Oedipus rex (Socrates): The great tragedy

Essay by Amo864High School, 12th grade February 2005

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Oedipus Rex; The Great Tragedy

Commonly in society a person acts to avoid a certain situation, but less common is when that person involves themselves further into the situation. In Socrates' Oedipus Rex this is exactly what happens. Many call Oedipus Rex the greatest tragedy ever written. Socrates incorporates all of the requirements for a tragedy in his story, and does it in an artful and well-written way. In the story Oedipus tries to avoid a fate told to him, which ironically just has him fulfill the prophecy. Oedipus tries to avoid and control the destiny and fate involved with his life, so to gain the "good guy" image, and is determined to succeed in this; but actually causes himself to complete the prophecy and his destiny. Socrates uses the four main points of a tragedy to create Oedipus Rex, perhaps one of the greatest tragedies ever written, where a man tries to run from his fate and soon realizes he is running farther into it.

A tragedy must first have a tragic hero who, secondly, undergoes a conflict. Oedipus is the tragic hero in the tale Oedipus Rex. When Oedipus is born his parents are told that he will grow to kill his father. They then get rid of him; only for him to be taken in by another couple. Oedipus grows up with his new parents, which he does not know are not his real parents, until he is told a prophecy. The prophecy states that Oedipus will lay his mother and kill his father. Oedipus is both astounded and disgusted by this fortune, and decides the best way to not come across this terrible fate would be to leave the city. His desire and determination to avoid this prophecy led him to believe that he...