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Oedipus The King; Rediscovering Faith Lit 2 Literary Analysis

993 words - 4 pages

OEDIPUS THE KING: REDISCOVERING FAITH 2
OEDIPUS THE KING: REDISCOVERING FAITH 2
Oedipus the King: Rediscovering Faith
Jessica M Routh
Belhaven University
Running head: OEDIPUS THE KING: REDISCOVERING FAITH 2
Oedipus the King: Rediscovering Faith
Can a simple play change the religious mind of an entire city? Sophocles attempted to make this very change when he produced Oedipus the King. Oedipus the King is a tragedy set in Ancient Thebes that has many similarities with the Athenian troubles that were plaguing the audience during the Peloponnesian War. The play represented Oedipus’ search for a solution to the plague beleaguering his people which required him to solve the mysterious murder of their previous king. His search leads to very personal identity revelations and through this complete condemnation. Throughout the play, Oedipus is on the precipice of losing his faith, willfully so, to escape the terrible prophesied events. In realizing that the predestined is real and accurate, he discovers horrible truths about his own life and suffers terribly, however, in accepting his faith and the consequences that follow, he does save his people from the plague. In Oedipus the King, Sophocles uses dramatic irony, symbolism, and emphatic tone to provoke the audience into rethinking their religious doubts.
The dramatic irony of Oedipus the King is legendary and creates a suspenseful dialog that intrigues the listeners. Oedipus is fated to kill his father and marry his mother. He believes that his father is Polybus, king of Corinth, and thus flees the land. In his travels, he meets and kills his actual father unknowingly, and when he is elected King of Thebes, he must marry Laius’ widowed wife, the queen who turns out to be his mother. When the gods curse the land because of his actions, Oedipus curses the fallen king’s murderer unaware that it was actually he who killed him. “Now my curse on the murderer…I will fight for him as if he were my father...” (Lawall, Patterson, Patterson, James, & Spacks, /2006, p. 619) He offers to go easy on the murderer if he speaks out, but ironically punished himself far more harshly than others would have. Oedipus calls for the seer, Tiresias to offer his knowledge and advice. A conflict arises when Tiresias refuses to relinquish the information he possesses, though in anger the king forces him to tell him. After Tiresias has explained that Oedipus is the murder and scourge of the land, he eloquently states the irony of the situation. “So, you mock my blindness? Let me tell you this. You with your precious eyes, you’re blind to the corruption of your life.” (Lawall et al., /2006, p. 622)
The epic symbolism used in Oedipus the King uses explicit imagery to rally the audience into addressing the current issues facing them. The plague mentioned at the beginning of Oedipus the King is also affecting the audience during this time, though Sophocles does not describe the specific information. The symbolism regarding sight vs....

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