Oedipus Rex: 4U1, Semester II

What are your three favourite moments in the play and why?  In a post of approximately 500 to 600 words, show me how these three moments are meaningful to understanding the tragedy (in terms of plot, character, or some other critical aspect).  Do not use the quotations that were on the test, but any other passage is open for use.  You most certainly can use “I” as you are being asked what you think.  Do not use internet sources; your own brain and personal response is all that is needed.  Total marks:   /20 (15 for detail and quotations (minimum of three); 5 for grammar, spelling, proper citation, etc.)  Deadline for this post:  SUNDAY Feb. 24th, no later than 9:00 p.m.  You can post any time before this date.


~ by Ms. Cox on February 21, 2013.

24 Responses to “Oedipus Rex: 4U1, Semester II”

  1. Hey Ms. Cox,

    Always nice to hear from you, but I think this is forwarding to everyone again, I’m not in your ENG4U1 course!

    Hope all is well,


  2. There are many moments throughout Oedipus Rex that are very important and have a big impact on the play, however, the main ones that caught my eye were truth, Oedipus’ clear and unclear hamartia and blindness.

    To understand the meaning of truth, you must understand that truth is in accordance with fact or reality. Knowing the truth may not always be better. As Tiresias says: “Alas, How terrible it is to know, Where no good comes of knowing!”(Sophocles 12). Tiresias is trying to warn Oedipus that the truth will cause nothing but hurt for everyone, however Oedipus still continues to look for the truth as if its too late to stop. When Creon delivers his long speech, he repeats what Tiresias had said, but in a different way: “Ah, well in time, you will see things plainly; For time alone shews a man’s honesty,” (Sophocles 22). He shows that in time, the truth will be revealed because Oedipus is determined to find out who killed Lauis and in doing so, he finds out the truth about his parents.

    Oedipus has a clear and unclear hamartia- or tragic flaw. His clear hamartia is his pride. He chooses not to listen to the gods and to search for the answers elsewhere but himself. His unclear hamartia are his sins. As throughout the play, it is revealed that when at a crossway, he ended up killing a man- the king of Thebes, the man who ended up being his father and all of his guards. Once he figuredout the riddle, Oedipus became the new King of Thebes, marrying and having children with Jocasta, the queen, and his mother. He went fifteen years without reprocussion and because of the plague that ruled over Thebes, the truth is then revealed and he is then punished for all of his sins. As Oedipus’ flaws slowly start to unravel, his innocence of being a good king is no longer existant and he leaves Thebes because he can no longer bare to see and deal with what he has done.

    The last major moment I want to talk about is when Oedipus says: “Woe! woe! It is all plain, indeed! O, Light, This be the last time I shall gaze on thee” (Sophocles 42). Here, Oedipus finally understands the entire situation of the events that took place and he can no longer look at Jocasta in the same way, as she is his wife and his mother. He then later says: “What good were my eyes to me, Nothing I could see could bring me joy.” This quote reference one of the major themes in Oedipus Rex: Blindness. Oedipus, for many years, has been blinded by the truth. Tiresias however, is in fact blind, but he sees more than Oedipus does and knows the truth about what happened. Oedipus in the end, blinds himself in the end of the play as he cannot bare to see the world in which he has lived and knowing what he has done, to him is unbareable to look at.

    Taryn Tkach
    ENG-4U1 → Period 2

  3. Emily Chemnitz
    Ms. Cox
    ENG 4U1-06
    24 February 2013
    Think Before You Speak

    Oedipus Rex by Sophocles is a tragedy that not only provides a tragic hero, a thorough plot and an unexpected finish. It gives the reader the chance to look into their own lives, evaluate how they feel and their morals. A couple key passages show this and make the play more intriguing.

    When Oedipus is faced with a problem that doesn`t seem like it will be solved easily he resorts to blaming others. I like the parts where he gets put in his place. A good example of this is when Tiresias says, “I say — you have your sight, and do not see/ What evils are about you, nor with whom,/ … Yea, you are ignorant/ That to your own you are an enemy,/ Whether on earth, alive, or under it” (Sophocles 15). This not only prophesizes what will occur but shows Oedipus that he doesn`t know everything and can’t control everything which is an important lesson I think we can all learn from. Again Tiresias does this by passive aggressively commenting when Oedipus doesn’t listen the first time: “Were you not excellent/ At solving riddles” (Sophocles 16). It’s another comment that puts Oedipus in his place and forces him to think a little harder.

    Not only does Tiresias have to remind Oedipus to listen to what others say but his brother in law/uncle, Creon shows him this when he says, “do me this favour; hear me say as much/ As you have said’ and then, yourself decide” (Sophocles 20). Because Oedipus is constantly monopolizing the conversation Creon nicely tells him to stand back, listen to what others have to say and then make an educated decision after. I can learn from this because often I hear what people say but don’t fully listen if I believe I am right. Creon always seems to know just what to say. He teaches another lesson when he says: “In matters where I have no cognizance/ I hold my tongue” (Sophocles 21). Oedipus knows as much as Creon but Creon is able to hold his tongue. He acknowledges he doesn’t know everything and therefore can’t comment on the subject and puts his faith in the Gods and Tiresias. This applies to everyday life when an opinion based argument occurs and both sides don’t know the full story.

    However after everything, I believe Oedipus learns his lesson. After being repeatedly told to think before he speaks and acknowledge that others are affected by his words, Oedipus shows that he borderline understands the concept. This is shown when Oedipus says, “Ah Heaven, what language shall I hold to him?/ What rightful credit will appear in me?/ For I have been found wholly in the wrong/ In all that passed between us heretofore!” (Sophocles 50). He is talking about Creon before he enters and realises that he has done wrong and should not have hastily blamed Creon. This shows a large development in Oedipus’ character. This pays off when Creon enters and is quick to say: “Not as a mocker come I, Oedipus,/ Nor to reproach for any former pain” (Sophocles 50). Creon’s character stays constant and remains thoughtful throughout. I respect Creon’s ability to remain calm and forgive. It is honourable and adds to a play where everything else is up in the air.

    Considering that Oedipus Rex by Sophocles contains a lot of passages that are unconventional and morally wrong it still leaves room for personal growth and has a few characters that enable this to happen. I think this is the important take home message from the play.

  4. My three favourite moments in Oedipus Rex are not only memorable, but are also of importance to the understanding of tragedy; the excerpts I selected relate to Aristotle’s concepts of character, recognition and fate.

    Aristotle’s Poetics state that a compelling tragedy requires a protagonist noble in both birth and sense of morality; common and immoral characters simply cannot evoke sufficient pathos from the audience. The title character and protagonist is known from the beginning to be of noble birth, as he bears the title of ‘Rex’, but his strong sense of morality is promptly established thereafter when he is addressing his distressed subjects, “Ah my poor children, what you come to seek Is already – not unknown to me. You are all sick, I know it; and in your sickness there is no one of you as sick as I” (Sophocles 3). One could assert that this is merely rhetoric designed to console the populace, while in reality he is driven by purely political motives rather than a sense a morality. Oedipus’ relentless pursuit of the truth throughout the play, however, demonstrates this assertion to be untrue; Oedipus pursues the culprit of Laius’ murder, in order to quell the plague ravaging the Theban population, right until he discovers the ghastly truth. Oedipus even does so against the strong urging of Tiresias (Sophocles 12) and Jocasta (Sophocles 38) to forget the matter entirely. Indeed, this simple quotation promptly asserts that Oedipus is a moral character of noble birth, and able to evoke pathos from the audience.

    My second favourite part of the book is when Oedipus’ begins his state of recognition and anagnorisis after the shepherd recognises Oedipus’ unique physical trait:

    “Messenger Your ankle joints may witness

    Oedipus Of that old evil?

    Messenger I untied you, when You had the soles of your feet bored through” (Sophocles 37).

    The shepherd’s statement is a form of recognition by sign, one of Aristotle’s five forms of recognition described in Part 16 of his Poetics. Aristotle states that recognition by sign is the simplest, least artistic form of recognition, however, he goes on to praise Oedipus Rex when Oedipus recognises the truth through natural means shortly after the shepherd’s testimony, on page 40. This excerpt, while it does not elicit Oedipus’ full cognition of the truth, serves as a memorable beginning to Oedipus’ recognition and subsequent anagnorisis.

    The second messenger’s graphic account of Oedipus’ fulfilment of Tiresias’ prediction is my third favourite part of Oedipus Rex, “What followed; snatching from her dress gold pins Wherewith she was adorned, he lifted them, And smote the nerves of his eyeballs, saying Something like this – that they should see no more…” (Sophocles 45). The second messenger affirms the prophecy of Loxias’ servant, Tiresias, that his eyes too will become dark when he learns the truth (Sophocles 16). I found this excerpt particularly interesting because, unlike his fulfilment of the first and main part of the prophecy, he fulfils this part of the prophecy knowingly and seemingly of his own free will. This excerpt depicts fate, one of the central methods of orchestrating a tragic hero’s downfall, according to Aristotle; the fact that Oedipus knowingly blinded himself affirms that fate, in the context of tragedy, is inescapable, whether it is beknownst to the tragic hero or not.

  5. Alex Oberlein

    My three favourite moments in the play were when Oedipus gets mad at Tiresias for not telling him what he sees and then even more mad when he tells him what he sees, when Jocasta finds out Oedipus is her son and tries to tell him It’s not so bad to sleep with your mother, and when Oedipus self exiles for the second time.

    I like the part where Oedipus gets mad at Tiresias because It was just funny how mad he gets so mad at him. Then he starts blaming Tiresias for killing Laius even though Tiresias already knows that Oedipus did it, It’s really ironic. “At least I will not, being so far in anger, Spare anything of what is clear to me: Know, I suspect you joined to hatch the deed; Yea, did it-all but slaying with your own hands; And if you were not blind, I should aver The act was your work only!” (Oedipus, 13). This also helps justify some peoples’ opinion that his temper is his most fatal flaw. It’s critical to understanding the play because it foreshadows Oedipus finding out that he is in fact the killer.

    I like the part where Jocasta finds out Oedipus is her son then tells him It’s not so bad to sleep with your mother, and that many men have dreamed of doing it, “But why should men be fearful, O’er whom Fortune is mistress, and foreknowledge Of nothing sure? Best take life easily, As a man may. For that maternal wedding, Have you no fear; for many men ere now Have dreamed as much; but he who by such dreams Sets nothing, has the easiest life of it.” (Jocasta, 35). This was hilarious to me but pretty messed up at the same time, I don’t picture anyone saying that in today’s world. This part is critical to understanding the play because It is Jocasta’s realization that she is married to and has children with her own son.

    I like the part where Oedipus self exiles himself for the second time, “Out of this country cast me with all speed, Where I may pass without accost of men.” (Oedipus, 50). I found it pretty ridiculous how he gauged his eyes out and then pretty much made a fool of himself in front of the citizens of Thebes, he could have just crept away and avoided the embarrassment, but I guess Sophocles was trying to keep him consistent in his character by having him reveal the truth like that. This part is critical to the understanding of the play because It’s Oedipus’s ultimate realization of all he had done, which included killing his father and sleeping with his mother.

    Overall I found the play pretty messed up but funny at parts. If I were a Greek citizen during that time I’m sure I would have enjoyed it more.

  6. Lucas Di Iorio

    There are many quotations throughout Oedipus the King that are vital to the plot. I believe that there are a certain few which are very meaningful to the aspects of tragedy.
    “For blind instead of seeing, and poor for wealthy, to a foreign land, A staff to point his footsteps, he shall go, Also to his own sons, he shall be found related as a brother through their sire, and the woman from whose womb he came both son and spouse; one that has raised up seed to his own father and murdered him.”
    This quotation of a prophecy delivered by Tiresias is a perfect representation of the thought element that is introduced in the 6 points of tragedy. It is a foreshadowing of what is going to happen to Oedipus and how his life will be ruined by a series of events that he set in motion himself. Thought, in respect to the 6 aspects of tragedy is the faculty of saying what is possible, and what is proved to be or not to be. When Oedipus reaches the conclusion of his problems, he realizes that all of Tiresias’ prophecies came true. This is when the chorus joins to end the tragedy with the lines “And of no mortal say ‘that man is happy’ till vexed by no grievous ill he pass life’s goal”

    Another very important aspect of Oedipus the King is the character Jocasta, she puts forth such an interesting mindset to the entire tragedy. She is also one of the most shining examples of a tragic character with hamartia/hubris. Jocasta constantly is cursing the gods, and claiming that their prophecies are false and impossible.
    “Listen and learn, nothing in human life turns on the soothsayer’s art”
    During the times that a greek tragedy would have been writing the gods were the most important part of ones life, and for Jocasta to blatantly say such a thing would have been seen is a massive case of hamartia and hubris.

    One of the best examples of a well executed tragedy comes near the end of Oedipus the King. After Oedipus blinds himself and Jocasta has killed herself, you see a different side of Oedipus. This is expected because he has been through so much but he opens up to the audience and this is a prime example of Pathos.
    “Your father slew his father, and became father of you – by her who bare him. So will they reproach you; who will wed you then?”
    This is Oedipus talking to his two daughters, and how because of his actions no one will marry them, and this is what he sees as one of the worst things he has done. This is where the audience has to develop the feeling of extreme sadness on behalf of Oedipus. Even though Oedipus and Jocasta have been depicted as cocky and egotistical, Oedipus is so vulnerable in this moment, and it draws the emotion of the audience, making them feel sympathy for him. That moment right there is the sign that Oedipus the King is an unbelievable effective tragedy.

  7. Brooke Cheese

    My three favourite moments in Oedipus Rex that are meaningful to understanding the tragedy are Jocasta’s death, Oedipus telling Jocasta the truth, and the conversation between Tiresias and Oedipus.

    Jocasta’s death is meaningful to the understanding of the tragedy because it represents the Reversal of the situation and Hamartia. These two elements contribute to the effectiveness of the plot and of the character. Near the final scenes of the play, the second messenger brings news to Oedipus “the speediest of all tales to hear and tell; the illustrious Jocasta is no more” (Sophocles 44). This illustrates the Reversal of the Situation because before the plague, everything was ‘peaches’n‘cream’ meaning life was good, simple, and bright, but after, their good fortune becomes reversed. The truth of Oedipus killing his father and marrying his mother reverses their good fortune because it becomes to much to bare, which results in Jocasta’s death. This also represents hamartia because it shows Jocasta’s flaw. Like every tragic hero, they must all suffer from a flaw. Jocasta’s flaw is that she cannot handle the horrible truth and would rather everything be forgotten and ignored and “take life easily” (Sophocles 35), but her request is never accepted. Her flaw causes her to take her own life because then she can finally keep her mouth shut and never have to listen to it ever again. This moment is my favourite by being meaningful to the understanding of the tragedy because it shows that you should not count yourself lucky and that one’s flaw will get to the best of them. 

    Oedipus telling Jocasta the truth about his past and the present is also one of my favourite moments because it is meaningful to the understanding of the tragedy. This moment of the play illustrates character in the terms of hamartia. In the play Oedipus says “In your ears, Wife, I will tell the whole. When in my travels….There met me a herald, and a man that rode in a colt-carriage, as you tell of him…would thrust me…and I slay them all!” (Sophocles 29). This examples illustrates hamartia because his flaw is that he lives on the truth. I think this is his flaw because through out the play he is searching for the truth, asking the blind prophet, Tiresias, and the witness who murdered King Laius, even though the killer points directly to him. Oedipus never drops the subject but digs deeper into the thought that he is the killer and married his biological mother, without the awareness of doing so. Therefore this is his flaw because the deeper he digs into the truth the more it hurts himself and the people around him. For example, Jocasta kills herself, he gauges out his eyes because he is no longer able to live with the hurtful truth, and he has ruined his daughter’s lives by being the father who killed the King and married his mother, making their life very complicated. This moment is one of my favourites because I understand what made this play a tragedy was that the truth kills, physically and mentally, creating fear and pity towards the characters. 
 My last favourite moment of the play is the conversation between Tiresias and Oedipus at the beginning of the play. I like this moment because it presents foreshadowing, which betters the plot. During their discussion of the murderer of Laius, Oedipus gets frustrated and insults Tiresias by saying “Why so it has, except for you; it is not so with you; Blind as your are in eyes, and ears, and mind!” (Sophocles 14). This example illustrates foreshadowing because in the end of the play, Oedipus becomes blind in his eyes, ears, and mind because he can’t bare the truth and no longer wants to be apart of his previous life. This is one of my favourite moments because he mocking Tiresias that he is blind because he will not speak the truth of the King’s murderer, but the reasons are because he knows what will become of the truth. Therefore, this is one of my favourites because it is meaningful to the understanding of the tragedy by foreshadowing that Oedipus will become blinded by the truth.
    The play was filled with many favourable moments, but these moments were the ones that stood out in my head. The only event that leaves me with a question is what will Oedipus do with his life now that he has nothing left to live for?

  8. Grant Hayward
    ENG 4U1 – 06
    24 February 2013

    In my opinion, after looking into Aristotle’s poetics, Sophocles Oedipus Rex can be categorized as a perfect tragedy. The reasons why can be summed in it best moments which are as follows:

    1) One of the best moments in the play, in my opinion is one the Old Man is talking to Oedipus. This instant in the play is one of my favourites because it explains that Oedipus was destined for this moment in time. The Old Man says “Saved it! for if thou art the man he says, sure thou wast born destined to misery” (Sophocles 42). This is meaningful in understanding tragedy in two ways. This is not only Oedipus peripeteia but also his anagnorisis which in my opinion is the most relieving part of the play. At this moment, Oedipus’ entire life is unravelled; everything he believed to be right was wrong. The Old Man here is saying, this was his destiny from the start, and only now has his life been reversed. He has gone from the highly renowned king of Thebes, the highest of the classes, to a blind wanderer because of the sins he has committed. This is his reversal of fortune and at this time he has recognized it. When the Old Man speaks these words, Oedipus has his anagnorisis. He discovers the true nature of his identity and according to Aristotle, this criteria is necessary in a tragedy.

    2) After reading the play in its entirety, I felt as though the beginning of the play was one of the best parts. The situation at the start, largely contrasts that of the end. Oedipus is yelling to the public saying “I have myself come hither, Oedipus, known far and wide by name” (Sophocles 1). Oedipus wants everyone to know who he is, like many kings in that time, and he is very proud of being on top. He wants to be known by all, and he wants to be recognized as one of the greats, which directly opposes how he feels at the end. In the last part of the play he can not even be in the presence of his daughters and he is too ashamed have sight on earth. In my opinion Oedipus’ desire to be recognized could be his tragic flaw, which is necessary in a character of a tragedy. Oedipus wanted recognition from his people so he promised to find Laius’ murderer. By doing so he searched for something as Tiresias said “Where no good comes of knowing” (Sophocles 12). To me, this part shows how powerful the truth is, because by knowing the truth, Oedipus has gone through a complete reversal of fortune. Aristotle also says that the character of a tragedy must be one well known, and he definitely fits that claim as shown by the quotation above.

    3) At the end of this play, after Oedipus has blinded himself, the chorus comes in and tells us the overall lesson of the play. They sing “and of no moral say ‘that man is happy’, till vexed by no grievance ill he passed life goal” (Sophocles 54). To me, these lines are very powerful. They are saying that no man lives only a happy life, and that you can not reflect on your life until you see its last day. Oedipus has it all in this play, he had fame, fortune, and love from his people, but at the end he has nothing. He is marked for hate, and I think the overall lesson of the play is that victory and success can come and go, they are not forever. Despite Oedipus’ success as a king, it did not prevent him from his downfall. Aristotle’s says that tragedies should be written as a whole and the end follows something but nothing follows it. In the end Oedipus walks around blind and helpless and what Aristotle has said holds true because nothing follows this point in the play. Lastly, song is one of the six elements of tragedy, this play uses the chorus to display general messages and embellish emotions.

    Overall, I can’t say I am a Greek tragedy expert, but according to Aristotle’s lecture notes, Oedipus Rex has it all. To me, a 17 years old boy, some things are a little messed up but then again I think all great stories have/need that element to stand out.

  9. Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, is a study of tragedy regarding a tragic hero who goes from having everything to absolutely nothing in dramatic fashion. My three favourite parts of the play revolve around the character development of Oedipus himself and his misfortunate self-destruction due to his passion of resolving the truth behind his origins, and murder of the former king Laius.

    To understand the origins of his birth, and the murder of Laius, Oedipus calls upon blind prophet Tiresias to aid in his investigation. Tiresias at first is hesitant to share his information with Oedipus because he understands the severity of the situation, but does so anyways when Oedipus’ temper overpowers and causes him to mock the prophet for his blindness. This information angers Oedipus and causes him to accuse Tiresias of planning and even participating in the murder of Laius. Creon, also present in this scene, is accused by Oedipus of conspiracizing with Tiresias to steal the crown and obtain all of his royalties and power for themselves. Oedipus remarks, “Creon, the soul of trust, my loyal friend from the start steals against me… so hungry to overthrow me he sets this wizard on me, this scheming quack, this fortune-teller peddling lies, eyes peeled for his own profit / seer blind in his craft!” This is one of my favourite scenes because it is so vital to the character development of Oedipus and just the irony behind the whole situation is so intriguing. Oedipus, so quickly obtains the truth behind the murder of Laius but immediately dismisses it because of its contents recalling Oedipus as the murderer.

    By using Jocasta’s brooches, Oedipus deliberately gouges his own eyeballs out while screeching, “You, you’ll see no more the pain I suffered, all the pain I caused! Too long you looked on the ones you never should have seen, blind to the ones you longed to see, to know! Blind from this hour on! Blind in the darkness-blind!”. Oedipus’ path has led him to discovering that, not only did he deflower and elope with his own mother, but he’s also responsible for murder of his own father. Unable to bare this news, he justifies that the longer he lives with vision, the more bad things will happen that his eyes can’t bare to see, hence the reason why he rids of them. This is undoubtedly my favourite scene in the play because of how quickly things escalate. Oedipus finally becomes rational of everything that has just unfolded, so he acts out in a crazed manner. The importance of this scene regarding his character is monumental because of the degree of difficulty that’s bestowed upon him. While “actions speak louder than words”, Oedipus’ actions define who he is.

    Once the whole dramatic ordeal of Oedipus gouging his eyes out is over, he is left on stage feeling alone and vulnerable, when suddenly Creon appears before him. Oedipus’ demeanor towards Creon is foreseeably altered when Creon begins to approach him. Oedipus, unable to justify his means, contemplates in his head of what to say to Creon: “Oh no, what can I say to him? How can I ever hope to win his trust? I wronged him so, just now, in every way. You must see that I was so wrong, so wrong”. I love this scene because of how conceded Oedipus is after everything that has happened to him. Instead of constantly bickering with himself and others he admits defeat and takes full responsibility. Oedipus also stays true to his word when he said, whomever the murderer turns out to be, that man will be exiled. That man being Oedipus, he demands of Creon to exile him to a mountain like region.

  10. Jen A

    I find that the three most interesting and funny parts of the play are on pages 12, 27, and 38. On page 12 Tiresias comes onto the stage and is talking to Oedipus about why he was brought to Thebes. I find it a little odd that he comes all the way to Thebes just to tell Oedipus that he isn’t going to say who killed the previous king. The second line that Tiresias has is “Let me go home; so shalt thou bear thy load most easily”, which is a bit of a letdown for Oedipus who has only recently sworn to find and charge Laius’ murderer. When Oedipus then flips out on Tiresias I couldn’t help but laugh. The idea of someone swearing to do something, and in a few hours becoming so obsessed with it that they are willing to turn around and hate someone for simply not helping them with their quest is absurd.
    The reason I like what is happening on page 27, is because I find it ironic and funny. When Oedipus asks Jocasta what Laius looked like and she responds with “He was tall . . . His figure was not much unlike your own”, it’s just ironic that Jocasta never noticed how similar her two husbands looked to each other. At this point it amazes me that both Jocasta and Oedipus still have not put the pieces of the story together and refuse to see the truth. Both are still looking for a way for the prophecy to not come true because they don’t wish to be shamed with the fact that they married each other and had children together. For two people who have been married for the past fifteen years, they don’t seem to know much about each other at all!
    My favourite part of the play is when Jocasta finally comes to terms with what has taken place and commits suicide to save herself from the shame of living with what she has done. On page 38 when she goes through anagnorisis and realizes that Oedipus is her son, she begs him not to pursue his parentage any more. She then exits with a huge dramatic flourish saying “Woe, woe, unhappy! This is all I have to say to thee, and no word more, for ever” leaving Oedipus standing there wondering what the heck is going on. Once again I have no idea how Jocasta didn’t see this sooner. It’s one thing for Oedipus not to recognize his mother, he was thrown away at three days old. But how can Jocasta not notice how eerily her new lover resembles her late husband, or clue into the fact that Oedipus means ‘swollen feet’, and never wonder how Oedipus could be the exact age of her supposedly dead child whose feet she pinned together? Did she never see the supposed scars on his ankles? I think the whole idea is simply ludicrous. Throughout the whole play people are constantly entering and leaving, giving hints and solving the mystery all at different times. It makes it hard to follow at sometimes, but over all I really enjoyed reading the play and laughing about how dumb some of the characters really are.

  11. Morgan Vernal

    There are many moments in Oedipus Rex that you could point out as memorable or important to the play but the ones that stood out most to me were; the determination Oedipus had finding the truth for himself, how Oedipus caused his own Hamartia, and the very end when Oedipus stabbed out his eyes.
    If Oedipus didn’t have determination he would have never found out the truth of his life. Not only is he trying to help himself but everyone else also. The only reason he is dead set on solving the mystery is to save his people. After he received the word from the Oracle that he must banish the murderer of his father out of the city, or the plague that is ravaging the city will continue. His determination is only showing faith and good leadership towards his people.
    Oedipus caused his own Hamartia, not because he was weak, proud or evil but because he doesn’t exactly know who he is. He could have avoided the Oracle completely, by staying in Corinth, he didn’t have to kill an unknown elder and he most certainly didn’t have to marry an older queen. Oedipus is not morally guilty but rather radically ignorant.
    Oedipus had blinded himself because he no longer wanted to see the world now that he knew the truth. But telling his children that they won’t be able to find anyone that will love them and want to get married because of all the mistakes and actions he has done. It is basically telling them that they have nothing to live for either because they have nothing to look forward to. He had everything from the fame, the girl of his dreams to the power over his kingdom. But lost it all at once because of that one mistake he had made leading into many more. Now only having the hate and disrespect of the people.

  12. Kira Grande
    Ms. Cox
    ENG 4U1-06
    24 February 2013

    Oedipus Rex was a thoroughly enjoyable play, but what made it so exciting were the numerous complex characters and an ironic plot. The character of Jocasta lovingly attempts to calm her raging husband multiple times but commits hubris at the same time. After Oedipus tell Jocasta how he was accused of killing Laius by Tiberias, Jocasta tries to sooth his temper by saying, “Listen and learn, nothing in human life turns on the soothsayer’s art” (Sophocles 26). Jocasta’s well-meaning words solidify her character as a woman who places her husband’s well-being as a concern of utmost importance. Her discrediting of the Gods was spoken with the desperation of a loving wife who clearly cares for her husband and is perturbed by his violent irritability, and shows the audience how deeply she is linked to Oedipus. I enjoy this quote so much because gave me a deeper understanding of Jocasta’s character and the lengths which she would go to in order to preserve the peace of mind of the people she cared for.

    Many of the characters in Oedipus Rex demonstrated their beliefs and moral through their actions, but none so absolutely as Tiberias. During the argument between Oedipus and Tiberias, the great oracle is so adamant in his belief that the Gods have shown him the truth that he is willing to risk offending Oedipus to make his point. Tiberias saying to Oedipus, “You have your sight, and do not see … Yea, you are ignorant” (Sophocles 15) is such a scandalous thing to have come from the mouth of a self-respecting prophet that it. The soothsayer’s explosive reaction to Oedipus’s insults of his ability to foresee the future helps to develop Tiberias’s character because it establishes Tiberias as a religious man who is quite confident in the wisdom which he receives from the Gods.

    Another one of my favourite parts in the play is when Oedipus describes the incident that occurred where the three roads meet. Oedipus telling his wife that “from the track the leader … and the old man would thrust me” (Sophocles 29) so he decided to “slay them all!” (Sophocles 29) is very important to the dramatic irony of the plot. It advances the story in such a way that the biased King Oedipus and his queen do not fully connect the death of Laius to the men Oedipus slaughtered, yet the audience does. The recollection of this event still plants a seed of doubt in Oedipus’s mind which forces him to look further into the story of the sole survivor, and to eventually realize that he was the author of the great tragedy which is made all the more tragic since the audience suspected that the killer was Oedipus.

  13. There are many moments throughout the play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles that were important in my understanding of the action in terms of tragedy. The more memorable aspects for me were also aspects required for a tragedy according to Aristotle. I have chosen three important quotations that display the evidence of anagnorisis, character and plot as seen in this play.

    My favorite part of the play Oedipus Rex is watching Oedipus recognize what he had done. There were so many signs that seem obvious to viewers but incredibly, Oedipus does not realize the truth until it is far too late. For myself, the truth became evident when I realized the obvious similarities between the prophecy that Jocasta was told when she was pregnant and that which Oedipus heard back in Corinth. Jocasta was once told: “He [Laius] should die By a son’s hands, whom he should have by me” (Sophocles 26). Similarly, Oedipus left his old town after hearing a prophecy which said: “I should wed my mother, and produce A race intolerable for men to see, And be my natural father’s murderer” (Sophocles 29). This combined with a drunks accusation of him being a “changeling”, meaning he was given to false parents at birth, seems to match up perfectly with the prophecy heard by Jocasta. After hearing both of these accounts it heightens the dramatic irony for the audience. We can see the obvious relationship between the two and can infer that it was Oedipus that killed Laius. This also puts off the characters anagnorisis so that when it occurs it will be even more upsetting when they realize the obvious signs they missed.

    One part of the play I found particularly interesting is Oedipus’ consistency as a character. He never faltered in the belief that he was not involved even when everything pointed in his direction. Oedipus’ true ignorance to the situation is proven when he insisted on figuring out the truth of his past. When he realizes that he is close to solving the mystery behind his birth, he says: “Nay, it cannot be That having such a clue I should refuse To solve the mystery of my parentage!” (Sophocles 38). He pursues the answers so strongly that once again there is a build-up of suspense within the audience for when he finally realizes what he is searching for. I like this quotation because it reinforces Oedipus’ character and the fact that he truly wants to solve the mystery and help his citizens. It is also ironic because he references to clues and the fact that he will not let this one pass by but we as an audience know how many other clues he has already missed.

    Another one of my favorite parts of this play is the use of the Old Man in the plot. It is an amazing coincidence that not only is he the one who gave Oedipus away as a baby but he also is the sole survivor of the attack and murder of Laius. One of my favorite lines is when Oedipus is pestering the Old Man about whether or not it was him who gave the baby away. He responds: “I gave it to him. Would I had died that day!” (Sophocles 41). This is an effective answer because it proves that he realizes the full implications of his actions so many years ago. It is now evident why he chose to leave Thebes when Oedipus was instated as King. It is in some ways his fault that Laius was killed and the prophecy was fulfilled and he now regrets his role in the story. It also builds on the idea in the play to let things happen as they will because the Old Man has probably known the truth for many years but did nothing to alert Oedipus or anyone else of the truth. It is truly his character that caused the entire string of events in the play to occur.

  14. Salmaan Farooqui
    Ms. Cox
    24 February, 2013

    Thought provoking lines are the cornerstones to any good play. Important lines are artistically crafted, and have special meaning to the plot of a play, and clearly show some of the themes of a play. This runs true in Oedipus Rex with many lines. The following are the lines that I believe are the most important in Oedipus Rex.

    A reoccurring subject in Oedipus Rex is the idea that it is better for Oedipus to not know the truth about himself. Many people say this throughout the play, but my favourite instance of it is when Jocasta says “Why ask who ‘twas he spoke of? Nay, never mind – never remember it” (Sophocles 38). I like this quote because it says a lot about Jocasta’s character. She calmly tries to deter Oedipus from pressing her for answers. She would rather sweep something under the rug than clean it up. I feel that this is an extremely relatable trait because it is something that many people would do when overwhelmed in a difficult time. It can also be interpreted that this is her hamartia because she tries to set aside her problems until they become too heavy, leading to her suicide.

    I find Jocasta an interesting character, especially how she handles her troubles in the play. One of my favourite “But why should men be fearful, o’er whom fortune is mistress… Best take life easily… For many men ere now have dreamed as much” (Sophocles 35). In this quote she almost comes off as shallow, because on top of “sweeping her problems under a rug” she tries to justify them instead of facing them. It’s ironic that in trying to take life easily and brushing aside sins, the guilt catches up to her and causes her death. IN saying this line, she further proves her faults of trying to ignore her problems instead of addressing them, and trying to justify her sins.

    Another one of my favourite quotes comes from Creon. Even after being blamed by Oedipus, Creon takes him in and comforts him in his darkest hour. He says “Not as a mocker come I, Oedipus, Nor to reproach for any former pain… Kindred only should behold and hear” (Sophocles 50). The fact that he does not gloat or turn Oedipus away clearly shows Creon’s good character. It shows how reasonable and forgiving he is as a person. He also exhibits a clear contrast to Oedipus. Oedipus is headstrong, short tempered and aggressive, whereas Creon is calm, sensible and helpful. I find this contrast interesting, as it directly relates to the popular idea that dominant power will corrupt people.

    I especially appreciate these lines because; although the protagonist, Oedipus, says none of them, they carry heavy importance in the play. The actions of Jocasta that lead to her suicide darkens Oedipus’s situation and makes the situation much more tragic and, Creon’s actions provide an interesting contrast. This is especially significant because Oedipus is the king, and has many flaws, whereas Creon has the same power, but is a much more admirable character. All in all, these characters lines enhance the tragedy of Oedipus Rex, as well as the themes displayed in it.

  15. Jade Bedesky
    Ms. Cox
    February 24, 2013

    Important Moments in Oedipus Rex

    While not necessarily a perfect tragedy, Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex certainly fits many of the elements that Aristotle has proposed form the perfect tragos oude. Three particular moments from the play help portray aspects of a tragedy, and certain lines from those moments add the depth needed for hubris, peripeteia, anagnorisis, and pathos.

    Jocasta, wife and mother of Oedipus, is on the brink of recognition for a large portion of the play; when she finally does reach recognition she tries desperately to prevent it. Her anagnorisis is considered by Aristotle to be the second best kind, which is recognition by process of reasoning. While Oedipus is trying his best to decipher the mysteries surrounding his background as well as who killed the old King, Jocasta remains stubborn towards the prophecy which seems to be the root of their troubles, and she goes so far as to state:

    “And so Apollo did not bring about
    That he should be his father’s murderer;
    Nor yet that Liaus should endure the stroke
    At his son’s hands, of which he was afraid.
    This is what comes of soothsayer’s oracles” (Sophocles 26).

    By denouncing the possibility of foreseeing the future and even the capabilities of the Gods themselves, Jocasta dabbles in a sort of reverse-hubris. Instead of aspiring to God-like qualities, she rebels against them, questioning the power of the Gods and the possibility of seeing what has not yet happened. By attempting to invalidate the background of the prophecy and nullifying the presence of beings more powerful than herself, she inadvertently puts herself on the same level as the Gods.

    The Chorus has another of the most important lines from the play, which is, “Time found thee out – Time who sees everything” (Sophocles 43). By referring to time as a person instead of a thing, the Chorus manages to make time into its own character. Since time in Oedipus Rex is meant to reveal the moral purpose of the other characters in the play, it is not simply a character, but rather “character” in its purest form. On top of directly referencing one of the six key parts of tragedy, time helps to control the magnitude of the play, promising that the end is inevitable.

    The entire play is one slow reversal of the situation, until near the end when Oedipus finally reaches his point of recognition. Unable to handle the truth, Oedipus blinds himself with pins from his deceased wife’s dress. While explaining what has happened to the Senator, one of the Messengers explains that Oedipus “smote the nerves of his own eyeballs, saying
    Something like this – that they should see no more
    Evils like those he had endured or wrought” (Sophocles 45).
    Oedipus’ actions are ironic, considering that Tiresias is blind and could see the truth the entire time, while Oedipus had his vision and could not see that which is true. Oedipus becomes a pitiful character at this point, considering he did not realize he had murdered his father and slept with his mother. The physical and psychological pain he feels over his actions extend to shock and pity for the audience to feel. The character of Oedipus has no easily distinguishable fatal flaw, and therefore seems undeserving of his fate.

    Oedipus Rex is a well-constructed tragedy that works with a large magnitude and keeps a relatively unified and complex plot. It is easy to feel pity for the characters, notably Oedipus, and a large part of the play focuses on anagnorisis and whether or not it is essentially a good thing. Numerous tragic incidents occur between characters who are close to each other, and as a result, Oedipus Rex is truly an effective tragedy.

  16. Vanessa Hemphill
    ENG 4U1 – 06
    24 February 2013

    There are many quotations throughout Sophocles Oedipus Rex that have great importance to the play. But my three favourite quotations how Aristotle was incorporated, how outlandish the characters are at some points and the importance of the character Tiresias.

    At the beginning of the play when Oedipus claims to all “Ah my poor children, what you come to see / Is known already – not unknown to me.” (Sophocles 3) He is saying that he knows what they are going through and that he is sicker than them. This shows how Oedipus is trying to help his people but his big ego is overriding his helpful side. I find this quotation important because it relates back to Aristotle’s Reversal of a Situation. This all changes when Oedipus begins to see the clear picture and realize what he has done. The quotation said by Oedipus, “This be the last time I shall gaze on thee, / Who am revealed to have been born of those / Of whom I ought not – to have wedded” (Sophocles 42) shows his anagnorisis and how his whole life has just been flipped around. There is such a huge contrast between his actions at the beginning then at the end and I think that is one of the parts I found very intriguing and made me want to continue reading.

    I enjoyed the part of Jocasta because she was so back and forth about the Gods throughout the play and it kept me wondering how things would turn out for her. Jocasta says, “Listen and learn, nothing in human life / Turns on the soothsayer’s art,” (Sophocles 26). This is a one of the many examples of Hamartia because she is aspiring to God-like qualities by basically saying “screw the Gods”. This is showing the very outlandish side of Jocasta even though later on there is a change of perspective. Further on in the play Jocasta states, “Lords of the land, it came into my heart / To approach the temples of the Deities” (Sophocles 32). Jocasta is praying to the Gods and asking for the help of Apollo which shows her hypocrisy. Throughout the play she was a very strong character and tried to find the best in the situation, although in the end her flaw of not being able to handle the truth, overpowered everything and she committed suicide.

    The character Tiresias kept me interested in the play because I found it funny and ironic how even though he is blind and Oedipus was not, he always had a much clearer mind. At the beginning of the play Oedipus and Tiresias having a few moments of stichomythia which I found entertaining. But when Tiresias says, “Well, it will come, keep silence as I may” (Sophocles 13). He is telling Oedipus to let the Gods sort it out and not to stress over the situation. This quotations show that he is down to earth, has an open mind and does not stress over certain things. I think this is why I enjoyed the character of Tiresias. The built of this character related back to Aristotle’s definition of character, “the virtue of which we ascribe certain qualities to the agents”, was clearly demonstrated because his qualities were very clear throughout the play even if his sight was not.

    This play had many moments that I enjoyed and many that were very messed up but overall I enjoyed reading this play Oedipus Rex.

  17. Victoria Tarkowski
    Ms. D. Cox
    24 February 2013

    Oedipus Rex is an unfortunate tale of tragic proportions. The more stubborn a character got, the better the moment was, because of how truly sad it was to see the character’s downfall through denial or lack of knowledge. However, reading about the downfall of Oedipus and Jocasta was rather fulfilling, as if they got what was coming to them…

    I was particularly fond of Jocasta’s lines because of her carelessness and reluctance to listen to the truth. Jocasta was so desperately determined to steer Oedipus away from asking any questions that may reveal the truth regarding his past; this is shown when she tells Oedipus that all prophets are false: “Now set you free from thought of that you talk of; / Listen and learn, nothing in human life / Turns on the soothsayer’s art” (Sophocles 16). Jocasta then goes on to tell Oedipus the reasons why all prophets are wrong; according to her, the fact that Laius was murdered by bandits at a crossroads is reassuring enough for Oedipus to realize that he has nothing to worry about. Soon after, Oedipus has his peripeteia, and he realizes that this situation is much more screwed up than he had expected it to be, thus resulting in the catastrophe that it ends up becoming.

    When the messenger arrives with the “good” news regarding the death of Oedipus’ father, Polybus, it reinforces Jocasta’s belief that Oedipus’ father cannot possibly be Laius because Polybus died from natural causes. At this point, Oedipus is somewhat satisfied, but he is still fearful of the idea that he is going to sleep with his mother. Jocasta is in utter desperation at this point and is inches away from covering Oedipus’ poor ears, taking it as far as saying that is totally okay for a son to have major feelings for his mother: “But why should a man be fearful / O’er whom Fortune is mistress, and foreknowledge / Of nothing sure? Best take life easily, / As a man may” (Sophocles 35). Evidently, Jocasta’s hamartia, despite not being the tragic hero, is her stubbornness and reluctance to handle the truth. Despite how sadistic it is, I enjoyed observing Oedipus’ and Jocasta’s downfall, which was ultimately caused by Jocasta’s ignorance.

    Another line I enjoyed quite a bit was during the commotion between Tiresias and Oedipus, where Tiresias hints that Oedipus, is, in fact, the murderer. Oedipus insults Tiresias’ blindness, but Tiresias mocks him in return, and asks, “were you not excellent at solving riddles?” (Sophocles, 16). It is amusing to see that although Oedipus is able to solve the riddle of the Sphinx, he is not able to solve the riddle of his own destiny. Tiresias gives Oedipus the most straightforward and obvious hints, but Oedipus is simply too ignorant to even recognize what Tiresias is telling him. The dramatic irony in Oedipus Rex is fantastic because it frustrates the audience, as if it were to create a more agonizing atmosphere for the characters in the play. As a result, the play becomes much more entertaining and almost painful to read.

    The story of Oedipus Rex unfolds into a exquisite catastrophe where the characters painfully discover the truth about who they really are, as well as realize that nothing will ever be right for as long as they live (or not). The best moments were the moments of unfortunate realization, and Sophocles effectively portrays this in Oedipus Rex.

  18. In the tragedy of Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, there are many moments where I, as the reader, enjoyed because they displayed different aspects that are meaningful to what makes a good tragedy. These moments add to the depth to the plot and characterization of the participating members.

    The first moment that made an impression on me was when the seer Tiresias was called upon to discern the murderer of the previous King Laius. He knows that the killer is King Oedipus but when he makes such claims, Oedipus becomes furious at his insolence and tells him to leave. As Tiresias leaves he says “Not that I fear your frown; for you possess / No power to kill me; but I say to you – / The man you have been seeking, threatening him, / And loud proclaiming him for Laius’ murder, / That man is here; believed a foreigner” (Sophocles 17), the plot starts to unravel and Tiresias foreshadows the fact that it was indeed Oedipus who slew the previous King. I enjoyed the way Tiresias spoke to the king because he spoke in a manner that showed he is not afraid of the Oedipus’ wrath and that a king has no power over an oracle of the gods. These kinds of characters make me laugh because they have a complete disregard for courtly manners and they stand their ground in an argument regardless of who the opposition is.

    The next moment in the play has a direct correlation towards the events that transpired between Oedipus and Tiresias. Oedipus tries to put all the blame on his brother-in-law Creon because he cannot believe the outlandish claims that were put on the king himself. The characterization of Creon becomes apparent when Creon speaks against the claims saying “Not if you reason with yourself, as I / And note this first; if you can think that any / Would rather choose a sovereignty, with fears, / Than the same power, with undisturbed repose? / Neither am I, by nature, covetous / To be a king, rather than play the king,” (Sophocles 21-22). He is a shown as a humble man who has no intention of going after the Oedipus’ throne and is content with his life as it is. He already has enough wealth and power to be considered a king therefore there is no reason for him to subjugate himself to evil by trying to take the throne.

    The last moment I liked was when Jocasta prays to the gods after constantly being one who did not believe in their power. She says “Lords of the land, it came to my heart / To approach the temples of the Deities, / Taking in hand these garlands, and this incense,” (Sophocles 32). Honestly I found this quite humorous because now Jocasta takes a complete change of direction in her way of thinking when she is faced with this crisis. There are many people in this world who are like that and Sophocles took these feelings and put them into a character that displays them effectively.

    In the end, Oedipus Rex by Sophocles was a tragedy that had all the elements that make a tragedy good in the eyes of Aristotle. I myself enjoyed select moments of this play whereas normally I have little to no interest in tragic stories. It changed my way of viewing what real pity feels like and how one can actually be afraid of these events transpiring to themselves.

    By: Haaris Aziz

  19. I can say for the first time that I finally fully understand the meaning of a tragedy and all that it encompasses. While reading Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, I found that I rather enjoyed the story and the entertainment value of reading Oedipus’ tragedy. The morale of the story and bits and pieces taken from it can be related to sayings that we use in our lives every day, which made reading this tragedy that much more enjoyable. However, some parts of the story did grab my attention more than others. “Just send me home. You bear your burdens, I’ll bear mine. It’s better that way, please believe me” (Sophocles). This line is spoken by Tiresias towards Oedipus when they have finished their conversation about the prophecy. In regards to the story, I believe it speaks volumes. It ties to the fact that Tiresias is in pain from knowing what will eventually happen to Oedipus. In essence, what I took from this quote was that knowledge can be painful whether it is known or unknown. Since Tiresias is a prophet, he sees into the future. This may be a gift just as well as a curse. To know and to be unable to interfere would definitely be a burden. I rather enjoyed this quote because it shows that Tiresias is not simply a harbinger of a horrible prophecy, but he that he feels pain too, and the insight on his personal feelings jumped out at me.

    Then there is a quotation from Creon which epitomizes my exact thoughts of Oedipus. “Look at you, sullen in yielding, brutal in your rage—you will go too far. It’s perfect justice: natures like yours are hardest on themselves” (Sophocles). Creon is saying that Oedipus is reluctant to face the truth, and is quick to anger, and that his own personality is hurting him. The fact that Creon calls out Oedipus for exactly what he is really stood out to me. He just summed up Oedipus in very few words, and provided an arguable point to how and why Oedipus will fall. I enjoyed this quotation because I enjoy a realist, one who is unafraid to share the truth regardless of its possible outcome. Creon is so level-headed and true throughout this entire story, and I really enjoyed his character as a whole, but this quote is an example of the personality of which I speak. I believe every story and movie should have at least one realist who calls things as they are.

    Finally, this is a quotation from the chorus. “Now as we keep our watch and wait the final day, count no man happy till he dies, free of pain at last” (Sophocles). This is one of the only quotations from the chorus that I actually enjoyed because in this instance, they speak of something other than what has already happened in my opinion. I enjoyed the somewhat simplicity of what they were saying: happiness and release from pain comes from death. For Oedipus, this is all too true. I enjoyed this because I also find this quotation to prove true to many situations in stories I have read, in real life, and evidently in the story of Oedipus Rex. So, to summarize my thoughts, Oedipus Rex was an enjoyable and unique read, and a piece of history, and although I preferred some parts of the story to others, my overall impression of this tragedy was that it was very good.

  20. I would like to start off with saying; many of the quotations I’ve looked at do in fact have more than one meaning in my eyes. I’ve tried to take the most unique one to shed some light on it in a different way.
    The first aspect of the play I would like to talk about doesn’t have a single quotation, but rather many. It has to do with prophecies, these cursed little tales that are told throughout the play, which would never occur in real life. Unlike plays, our lives are not run by prophecies, though some may believe differently, most people do not have prophecy after prophecy shoved down their thought like in Oedipus Rex. The first thought that came to mind when these prophecies were foretold was nearly nothing, it’s just another part of the play. But then I thought about Aristotle’s theory that the plot had to be believable and follow under the principals of probability. When would we let a prophecy run our lives today, and if these prophecies were never told in the first place, they would have never happened. Like the one about Oedipus running away because he was told he would kill his dad was the trigger, or some would even argue when Jocasta and her husband were told this. This play is trigger based and comes from people being too nosy about their own lives. If I had to pick a single quotation depicting all of this, it would be when Tiresias says, “How terrible is it to know, when no good comes of knowing” (Dover Publications 12).
    An Ironic quote that makes me laugh is when Tiresias says’ “I say—you have your sight, and do you not see what evils are about you” (Dover Publications 15). The reason this is ironic is because later in the play we will bear witness to a pain stricken Oedipus gouging out his eyes, blinding himself due to all the evil he has done knowingly or not. I’m terrible to laugh, but now that I get the play, I can see it as dramatic irony, even though it’s not in the proper order for that convention. However, it is important because it tells the reader, Oedipus could never really see until he was blind. What I mean by that is he wanted to know everything to see it for his own eyes, yet when he finally saw it, and saw it was his entire fault, he could bear to see no more and potato Oedipus took potato peelers to his potato eyes.
    In addition, one of my favorite’s lies with Jocasta, when she says, “Nay, never mind—never remember it—Twas idly spoken!” (Dover Publications 38). Though this line may not hold as much power or meaning as the others, I argue that this is the turning point of the play, this is where she gets it. After Jocasta gets it, everything rolls downhill, and that’s why it’s so important. “I believe the appropriate metaphor here involves a river of excrement and a Native American water vessel without any means of propulsion’ (Big Bang Theory).
    Works Cited
    Dover Publications. Oedipus Rex. London: Random,1991. Print.
    Big bang theory. Television.

  21. Jordan Stock
    1. My first favourite moment is when Oedipus comes forth to his people and truly shows how much he is trying to over compensate for being part of his land. He says “you are all sick, I know it; and in your sickness there is not one of you as sick as I. For in your case his own particular pain comes to each singly; but my heart at once groans for the city, and for myself, and you” (Sophocles, 3) This is my first favourite line in the play because it is showing that he is over compensating for being a part of the land that he feels what they do. When in the end it really does show it. It shows how sick he is for wanting his mother and how much he groans for the knowledge of his death. I see this as him saying what he truly is but he it seems he meant it sarcastically. Therefore I see it as a prophecy he made on his own.
    2. My second favourite moments are when Tiresias comes in and brags to Oedipus about knowing something he doesn’t. Also how he finds out how eager Oedipus is to know. He says “Alas! How terrible it is to know, where no good comes of knowing … I will not bring remorse upon myself and upon you. … I am free! For I have the strength of truth” (Sophocles, 12-13). This part is just bragging to Oedipus that he knows something that he doesn’t know. That this knowledge would bring pain for them both and nothing can make him tell. It is great feeling when you know something that someone else is dying to know and that’s why I love this scene.
    3. My third favourite scene is finding the truth out about the prophecy that Oedipus shall kill his father and that the old man saved this child from death. The old man said “That he should kill his parents … would carry it away to other soil, from whence he came; but he to the worst harm saved it! For if thou art the man he says, Sure thou wast born destined to misery!” (Sophocles, 42). This line was the last straw for Oedipus finding out that he is the one who was meant to die. That he was the one that was born to kill king Lauis. That he was born to suffer. This relates to earlier how he didn’t know the truth but now he does and it shows that he is suffering like the prophecy said. This is the moment that the prophecy came true for him. That why I like this part because he finds out the truth which he hates.

    Work Cited
    Dover Publications. Oedipus Rex. London: Random,1991. Print.

  22. Blake Dixon
    ENG 4U1 – 06
    Ms. D. Cox
    24 February 2013

    Similar to that of many classical tragedies, Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex follows several aspects of Aristotle’s Poetics. However, whether or not the tragedy is an effective one is an entirely different matter. In the case of Oedipus The King there are many meaningful moments that contribute to the overall understanding of the play, highlighting the six key parts of a tragedy outlined by Aristotle.

    Like all tragic heroes, Oedipus has a hamartia. Although his hamartia is somewhat debatable, a prime example would be his determination. Shown throughout the play, his intense determination to solve the mystery of Laius’s murder is perhaps best shown when he says “And on the murderer this curse I lay / Wretch, may he pine in utter wretchedness! / And for myself, if with my privity / He gain admittance to my hearth, I pray / The curse I laid on others fall on me. / See that ye give effect to all my hest, / For my sake and the god’s and for our land,/ A desert blasted by the wrath of heaven.” (Sophocles 10). I particularly find this moment interesting because the wholehearted character of Oedipus is merely acting in the best interest of his people, wishing to prevent the oncoming plague. Unfortunately for him, his desire to do good leads him to his downfall. This character trait assists the audience in understanding and relating to Oedipus, while also revealing his moral compass.

    Jocasta, the Queen of Thebes, is both a romantic and maternal figure for Oedipus. What intrigues me about her are her inconsistent beliefs when it comes to the gods. Since Jocasta was under the impression that her son had died, the prophecy claiming Lauis’ death by the hand of his son had been seemingly disproven. Thus, her disregard for prophecies is understandable and leads her to be critical of the gods by saying, “Listen and learn, nothing in human life / Turns on the soothsayer’s art,” (Sophocles 26). While exhibiting hamartia early in the play, we later observe her desperately praying to the god Apollo: “And so, since my assurances achieve nothing, / I have come as a suppliant with these tokens, / to you, Lyccan Apollo, for you are nearest, / so that you will render us unpolluted.” (Sophocles 31). Although contrasting beliefs were displayed throughout the play, she loves Oedipus romantically yet, like a mother, wishes to protect him from the appalling truth of their relationship.

    The connection between fate and the actions of an individual is a central theme throughout the play and greatly contributes to the understanding of the tragedy. Early on Tiresias says to Oedipus, “Blind as you are in eyes, and ears, and mind!” (Sophocles 14). This successfully foreshadows the blindness Oedipus will bestow upon himself. I’m particularly fond of this moment because while Tiresias is blind, he has the ability to see the inevitable fate. His blindness represents truth, and as Oedipus discovers the truth he, himself becomes blind. Upon this realization it becomes apparent that characters cannot be fully held responsible for their actions, as fate truly is inescapable.

    These notable lines, among many, not only help us delve into the personality of various characters, but help us to gain a better understanding of the events that occur throughout the play. The well-constructed and complex plot of Oedipus Rex combined with the main elements of a Greek tragedy make it an effective tragedy, predominantly utilizing anagnorisis as the characters slowly realize their tragic fate.

  23. Anthony Livingston
    Ms. Cox
    ENG 4U1-06
    25 February 2013

    It is often said that “some things are better left unsaid” and Oedipus Rex is a good example on how this saying is true. Oedipus, despite many warnings from those around him, was determined to uncover the truth and his determination was what ultimately brought about his down fall.

    The first case in which Oedipus utterly disregards warnings to not seek the truth is when he is arguing with Tiresias. Tiresias says: “Alas, How terrible it is to know, Where no good comes of knowing!”(Sophocles 12). This is Tiresias warning to Oedipus to not seek out the murderer of Laius, the previous king, because Tiresias knew that if Oedipus continued to seek to truth it would only lead him to suffering and sorrow. If Oedipus had just listened to Tireisas’ warning then he could have kept living his life how he was until this point. Oedipus ignored this warning and continued to pressure Tiresias, until Tiresias told Oedipus that Oedipus was the murderer of Laius, previous King. Oedipus did not believe him and accused him of conspiring with Creon, his brother-in-law. This sparked Oedipus’ quest to find the truth.

    The next case of Oedipus ignoring warnings is when his wife, Jocasta, says: “Nay, never mind – never remember it – ‘Twas idly spoken!” (Sophocles 38). Jocasta has just realized the truth and knows that if Oedipus continues on his way that it will only lead to ruin, this leads her to try to convince Oedipus to stop and let it go but because of his determination she is unable to and leaves after an argument with Oedipus.

    The last case is which Oedipus refuses to concede to the numerous warnings is when he asks an Old Man where he got the baby that he gave to the Messenger from Corinth, which he gave to Polybus and Merope. The Old Man responds: “Don’t, master, for God’s sake, don’t ask me more!” (Sophocles 41). The Old Man says this right before Oedipus puts all the pieces together and finally knows the truth, that he had killed his father, Laius, and married his mother, Jocasta. At this point Jocasta had already killed herself and when Oedipus finds her body he is racked with sorrow and proceeds to stab his eyes. Oedipus at the beginning of the play could see but he could not see the truth but coming to the end he goes full circle in that now he knows the truth but he is blind. Oedipus’ determination to find the truth is what caused him to suffer the way he did.

    Works Cited
    Dover Publications. Oedipus Rex. London: Random,1991. Print.

  24. Victoria Augustus
    Ms. Cox
    ENG 4U1 -06
    25 February 2013

    In Oedipus Rex, there are multiple moments that are important in this play. Three of my favourite parts of Oedipus Rex are:

    The beginning when Oedipus asked Tiresias to help with the murder of Laius, I found interesting and ironic. Tiresias is a blind prophet but can see the truth clearly but on the other hand Oedipus can see but cannot see the truth. “I say—you have your sight, and do you not see what evils are about you” (Sophocles, 15).Tiresias says that the truth will eventually come out; trying to avoid telling Oedipus that he is the murderer. Through some of the stichomythia, Oedipus finds out that he is the murderer
    Another part that I enjoyed was when parts started to fall into place, Jocasta came to the realization and her anagnorisis that the prophecies had become true. At first, she didn’t believe in the prophecies that the gods had told them but as the truth comes out in pieces. Jocasta tries to hide it because she put all the pieces together and she now understands the truth.
    The last part i enjoyed was Oedipus’ anagnorisis. “So it all came true. It’s so clear now. O light, let me look at you one final time.” (Sophocles, ) Oedipus finally realizes that he is the murderer of Laius, and had married his own mother. I find this part also ironic because he blinds himself after finding out the truth. He is like Tiresias now, blind but can see the truth.
    Overall, this play had many memorable moments; I actually enjoyed this play, it was interesting and funny at times.

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