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Drama Analysis in Oedipus Sophocles

Oedipus The King is a play that touches on many topics and themes in life; among them are fate and destiny that unfolds through the drama in the play. The play engages the reader’s mentality to tackle matters that arise in the society and question oneself on matters like destiny and fate. These themes are elaborated in the book through drama that unfolds among characters like Oedipus the King and Jocasta, his wife. This paper aims to analyze the drama that unfolds in the book, among them, being Oedipus bedding his mother without knowing and the tales that unfold during the events discussed as follows.

To begin with, in the play, the protagonist Oedipus finds himself in a dilemma where he marries his mother, the Queen of Thebes. Oedipus unknowingly gets to marry his mother in the play after being proclaimed the king of Thebes. With the death of the previous King Laius, the nation needs a king, and Oedipus gets to be made king. Oedipus and Jocasta marry and have four children. A seer once prophesied to the king and Queen that the fate of their son Oedipus would eventually end up as a disaster where the boy would marry his mother (Lawn, p. 859-861). This drama unfolds when this prophecy comes through, and Oedipus realizes this when he confirms from a messenger that a child was taken from the palace and given to a shepherd named Polybus in Corinth, and he is that child (Lawn, pg. 854). Jocasta commits suicide by realizing this.

Secondly, Oedipus kills his father and claims the throne. When Oedipus is on the way from a seer to know his fate and the god Apollo’s plans for him, he runs away and encounters Laius, with whom he has a confrontation. Oedipus kills his father and the people who walked with the king, about five men, and the prophecy is fulfilled (Lawn, p. 853). The oracle had stated that Oedipus would kill his father and marry his mother, and both came to pass. Oedipus kills his father at a crossroad, one leading to Daulia and another to Delphi (Lawn, p. 852)

More drama unfolds when the seer Teiresias who had warned Oedipus not to look for the murderer of Laius, the previous king, because he is the murderer (Lawn, p. 842). This drama unfolds earlier on when the city of Thebes is plagued, and the people gather to ask for help from Oedipus, their king. Oedipus sends his brother-in-law Creon to find the seer Teiresias who is blind, to tell the cause of the plagues that have befallen the city. The seer states that the plague affects the city because the killer of the previous king Laius has not been brought to justice (Lawn, p. 834). Unknowingly, Oedipus declares to find justice for the dead king only to realize that the description given for the person he killed matches the king’s (Lawn, p. 853).

Lastly, Oedipus finds out that Polybus was not his biological father (Lawn, p. 859). Oedipus was a royal born to Queen Jocasta and his father, Laius. The king and Queen had a child, and according to prophesy, Oedipus would wreak havoc in the city. Laius wanted the kid to be dealt with using extreme measures, but the Queen decided to give the kid to a messenger who later gave the child to a shepherd Polybus. The messenger reveals this to Oedipus under threat of being killed if he doesn’t speak the truth.

In a nutshell, the drama that unfolds in the story is meant to build on the story’s theme, which is fate and destiny. Drama in the book ranges from Queen Jocasta marrying his son to Oedipus killing his father. All these events happened while Oedipus was unaware of his actions and was merely a victim of the actions of the gods. Oedipus also finds out he is the one causing the plague in Thebes.

Works Cited

Lawn, Beverly. 40 Short Stories: A Portable Anthology. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2017.


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