"Oedipus the king".

Essay by kioulafasUniversity, Master'sA-, August 2003

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Oedipus is a self-confident, intelligent, strong willed man and a great king. Ironically these are the very traits that bring about his tragic discovery. There are many themes in the play that add to his character, which ultimately instigates his own undoing. Going through the play the audience recognises the reasons why Oedipus ends up the way he does, blind yet seeing the truth. The audience learns how his character develops, through viewing his behaviour and interaction with the other characters in the play. The chorus also plays a major part of his characterization, as do the many references to light, darkness and sight in the play

King Oedipus is portrayed as a great and respected king. He is ready and willing to do all he can to help his people rid Thebes of the polluter of their land. "I would willingly do anything to help you, indeed I should be heartless were I to stop my ears, to general petition such as this".

The priest is the first character the audience is introduced to in the play besides Oedipus. The priest speaks highly of Oedipus, he asks for his help and gives the audience their first impressions of the main character "Now Oedipus great and glorious". The dialogue between the priest and Oedipus helps the viewer to understand the character and how he develops through out the play. The next main speech given in the play is from Oedipus to the people of Thebes. He is extremely confident in warning the citizens of Thebes about their fate if they do not cooperate with his investigation. He promises banishment and shame for any found guilty; the tragic irony is that he is the polluter of Thebes and he in fact cursing himself. The audience then realizes that Oedipus is the...