"Oedipus Rex" by Sophocles

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 12th gradeB+, September 1995

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In many plays a character has a misconception of his her self and/or his or

her world. When this misconception is destroyed it can be a major turning point in

the story. 'Oedipus Rex' by Sophocles is one such story. In the story Oedipus has

such a misconception where he thinks he has a good life, but really his life is morally

wrong. This contributes to the theme or themes of the play

when they serve as the defining climax of the story. When the misconception is

stopped Oedipus sees that you cannot escape or change your past, but you can still

do great things even if you have been evil or immoral in your life.

When Oedipus was born it was prophesied that he would kill his father and

marry his mother. His father naturally feared this and told a shepard to take the

boy out and kill him when he was still a child.

The kind old shepard could not bring

himself to kill a innocent little boy so he gave him to a passing messenger to take as

his own. When Oedipus was older he learned of this prophecy and left home

because he loved his foster father who he believed to be his real father. A while

after he ran away he traveling down a road when he saw a coach coming. It

contained his true father, King Laios of Thebes and his bodyguards. When they

almost ran him over Oedipus attacked them killing the bodyguards and his father,

thinking that they were highway bandits, and by doing so he unwittingly fulfilled the

prophecy. When he realizes this he is devastated. This really contributes to the

theme, that you cannot escape your past. The fact that he killed a king and his

father no less,