Oedipus the King

English / April 23, 2015 / No Comments /
This paper is an in-depth examination of Sophocles’ play, `Oedipus the King.`

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the literary work of Sophocles’ play, “Oedipus the King” in the light of two scholars, namely Aristotle and Freud ,to decipher the myth of injustice presented in the play and to present a personal analysis of the same. An overview of the play is presented so that we have an good background and understanding of the themes that will be discussed. Aristotle felt that tragedy fueled your emotions, and that this play was an excellent example of this, while Freud used this play to further his theory of sexuality by using characters from the play to show the fixation of a male child on his mother, and of the father on his daughter. This became known as the Oedipus Complex.
“Oedipus not only is the victim of a quirk of fate for no fault of his and the tragedy is such as to totally ruin him for good. Tragedy leads to a total disaster for Oedipus, there is no hope is left for him. Aristotlean hero of a tragedy is a man virtuous enough not to be ruined by vice, his downfall is through an error of judgment or by circumstances beyond his control or by the scheming of other people. And Oedipus was indeed a victim of both an error of judgment and circumstances. The former when he fails to recognize his father or mother and the latter because he was placed by fate in such circumstances. Here one cannot help noting that a belief in prophecies told by the Oracle is the real cause of this tragedy, because in this case at least, this turned out to be a prophesy fulfilled due to Laius acting on their advice to try to kill his son.”

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