Sophocles (496?-406? B. C.)
Oedipus Rex (ca. 430 B. C.)
Things to Consider:
** Homework Questions **
- Roles of Gods/Roles of Humans in Fate
- Roles of Prophets
- Relation of Character to Plot
- Images of Vision
- Oedipus vs. Gilgamesh/Agamemnon/Priam/Achilles
- Dramatic Irony
- Roles of Women: Iliad vs. Oedipus
- Role of Chorus
- Sigmund Freud
- Interesting Essay on Oedipus and Sphinx
- How has Oedipus come to rule Thebes?
- What kind of king is Oedipus?
- What is the cause of the plague? How does this plague
found in the Iliad?
- What is the role of the Chorus?
- What does Oedipus think is the reason that Creon urges
Truly Zeus and Apollo are wise
and in human things all knowing;
but amongst men there is no
distinct judgement, between the prophet
and me—which of us is right (552-56)
- How does Jocasta initially react to Oedipus's claims?
- Why has Oedipus killed Laius? Is he
- Why does Oedipus ask for a sword when he is looking for
- Why does Oedipus blind himself? Is it indeed an act of
heroism," as Bayton suggests (201)?
- Why does he do it the way he does?
- Explain: "It was Apollo, friend, Apollo, / that
bitterness, my sorrows to completion" (1405-6).
- Is Oedipus's suffering really undeserved, as Bayton
Other Discussion Questions:
- Why do the citizens come to Oedipus's palace?
- Who is Tiresias?
- How does Creon respond to Oedipus's claims?
- Why, at this point, can't Oedipus be sure that he killed
- Why does the messenger from Corinth believe that the news
death will bring joy to Oedipus and Jocasta?
- Explain: "Why should man fear since chance is all
in all /
him, and he can clearly foreknow nothing?" (1041-42).
- Explain: "Before this, in dreams too, as well as
a man has lain with his own mother" (1045-46).
- Why does Oedipus call himself the "child of fortune, /
(1154-55)? What does that mean?
- Why does the messenger say that the palace can't be
either the Ister (Danube) or the Phasis? What does he
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- Explain: "It is unfit to say what is unfit / to do"
- Explain Creon's speech (1496-96).