Oedipus Rex is a Greek tragedy written by Sophocles in 429 B.C. Oedipus is the perfect example of a Greek tragedy because it combines all the elements necessary for one. This story is also aligned with much of Greek Mythology as it includes many fictional items such as the Oracle at Delphi, the Sphinx, and Dionysus. During this essay, I will examine all of the key elements that ultimately led to the downfall of Oedipus. This includes his tragic flaws which in the end is due to his pride. The purpose of this is to get a better overall understand the story of Oedipus and analyze how each event contributed to his downfall.
This essay seeks to prove that Oedipus the King is indeed the perfect model of a tragedy in the sense that it has all the elements of a great tragedy; human suffering, human frailty, and weakness/powerlessness to control one’s destiny. A brief summary, including a background, will be discussed in the beginning of the paper which will be followed by several supporting facts that aim to prove that Oedipus the King is in fact a tragedy.
The story begins with Laius, the King of Thebes, who was informed by a prophet that a child born to him and his wife, Jocasta, will murder him. Fearing that that the prophecy may come true, Laius took his child, pierced his ankle and ordered a servant to leave the child in a mountain. A shepherd found the boy in the mountains and took him to Corinth. This boy, was given the name Oedipus, which means “swollen feet.” He was then raised by the King and Queen of Corinth and they treated him as their own son.
When the boy grew up, a drunken man revealed that he was not the true son of Polybus, the King of Corinth. Oedipus was eager to find out the truth, so he went to the Oracle at Delphi and there it was revealed that he would murder his father and marry his mother. Fearing that the oracle may come true, Oedipus left Corinth obviously unaware of whom his real parents were. While traveling out...