Oedipus the King Term Paper
Oedipus the King– Research Paper In the fourth century B. C., Aristotle developed his own meaning and idea of a catastrophe, laying out the rules by which he thought a disaster must follow. Corresponding with Aristotle’s view of disaster, Oedipus the King meets the rigorous and detailed requirement of Aristotle’s concept. The handling of the aspects of plot is masterly, and even a contemporary audience has little problem in seeing this. In Oedipus the King, Sophocles presents us with a world in which fate is inescapable, pride can be unsafe or reliable, excellent intents are irrelevant, and sight and blindness might serve a similar purpose.
Aristotle mentions that a catastrophe needs to consist of a lead character that falls from power and from joy, and that the protagonist should always be fallible in some way. Lewin composes, “Ultimately, while we can regard Oedipus as both admirable for his leadership abilities and noble intents and imperfect for his overconfidence and severe treatment of others, he is a figure whose fate inspires pity and terror since of his capability to sustain bad luck” (Lewin 1). Sophocles’ luster in utilizing cosmic paradox, or paradox of fate, triggers Oedipus, the hero of the story, to fall from his throne and eventually wind up in exile.
In the very first scene of the play, Teiresias, a blind prophet, speaks with Oedipus, who is looking for a remedy to the pester eliminating his individuals. Teiresias is stubborn in the beginning, stating, “You are all ignorant” (Sophocles 1393). Later on, after exchanging some undesirable dialogue, Teiresias lastly informs Oedipus, “You weave your own doom” (Sophocles 1394). Here, it is clear that Sophocles uses foreshadowing through Teiresias’ dialogue. In the conclusion, Oedipus understands his regret of patricide,” [d] amned in the blood he shed with his own hand” (Sophocles 1414). Right away, the chorus follows the discovery with their song.
The song of the Chorus is not just a worthy poem; it serves to point the theme. The Chorus does not blame Oedipus; rather, it comments upon the unpredictability of human life: the fact that “success” does not indicate joy, and the fact that fate can not be tricked. As we have seen, pity, ruthlessness, insight, and bravery have all been used in trying to prevent fate, and have actually themselves been woven into the web of fate: the cruel choice of Laius and Iocaste to expose the infant Oedipus, the pity of the shepherd who found it, the choice of Oedipus to give up his life as a king’s son by leaving Corinth– all have actually layed their part in producing the fulfillment of the prophecy. In the third scene, the messenger from Corinth exposes to Oedipus that Polybos, whom Oedipus thought to be his real father, has actually passed away of natural causes. This was to disprove the prediction of Oedipus eliminating his dad and marrying his mother, although Oedipus is still fretted about the latter half of the prediction: “That holds true; just– if only my mom were not still alive! However she lives. I can not assist my fear” (Sophocles 1409).
Oedipus’ fear here appears right, but the paradox of the scenario is that King Oedipus does not truly understand who his parents are, which Merope, whom Oedipus incorrectly presumes is his mom, does not have any association with the prophecy. If the connections in between these events seem too apparent, the intricacy of Oedipus’ hubris keeps the audience in thriller regardless of the foreshadowing. Since hubris explains extreme pride leading to overconfidence, it is Oedipus’ largest “mistake” while likewise his biggest possession.
At each turn of the play, one can see both the strengths that earned him the title of King, and the weak points that will dismiss him from power. Relating the Sphinx’s riddle and Oedipus, De Quincey writes: [Oedipus] it was, in the most worthless sense, that went upon 4 feet when an infant; for the general condition of helplessness connected to all humanity in the period of infancy, and which is expressed symbolically by this picture of creeping, applied to Oedipus in a far more substantial way, as one deserted by all his natural protectors, thrown upon the chances of a wilderness, and upon the mercies of a servant.
The allusion to this basic helplessness has, besides, an unique propriety in the case of Oedipus, who drew his really name (Swollen-foot) from the injury done to his infant feet. So, Oedipus has sustained his own life from the beginning, resolves the riddle of the Sphinx, therefore his people turn to him throughout times of difficulty: “Therefore, O mighty King, we turn to you: Find us our safety, discover us a solution, Whether by counsel of the gods or guys” (1385 ).
Lewin states, “The scene establishes Oedipus as a ruler not with magnificent intuition (the Priest likewise states ‘You are not one of the immortal gods, we know’) but with the intellectual expertise to ameliorate Thebes’s serious situation” (Lewin 1). The people elect Oedipus as their king; since they believe that he is their hero. Lewin also writes, “It is usually acknowledged, nevertheless, that he is to be admired for lots of factors, and specifically for showing, as an accountable leader, his desire– from the very opening lines of the play– for honesty and directness in approaching the issue of Thebes’ pester” (Lewin 1).
This reveals Oedipus’ self-confidence to be a great aid, along with a strong and stable presence in times of risk. His extremely diligence, nevertheless, and his awareness of his own clean hands and excellent intentions, provide his one blind area: he will enable none of the evidence to contemplate him in the smallest degree, and any hold-up or hesitancy by witnesses outrages him. Aggravated by Teiresias’ unwillingness to speak, he is prompt to appoint the worst intentions to him, and once he is really angry he can be quite unreasonable in associating the worst possible intentions to Creon.
Nevertheless, as Sophocles presents it, all of Oedipus’s conduct is rather “natural” that no one in his position, might perhaps believe himself, and that therefore the allegation leveled versus him rather effectively makes him furious, one can only agree. But this observation does not alter the truth that Oedipus is possessed by a sort of overweening confidence in the power of human factor– in this case, his own factor.
On the matter of his self-confidence, the anger of Oedipus is quite revealing: he has seemingly never had excessive faith in Teiresias as a prophet– which is why he is so quickly convinced that Teiresias has actually exceeded up a charge against him; he is very pleased with his ability to fix riddles without assistance, for he ridicules Teiresias with stopping working to respond to the Sphinx. He is also instantly suspicious of Creon and blames him bitterly for even having actually recommended appealing to Teiresias.
At the very same time, it is perfectly reasonable that Teiresias is not happy to reveal an unpleasant fact that he knows will be turned down by a male so positive in his own tightness as Oedipus is. The actions of both males are completely plausible in terms of their initial assumptions: it is the initial presumptions that clash, and this clash is punctuated in the angry words in between the 2 males. Oedipus taunts Teiresias with being a secret monger, and Teiresias taunts Oedipus in return for his confidence in rationality.
The numerous references to sight and blindness serve a comparable purpose: they prepare for the conclusion without anticipating it. For example, during the first conversation in between Oedipus and Teiresias, Oedipus states: “You sightless, witless, senseless blind old male!” (Sophocles 1394) After the two exchange some discussion, Teiresias reacts: You mock my loss of sight, do you? However I state that you, with both your eyes, are blind” (Sophocles 1395). This scene ultimately sets the structure getting ready for a future irony in the story.
Walton writes, “Just when he has actually ended up being physically as blind as Teiresias does Oedipus appreciate the enormity of the scenario” (Walton 1). When Iocaste hangs herself, Oedipus utilizes the pin of her brooch, blinding himself; so, returning to the first conversation in between Oedipus and Teiresias, it is evident that the blind prophet Teiresias might really see what was waiting for Oedipus. On the other hand, although Oedipus might see, he was unable to put the puzzle together, and this costs him very much.
According to Walton, “We pity Oedipus, as Freud tells us, because, at some level, his fate might be our own” (Walton 1). One of the most common ironies in the play is that Oedipus himself is blind to accurate measurement and truth up until he blinds himself. If the play does make up a review of rationalism, the paradoxes of the play ended up being deeply meaningful. The heart of paradox is the contrast in between the anticipated or the preferred, or the ideal experience and the real experience.
The paradoxical insight constantly shocks the audience by reversing normal expectancies. As we have seen, this play is an example of such paradoxes: Oedipus, by attempting to circumvent his fate, has actually guaranteed its realization. Oedipus, who saves Thebes from the Sphinx, can not save himself. Iocaste’s attempts to ease her other half’s fears in fact inflame those fears; the messenger from Corinth whose message “proves” that the oracle has actually been incorrect unwittingly brings the genuine evidence of its truth.
Oedipus’ curse upon the killer of Laius has actually unconsciously been a curse on himself; Oedipus achieves the wisdom of Teiresias, whose blindness he has actually earlier buffooned, just by becoming himself blind. However these ironic turnarounds are not used merely for the more superficial theatrical results (though some of them operate very well as remarkable effects), correctly understood, they underline the critique of human understanding which is made by the play as a whole.
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