Oedipus the King - Summary and Analysis of first three sections.

Essay by EggyHigh School, 11th gradeA+, December 2003

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Section 1


"XPlague in Thebes and the only way to get rid of it is to find who the murderer of Laius is.

"XOedipus curses the person who killed Laius-himself

"XCastigates the citizens of Thebes for letting the

murderer go unknown so long.

"XChorus suggests Oedipus talks to Teresias and he

sends someone to find and bring him there.


"XOedipus compassion, sense of justice, his swiftness of thought and action, and his candor.

"XDramatic irony because the audience knew already everything. Oedipus was the only one not oblivious to what was happening.

"XFor a moment, Oedipus takes upon himself the role of god.

"XHe is so competent n the affairs of men that he comes close to dismissing the gods.

"XWe see Oedipus's dangerous pride which explains his willful blindness and to a certain extent, justifies his downfall.

Section 2


"XThe blind Tiresias comes in.

"XHe doesn't want to say anything.

"XOedipus's insults Tiresias and accuses him of conspiracy

"XProvoked by the anger and insults of Oedipus, Tiresias begins to hint at his knowledge.

"XHe reveals the truth.

"XThe king criticizes Tiresias's powers wildly and insults his blindness, but Tiresias responds that the insults will eventually be turned on Oedipus by all of Thebes.


"XThe entrance of Tiresias signals a crucial turning point in the plot.

"XHis blindness augments the dramatic irony that governs the play. Tiresias is blind but can see the truth; Oedipus has sight but cannot.

"XThe characteristic swiftness of Oedipus's thoughts, words, and actions begins to work against him.

"XThe Chorus cannot believe the truth of what Tiresias has said.

"XTheir speech is full of images of caves, darkness, lightning, and wings, which suggest darkness, the unknown, and terror striking from the skies.

Section 3


"XJocasta enters and...