta informs Oedipus and he ended up being anxious, not that his daddy is dead, however that he would end up being sexually involved with his mom. He didn’t even require time to mourn his daddy. This is just another display of how consumed Oedipus is with himself.
What kind of individual is happy when their daddy passes away and doesn’t even mourn them after leaving a kingdom of inheritance to secure them? Oedipus is so overcome with his concern for himself that his instant feeling was not grief for his father however fret that he may end up sleeping with his mother. The messenger over hears this and tells Oedipus that he is not born of Polybus. He then informs him of how Oedipus was discovered by a Sheppard and offered to him who then offered him to the king. Jocasta then tries to encourage Oedipus to not look for anymore responses about his parentage since she knows that he is her boy.
Oedipus being really persistent states. “I will not be reluctant, low though it be, to trace the source of me. However she, possibly, being, as a female, proud, of my unsuited extraction repents”(40&& 41). Then the old servant of Laius, Jocasta sent out for, arrived. The messenger stated that this was the old Sheppard that gave the infant to him long ago. The old Sheppard rejected this initially and then Oedipus had his servant “twist his hands behind him”( 43 ). Oedipus was susceptible to violence if he didn’t get what he desired. The man was still reluctant and Oedipus once again used his method of threatening to eliminate him if he didn’t talk.
He stated, “You are a dead male, if I speak again”( 43 ). At this moment I believe that Oedipus was more than a little rash with all that had actually happened to him and I believe that he would have eliminated the old male had he not gotten what he wanted where before he may have just said it to frighten them to do what he wanted. The old male says that Oedipus was Laius’ kid and that Jocasta was the one who offered him the kid to deal with. Oedipus then has a spout of self-pity. His character is really vulnerable to self-pity.
The immediate that he does not get what he desires he starts his self-pity and anger. He said, “O light, this be the last time I shall look upon thee, who am exposed to have actually been born of those of whom I ought not– to have wedded whom I ought not– and slain whom I might not kill”( 44 ). So far in the play Oedipus reveals more of his bad qualities than he does his good qualities; nevertheless, I think that he is built up of more negative qualities than positive ones. He was taken into many hard situations that would attempt anybody’s character and possibly highlight the worst in him or her.
These are the attributes that Oedipus exposed in this course of the play. Throughout Development Qualities Exposed Favorable: Willing to attempt empathy with his people Consistent Respects his better half Negative: Has a great deal of self-pity Exceptionally self-centered Rash in his decision-making process Makes false allegations to support his rash choices A little paranoid of betrayal Wants to act with no proof without thinking of consequences Does not feel grief for others (when his dad passed away) Prone to violence Attributes of Oedipus After He Understands The Truth
As soon as Oedipus found out that he had actually fulfilled the prophecy of the Delphic oracle he was gotten rid of with sorrow. He entered into his typical pity party accompanied with a side of anger. A messenger associated the story that “He went raving all about, beseeching us to provide him a sword and say where he might discover his partner”( 47 ). It is unclear if he wished to use the sword to kill himself in front of his spouse or eliminate her. My guess is that he was looking to injure Jocasta in his rage. That would be a reasonable conclusion evaluating the way he has actually handled anybody who had did him incorrect in his eyes.
After yelling aloud and breaking her doors “Out of their sockets”( 47) he saw that Jocasta had hung herself “In a twined noose”( 47) in her chambers. When he saw her hanging there he “With a groan loose [d] the halter”( 47) and put Jocasta’s body on the ground. The groan he gave out could have been brought on by a minimum of 2 things. First, the scary of seeing his wife/mother hanging from the ceiling was probably the main factor. Second, I think that Oedipus was searching for Jocasta to kill her with the sword he was requesting for from his servants and when he saw that she was currently dead he was pained.
I think that from Oedipus’ track record of anger and rash decisions, thus far, he was trying to, in an ill twisted way, right the wrong that he perceived his mom doing to him– having him taken as a child to be killed– by killing her. When he was unable to do so due to the fact that Jocasta had actually eliminated herself he wept out in scary and self-pity once again. After Oedipus laid his dead wife/mother on the ground he began to chant many times saying, “That they need to see say goodbye to evils like those he had actually sustained or wrought; darkling, thereafter, let them look on types he may not see, and fail to acknowledge the faces he preferred”( 47 ).
Then with the broaches, Jocasta’s “Gown gold pins”( 47 ), Oedipus “Lifted them, and smote the nerves of his own eyeballs”( 47) so that “The blood ran down his face”( 47 ). Oedipus wanted to be presented to “All the Cadmeans”( 48) as his daddy’s slayer and his mom’s unnatural partner so he could, “Cast himself forth of the land, abide say goodbye to at home under the curse of his own cursing”( 48 ). Oedipus then wallows around in self-pity as soon as again, which has actually ended up being the staple or main aspect of his character now that his pride and conceit are gone.
When his senator asks him “What power was it that dealt with thee”( 49) to put out your eyes? Oedipus says, “Apollo, Apollo satisfies, O buddies, my measure of ills”( 49 ). The senator tells Oedipus that Creon is coming and that he ought to now be ruler of Thebes. Oedipus wallows with regret for accusing Creon of killing Laius. Creon comes and talks with Oedipus. Oedipus wants Creon to eradicate him to Cithaeron, where he was expected to die as a child, so he might die there like his parents prepared.
Then something takes place that Oedipus has actually not done up until now in this play, he desires something done for somebody besides himself. He requests that Creon order a burial for his other half Jocasta. Oedipus then again does something that is out of character for him, he starts to think of others rather that simply himself. He demands that his kids “Never can lack the ways to live”( 53 ). Then of his two children he tells Creon to, “Look after them; and let me, above all else, touch them with hands, and weep away my difficulties”( 53 ). Creon has Oedipus’ daughters come and see him. Then Oedipus get out of character gain when he stated to Creon, “best of luck go with thee, and Providence be guardian to thee, much better than to me, in payment for their coming”( 54 ). Oedipus then apologizes for offering his daughter a bad heritage. His pities them and wants that they will one day get wed despite that fact that they will be shunned due to the fact that of their parents actions. Oedipus pleads with Creon to have pity on them due to the fact that they were so young. He then said to his girls, “This be your prayer; in some allowed location that you may breathe; and have your lot in life happier than his, who did engender you”( 55 ).
Oedipus was lastly humbled in the last few pages of the play and seeks the advantage of others rather than his own. He had numerous faults however a minimum of he was able to change for the much better, even if it was for just a little moment, in the end. Attributes After Understanding the Truth Positive: Desired to expose himself as a murder, incestuous, reason for the afflict Began feeling regret Started thinking about others instead of himself Apologetic Negative: Continued to indulge self-pity Unmanageable rage Self-mutilating Masochistic