Sophocles In Sophocles’ Theban Plays Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone, Oedipus is portrayed as an immoral character, more specifically in the first two plays Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus. After we find out that Oedipus killed his father and slept with his mother he becomes a distasteful character, but he is not to blame for his actions. The exposition that we are given about Oedipus makes him out to be a noble character. It all goes back to his father and his attempt to avoid a prophecy. For this reason we can’t put all the blame on Oedipus, he was actually trying to avoid the prophecy by leaving his adoptive parents, who he thought were his biological parents. “...what an oracle predicts is bound to happen. Oedipus does what he can to evade his destiny: he resolves never to see his supposed parents again”(Dodds) Oedipus’ concern for Thebes is what leads him to find out about his actions “...the spirit of Oedipus himself, who when faced with a puzzle could not resist following a fact to its logical conclusion”(Vellacott). Upon finding out what he had done Oedipus gauges out his eyes as punishment for what he had done. He could have just killed himself and avoided all the suffering that he ended up going through but due to his actions he ended up becoming more humane. It is Oedipus who declares himself guilty, the herdsman whom he questions doesn’t give a straight forward answer on whether or not he had killed Laius. Instead Oedipus takes the information that he is given and proclaims himself to be the guilty one, “Oedipus may have been right all along. His hope has gone unchallenged. Oedipus may not have killed Laius….Oedipus declares the truth he has learned. He declares himself guilty of parricide and incest…”(Goodhart). After Oedipus finds out about his past he insists that he be exiled to suffer, he had cursed himself when he was demanding information about Laius’ murderer. “Oedipus investigated the murder of Laius and discovered his own double guilt; whereupon locasta hanged herself and Oedipus blinded himself.”(Vellacott). These actions show that Oedipus had great remorse for his actions even though he had not committed the taboo on purpose. We see Oedipus wandering around blind, with his daughters caring for him. We must also take into consideration that these plays were performed for religious purposes. This brings to light the question, does Oedipus really have any say in what he does or is all just fated by the god’s. Looking at his punishment form this point of view we feel sympathy for his sufferings seeing how it is destined by the god’s “Oedipus Rex is 'a tragedy of destiny'. What the play 'proves', they said, is that man has no free will but is a puppet in the hands of the gods who pull the strings that make him dance”(Dodds). Looking at things from this end of the scope we assume that Oedipus is being punished by the god’s and therefore has no control over what is happening to him. When Oedipus asked to be exiled he was told to stay in Thebes until Creon consulted the Delphic Oracle. Creon feared acting in a way that would anger the god’s, we already have two examples as to what happens to those that go against the word of the god’s. For this reason Creon wished to be cautious, but the oracle took too long to arrive and Creon ended up banishing Oedipus because Thebes was tainted with his presence. When Creon does finally receive the prophecy he realizes that his actions have placed Thebes in danger of being cursed due to the fact that they did not let Oedipus stay. Creon then tries to trick Oedipus into returning to Thebes but Oedipus is wise and knows that Creon is merely trying to avoid a bad fate for Thebes. He curses Creon and Thebes for turning him away. Now we should consider what is moral? I believe that what he did was immoral but I am taking into consideration the fact that the original
King Lear: The Tragedy
King Lear’s Tragedy was and is still one of Shakespeare’s most famous playwrights of all time. Shakespeare used Aristotelians Theory which included Aristotle’s view of the structure and purpose of tragedy. This tragedy included a very old protagonist,
In the first act King Lear of Britain has decided to split his throne between his three daughters. But before he can do that Goneril, Regan and Cordelia must meet together.…
One could argue that in King Lear, Goneril and Regan do not start out as villains and do not immediately come across as completely evil, suggesting that their initial aim was neither horrible nor nasty. Their father is formally dividing the kingdom among his three daughters, and though he asked each of them to declare their love for him, he had already made up his mind as to the divisions.…
Reagan Stowell Practice Essay 1 – King Lear Ms LAWSON 22.03.2013 Page 1/2
Analyse how an idea is developed in a text (or texts) you have studied.
In Shakespeare’s classic tragedy King Lear, blindness is a recurring theme. It is a dominant theme. The idea of blindness is the inability of the characters to see a person for whom they truly are, being unable to see things as they really are. In other words, blindness is the lack of insight.…
King Lear is classified as a tragedy, and what is a tragedy without a villain? In just about every Shakespearean play there is the role of a villain. In King Lear’s place, the cunning and evil Edmund comes to mind as the typical Shakespearean villain. He is on a quest for power and land and will do anything to reach his goals no matter how destructive it may get. Edmund’s cruel schemes lead to the downfall of some characters as well as ultimately defining the tragedy of King Lear.…
Shakespeare has developed a tragedy that allows us to see man's decent into chaos, King Lear. Lear is perceived as "a man more sinned against than sinning".
The play begins with Lear, an old king ready for retirement, preparing to divide the kingdom among his three daughters. Lear has his daughters compete for their inheritance by judging who can proclaim their love for him in the grandest possible fashion.…
Presentation by: Alexandra Unger
• King Lear was written by William Shakespear in
1605, between his plays Orthello and Macbeth.
The setting is based upon the eighth century.
• This play was based on a lawsuit that happened
before King Lear was written.…
The play King Lear by William Shakespeare is one example that demonstrates the loop hole in this theory. King Lear is an eighty year old king who decides to divide his kingdom between his three daughters if they profess their love for their love for him in front of the kingdom. Cordelia, his youngest daughter, who refuses to do so, is banished along with Kent, Lear’s loyal knight. The characters that highlight the shortcoming of the mentioned theory are King Lear, Gloucester, and Edmund.…
Both Cordelia and the Fool are caretakers for Lear, and when one is present, the other need not be.
Lear and his allies heed Gloucester's warning that the king must flee to Dover. With the king and his forces gone, Gloucester is left alone to face Cornwall's wrath. After Gloucester also exits, Edgar is left alone on stage. His soliloquy ties together the two parallel plots and points to the similarities between his situation and that of the king's: "He childed as I father'd!" (III.6.108).…
1st Character – King Lear
• He wants to be treated as the king but doesn’t want to do his duties as a king anymore.
• “Which of you shall we say doth love us most?” – he presumes Cordellia will “please” him and say she loves him more than her sisters.
• Lear becomes mad, as the story develops.
• He is 1
• He becomes insane
• He is stubborn, like a child
• He does have better standards though.…
King Lear is a play written by William Shakespeare at an unknown point between 1604
and 1606. The story is about Lear, the aging king of England who decides to divide his land,
money, and power amongst his daughters. Despite two of his daughters’ obvious flattery, he
decides to give them his power instead of his youngest daughter, who truly loves him.
Gloucester is a supporting character in the play.…