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Oedipus Rex

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"...what man wins more happiness than just its shape and the ruin when that shape collapses?" Sophocles' Oedipus Rex has never been surpassed for the raw and terrible power with which its hero struggles to answer the eternal question, "Who am I?" The play, a story of a king who acting entirely in ignorance kills his father and marries his mother, unfolds with shattering pow "...what man wins more happiness than just its shape and the ruin when that shape collapses?" Sophocles' Oedipus Rex has never been surpassed for the raw and terrible power with which its hero struggles to answer the eternal question, "Who am I?" The play, a story of a king who acting entirely in ignorance kills his father and marries his mother, unfolds with shattering power; we are helplessly carried along with Oedipus towards the final, horrific truth. To make Oedipus more accessible for the modern reader, our Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Classics includes a glossary of the more difficult words, as well as convenient sidebar notes to enlighten the reader on aspects that may be confusing or overlooked. We hope that the reader may, through this edition, more fully enjoy the beauty of the verse, the wisdom of the insights, and the impact of the drama.


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"...what man wins more happiness than just its shape and the ruin when that shape collapses?" Sophocles' Oedipus Rex has never been surpassed for the raw and terrible power with which its hero struggles to answer the eternal question, "Who am I?" The play, a story of a king who acting entirely in ignorance kills his father and marries his mother, unfolds with shattering pow "...what man wins more happiness than just its shape and the ruin when that shape collapses?" Sophocles' Oedipus Rex has never been surpassed for the raw and terrible power with which its hero struggles to answer the eternal question, "Who am I?" The play, a story of a king who acting entirely in ignorance kills his father and marries his mother, unfolds with shattering power; we are helplessly carried along with Oedipus towards the final, horrific truth. To make Oedipus more accessible for the modern reader, our Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Classics includes a glossary of the more difficult words, as well as convenient sidebar notes to enlighten the reader on aspects that may be confusing or overlooked. We hope that the reader may, through this edition, more fully enjoy the beauty of the verse, the wisdom of the insights, and the impact of the drama.

30 review for Oedipus Rex

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lizzy

    What can I say about Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex that has not already been said? Apart from the patricide and the infamous incest, this is an ancient tale of angst and overall calamity. But since I recently revisited it, this legendary tragedy hasn’t left my mind. "Look and learn all citizens of Thebes. This is Oedipus. He, who read the famous riddle, and we hailed chief of men, All envied his power, glory, and good fortune. Now upon his head the sea of disaster crashes down.” I felt after reading th What can I say about Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex that has not already been said? Apart from the patricide and the infamous incest, this is an ancient tale of angst and overall calamity. But since I recently revisited it, this legendary tragedy hasn’t left my mind. "Look and learn all citizens of Thebes. This is Oedipus. He, who read the famous riddle, and we hailed chief of men, All envied his power, glory, and good fortune. Now upon his head the sea of disaster crashes down.” I felt after reading the play that there was not really anything that Oedipus could have done to get himself out of his destiny. In fact, it seems that the more he attempts to get out of it, the deeper he is immersed in its inevitability. It is simply that there was no way for him to avoid doing it all and facing his fate. After hearing of the prophecy he flees because he doesn't want it to come true, but there is a lot that he does not know and a lot that he is not being told. His parents, when told by the oracles decided to sacrifice him. But he was saved by the compassionate nature of humanity. Later on, his step parents also leave him in ignorance, and in hiding the truth they are also making the prophecy come true. The theme as I see it, therefore, is of fate versus freewill. However, there really does not seem to be any freewill here. Every decision that Oedipus makes only brings the revelation closer to being fulfilled. But to fully understand Sophocles work, you have to know that for the ancient Greeks the word "tragedy" didn't mean “a lamentable, dreadful, or fatal event or affair; calamity; disaster.” For them the idea of such a play, that had a certain and defined theme and structure, is about a person that because of a single tragic flaw becomes the victim of the gods. The specific purpose was called "catharsis", the audience watching the play should gain an emotional release that made your own trivial issues fade into insignificance. According to Aristotle’s Poetics “the complexity of the plot is established through reversal, recognition and suffering.” The tragedy is created, in part, by the complexity of its plot which leads towards the catharsis. The Chorus is crucial; its speeches are revealing. It is the cautious voice of collective wisdom. And from the very beginning of the play, the Chorus revealed the omen of disaster. This can all be summed up in the following lines: "O god- All come true, all busting to light! O light- now let me look my last on you! I stand revealed at last-” Oedipus is a passionate man, who asks questions and takes risks. Despite his flaws and his sins, Oedipus is good and always seeks the truth no matter how devastating. In the end, he accepts the responsibility for his actions, his fate and punishment. Does he have free will or the ability to choose his own path or is everything in his life been predetermined? Indeed, despite the prophecy, it can never be denied that Oedipus and his parents had made the choices, not the oracle or the Gods. Is the very idea of carving out your eyes, after discovering your wife is your mother in this incredibly packed tragedy that alleviates so much the enormous pain that seems so causeless? Is the existential angst finally satisfies by the human need to identify the guilty that alleviates our human sensation of utter, senseless and chaotic misery? This is what torments us, being humans: we have free will but we can never control everything. Oedipus’s specific life events aren’t exactly relatable to any of us, but the sensations are not less pertinent. Aren’t we used to impending unconquerable doom? I ask myself, could ignorance lead us through hell? Oedipus Rex doesn’t make us only question the role of the gods (or whatever may decide our fate nowadays: politicians, the economy, the news, and even our own expectations!), but above all the argument of fate and destiny, and whether we are able to live without external powers deciding our chances. It also makes us question who we are; whether our personalities, or other personal characteristics, are a kind of destiny in itself. Where's our human freedom? More important: do you feel a prevailing sense of inevitability, no matter what you do?! Why are we always being judged, by ourselves and by the world? If we try to transpose the play to today, many questions are still left with no definite answers. For certain, we can choose what we want to become. The curse is that our capacities are finite; we are not gods. What happened to Oedipus was the torture of being human, can we escape this curse? Oedipus Rex is a literary masterpiece! Highly recommended!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Οἰδίπους Τύραννος = Oedipus Tyrannus = Oedipus = Oedipus Rex = Oedipus the King (The Theban Plays #1), Sophocles Oedipus the King, is an Athenian tragedy by Sophoclesو that was first performed around 429 BC. Oedipus sent his brother-in-law Creon to ask advice of the oracle at Delphi concerning a plague ravaging Thebes. Creon returns to report that the plague is the result of religious pollution, since the murderer of their former King, Laius, had never been caught. Oedipus vows to find the murde Οἰδίπους Τύραννος = Oedipus Tyrannus = Oedipus = Oedipus Rex = Oedipus the King (The Theban Plays #1), Sophocles Oedipus the King, is an Athenian tragedy by Sophoclesو that was first performed around 429 BC. Oedipus sent his brother-in-law Creon to ask advice of the oracle at Delphi concerning a plague ravaging Thebes. Creon returns to report that the plague is the result of religious pollution, since the murderer of their former King, Laius, had never been caught. Oedipus vows to find the murderer and curses him for causing the plague. ... عنوانها: «ادیپ شهریار»؛ «ادیبوس شاه»؛ «ادیبوس شهریار»؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز بیست و ششم ماه آگوست سال 1974میلادی؛ و بار دیگر سال 2007میلادی عنوان: ادیپ شهریار؛ نویسنده: سوفوکلس؛ مترجم: شاهرخ مسکوب؛ در 96 ص؛ چاپ دوم با عنوان: ادیب در کلنوس؛ در 212ص؛ موضوع: نمایشنامه های نویسندگان یونانی - سده پنجم پیش از میلاد عنوان: ادیپ شهریار؛ نویسنده: سوفوکل؛ مترجم: فاطمه عربی؛ استهبان، 1387؛ در 72ص؛ شابک: 9786005209006؛ عنوان: ادیبوس شاه؛ مترجم: ساسان قاسمی؛ تهران، جعفری، 1387؛ در 132ص؛ شابک: 9789646088733؛ عنوان: ادیبوس شهریار؛ مترجم: تهران، پژواک کیوان؛ 1389؛ در 14 ص؛ شابک: 9789648727890؛ قسمتی از نمایشنامه .همسرایان: می‌خواهیم حقیقت هیاهویی را که تا به امروز بر سر زبانهاست بدانیم ..ادیپوس: وای بر من .همسرایان: آرام باش تمنا می‌کنم ..ادیپوس: بسیار ناهنجار است. باری می‌گویم. من نارواترین بیداد را بر خود هموار کردم. من ستمی ناسزاوار بر خود هموار کردم. خدا می‌داند که اختیاری در کار نبود .همسرایان: در چه کاری؟ ..ادیپوس: در ازدواجی ننگین به خاطر شرم، نادانسته به زناشویی رسوایی دست زدم .همسرایان: می‌گویند مادرت در این پیوند ننگین همسر تو بود ..ادیپوس: بیاد آوردن آن در حکم مرگ من است. تازه این دو نیز(آنتیگنه و ایسمنه) از آن منند .همسرایان: نه ..ادیپوس: فرزندان نفرین شده .همسرایان: آه، خدایا ..ادیپوس: و میوه‌های بطن همان مادر .همسرایان: دختران تو و ..ادیپوس: خواهرانم! آه خواهران پدر خود .همسرایان: آیا پدرت را ..ادیپوس: باز هم رنجی دیگر و شکنجه‌ای تازه؟ .همسرایان: تو او را کشتی؟ ..ادیپوس: آری اما به حق .همسرایان: به حق؟ ..ادیپوس: آری (ناشناخته، در راه) کسی را کشتم که می‌خواست مرا بکشد داستان نمایشنامه تقدیر چنین مقرر کرده‌، که «ادیپ» شهریار، پدر خود را بکشد، و با مادر خویش همبستر شود؛ فرمانیست ظالمانه، و دوزخی؛ این حکم را پدر و مادر ادیب دریافته‌ اند، و برای گریختن از آن، «ادیپ» کودک را، به چوپانی می‌سپارند، تا جانش را بگیرد؛ اما اگر ریختن خون طفلی، بر پدر و مادر او دشوار آید، بر چوپان ساده دلی نیز آسان نیست؛ چوپان لبخند معصومانه ی کودک را می‌بیند، و او را به چوپانی دیگر، از دیار «کرنت» می‌سپارد؛ شبان دوم، او را نزد شاه کشور خویش می‌برد، و کودک در دربار آن شاه، بزرگ می‌شود؛ «ادیب» در دوران جوانی به وسیله ی هاتفان، از سرنوشت خود آگاه می‌شود، و چون پدرخوانده، و مادرخوانده‌ اش را پدر و مادر حقیقی خود می‌پندارد، برای گریز از سرنوشت، از آن دیار می‌گریزد؛ در راه به گردونه ی پیرمردی می‌رسد؛ پس از گفتگویی کوتاه، پیرمرد را (که پدر واقعی او بوده) می‌کشد، و به سوی شهر «تب» می‌تازد؛ بر دروازه ی آن شهر از دیرگاه ابوالهولی بوده، که از مردمان معمائی می‌پرسیده، و چون آنان در پاسخ درمی‌ماندند، طعمه ی مرگ می‌شدند؛ «ادیب» معمای ابوالهول (نماینده تقدیر) را پاسخ درست می‌گوید، و ابوالهول بر خاک می‌افتد؛ ساکنان شهر «تب» به پاس این گره‌گشائی، شهریاری دیار خود را به «ادیپ» می‌بخشند، و دست ملکه ی شهر (مادرادیپ) را، در دست او می‌گذارند؛ پس از سالها فرمانروائی، مرگ، و طاعون بر آن شهر فرود می‌آید؛ و چون «ادیب» خود سبب آن فاجعه را، از معبد کاهنان آپولو می‌پرسد؛ پاسخ می‌شنود که گناهکار باید از میانه برخیزد؛ گناهکاری که پدر خود را کشته، و با مادرش هم‌بستر شده‌ است؛ «ادیپ» در جستجوی گناهکار پلید، پس از ماجراهایی، سرانجام به خود می‌رسد، و چشمهای جهان بین خویش را برمی‌کند تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 25/09/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  3. 5 out of 5

    Renato

    "Look and learn all citizens of Thebes. This is Oedipus. He, who read the famous riddle, and we hailed chief of men, All envied his power, glory, and good fortune. Now upon his head the sea of disaster crashes down. Mortality is man’s burden. Keep your eyes fixed on your last day. Call no man happy until he reaches it, and finds rest from suffering." I believe that in one way or another, everyone - at least to some extent - has heard of the story of Oedipus and Jocasta. It's one of those tales tha "Look and learn all citizens of Thebes. This is Oedipus. He, who read the famous riddle, and we hailed chief of men, All envied his power, glory, and good fortune. Now upon his head the sea of disaster crashes down. Mortality is man’s burden. Keep your eyes fixed on your last day. Call no man happy until he reaches it, and finds rest from suffering." I believe that in one way or another, everyone - at least to some extent - has heard of the story of Oedipus and Jocasta. It's one of those tales that's been on our collective consciousness forever even though we may not even be able to assertively answer about its origins. The same might be said, for example, of Odysseus and Don Quixote: they've been so used and re-used, adapted and re-adapted throughout so many generations and in so many different formats that one might as well state they were simply born within us, for they're public and common knowledge. I, for one, believed Oedipus and Jocasta's tale came from the Bible! As I was never a religious person and therefore never payed much attention to it - and unfortunately never decently studied Greek mythology -, I used to unconsciously attribute to the Bible the origins of all stories which seemed to me as too ancient to properly date. I'm terribly sorry and embarrassed about that, Sophocles. I stand corrected now. Every time I read an ancient text I recurrently find myself to blame because of the same mistake: being surprised by its quality despite being written so long ago. It turns out more and more I agree with an analysis I've read somewhere that states that, unlike science, there is no progress, no discovery in art. An artist, while he creates, is not helped by the efforts of all the others - like scientists are - and depends upon his own individual truths. The ancient art is in no way a primitive version of the art created by our contemporaries. So it should not be astonishing to me that a text written thousands of years ago possesses the same qualities or refinement of awarded pieces that only now cracked their fifty years of age mark. Putting the story itself a little aside, it's precisely this refinement, this brilliance in the construction of the narrative that impressed me so much. The pace, the development of the action and disentanglement of this intricate plot was written so masterfully that it requires little investigation in discovering the reasons why it became so influential to the subsequent generations. Now, I'm not knowledgeable enough to affirm that Sophocles himself wasn't influenced by other works that preceded him, so I'm not claiming unprecedented originality to his name here, but merely(!) talent in using the most appropriate techniques to write so many wondrous predicates into this marvelous play. The ability with which he created, sustained and solved the various mysteries that surround this classical tragedy is very remarkable, as well as a striking mixture of pity and horror that the themes developed here successfully imposes on the reader. Themes such as fate, free will, interference in human life by the Gods (for some that hasn't changed much, has it?) and its inflexible exploration of human nature and suffering are skillfully written in the form of intense dialogues and shocking revelations that could even prove too disturbing had not been Sophocles accurate treatment, much like the reader likely pities Phedre's actions instead of automatically blaming her for her fate. The ever so mesmerizing battle between destiny and logical consequences also plays a big role here: does fate completely control Oedipus's actions - is it all predetermined? -, or is he simply a victim of his own doings, even if unknowingly? Oedipus Rex (also known as Oedipus the King and Oedipus Tyrannus) tells the story of Oedipus, a man that's respected and loved in Thebas, where he is King after solving the riddle of the Sphinx and marrying Jocasta, the widow of the previous king. After a plague threatens his kingdom, he is begged by a chorus of Thebans for help and Oedipus sends for an oracle in order to find some guidance. As it turns out, Tiresias, the blind prophet, believes the King is the only one to blame for his malady. At first outraged and, because of it, incensed into proving his innocence, he starts connecting the clues that he receives from various bits of information gathered by different sources. (view spoiler)[As it turns out, Oedipus, after leaving his home in Corinth due to a prophecy which stated he would murder his father and sleep with his mother, entered a fight with some men at a crossroads and ended up killing them, before arriving in Thebes. One of these men was Laius, Jocasta’s husband and previous King. In order to escape the prophecy, Oedipus fell into it, as he was Laius’s son who was sent away to be killed many years ago exactly because he received an oracle that he would be murdered by his own son. Oedipus’s life ended up being spared and, unknown to him, he was adopted by the King of Corinth. Now it was clear to him that, besides murdering his father, he has slept with his own mother and fathered children that were also his brothers and sisters. Jocasta, upon finding out this complex imbroglio, can't deal with the unimaginable situation and kills herself. (hide spoiler)] Completely horrified and ruined by everything he found out, Oedipus blinds himself (ironically at the precise moment when he sees the whole truth) so he wouldn't ever again need to see his own feelings of shame and humiliation mirrored in the faces of the others. I've read some criticism stating that some of the drama in the play is a bit over the top, and while I wouldn't agree and, more importantly, couldn't possibly begin to imagine myself in the same situation, I guess it was in vogue at the time that the heroes would suffer so much when they'd find their worlds turned upside down that they would impose on themselves severe sentences such as mutilations or death. Part of their heroism is exactly accepting to endure serious consequences, not once pleading blamelessness. Even later, in Shakespeare, we were still to find six or seven characters dying just like that, entire families decimated because of the belief that there could be no way out once the universe had programmed their fates. Film adaptation: as influential as this story was everywhere, of course it wouldn’t lack adaptations in film. When I found out there was one Edipo Re (1967), directed by Pasolini, I instantly picked it to watch as I imagined that controversial material filmed by controversial director could only result in very interesting movie - to say the least! Much to my surprise, the ick factor was greatly downplayed and this time the Italian director focused more on the emotional aspects of his narrative than on the sexual ones. His rendition was very faithful to the story, although the linear narrative lacked the sophistication employed by Sophocles that chose to slowly reveal details of the plot by making use of different characters referring to past events. The power of the prophecy and the influence in human lives by the Gods were also not as active as in the original story. The intro Pasolini used though was very interesting: it begins in modern days where a father is very jealous of his son's connection with his mother and decides to get rid of him, as if he was anticipating an Oedipus complex situation; after that, time goes back to the ancient days. Rating: I can't wait to read more from Sophocles and if my anticipation for the remaining plays in this trilogy (Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone) means anything, is that it's a great testament of Oedipus Rex's qualities and how highly I enjoyed this short but intense reading experience: 5 stars.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sean Barrs

    Sometimes life's a real bitch. Fate is unavoidable in ancient Greek Tragedy. Trying to avoid it will only lead to it, and doing nothing will lead you there too. So if a God tells you that you will die at the hands of your son, and that he will then go on to steal your wife, you’d best do nothing because it’s going to happen anyway. Any preventative action you take will only lead to the same ending. So, you’re pretty much screwed. You might as well lie down and accept it. The God's are mean. But, Sometimes life's a real bitch. Fate is unavoidable in ancient Greek Tragedy. Trying to avoid it will only lead to it, and doing nothing will lead you there too. So if a God tells you that you will die at the hands of your son, and that he will then go on to steal your wife, you’d best do nothing because it’s going to happen anyway. Any preventative action you take will only lead to the same ending. So, you’re pretty much screwed. You might as well lie down and accept it. The God's are mean. But, nope, if you’re like the King of Thebes you’ll leave your infant son for dead instead. Poor Oedipus. He really didn’t have much chance in life. He could do nothing to intervene with his own destiny, mainly because his tragic flaw is his lack of awareness about his true origins. He hears a rumour of the prophecy told to his farther, so he endeavours to stay away from him. But, in doing so he is pushed ever closer to his real farther. That’s the problem with being abandoned at birth; you just don’t know who is who in the world! There’s some irony in this somewhere. Indeed, it suggests that no free will exists at all because any exertions of the supposed free will lead to the predetermined fate. So every action has been accounted for already. The intended audience may have been aware of these powers but Oedipus and his farther were hapless in their wake. They had to both learn the hard way. Oedipus had to recognise it, and in the process he shattered his life: it made him tear out his very eyes. Now that’s real grief. There’s no wonder Aristotle made this his model for the perfect play because this is masterful. Aristotle’s theory can be used to assist the reader in understanding how the plot contributes to the tragedy. I couldn’t have read tragedy without it. The tragedy is created, in part, by the complexity of its plot which leads towards the catharsis. According to Aristotle’s Poetics the complexity of the plot is established through reversal, recognition and suffering. A simple plot will only establish one of these; therefore, it will have a limited catharsis. The reversal (peritpeteia) is the change of a state of affairs to its opposite, such as the reversal of Oedipus’ identity. The recognition (anaghorsis) is achieved through the acquiring of knowledge, like the knowledge Oedipus gains of his birth. Aristotle argues that an effective plot has its anaghorisis bound up with the peritpeteia. This is because it, “carries with it pity or fear” such as these following lines: "O god- All come true, all busting to light! O light- now let me look my last on you! I stand revealed at last-” (Lines 1305-9) I hope I didn’t lose anyone or bore them to death with my summary of Poetics. The structure is the key; it is everything in delivering the plot. If, in the cathartic moment, the action can evoke suffering through a combination of a reversal of circumstances during a brutally stark recognition, then the ultimate delivery of pity and fear will be achieved. Such is the case with Oedipus. Oedipus’s hamartia, his tragic flaw at the core of his being, is his ignorance, and when the veil is lifted he realises the tragedy of the situation; he realises all too late that fate is unshakable and unconquerable. He has unknowingly committed incest with his mother and murdered his farther, so, like I said, life is a real bitch.

  5. 4 out of 5

    James

    Book Review 4 out of 5 stars to Oedipus Rex, the first of "The Theban Plays," written by Sophocles around 430 BC. If you are unfamiliar with Greek tragedies, the thing you need to know most is that the authors often played with the concept of fate: not just that some things are meant to be or to come back and haunt you, but that there is always more going on than you realize at the time. This is one of the plays you should absolutely read. Although borderline spoiler, it's important t Book Review 4 out of 5 stars to Oedipus Rex, the first of "The Theban Plays," written by Sophocles around 430 BC. If you are unfamiliar with Greek tragedies, the thing you need to know most is that the authors often played with the concept of fate: not just that some things are meant to be or to come back and haunt you, but that there is always more going on than you realize at the time. This is one of the plays you should absolutely read. Although borderline spoiler, it's important to know 1 fact about the play, as it plays into the mind of so many psychologists today when they speak about an Oedipal Complex, as in all young boys (kids?) fall in love with their mothers at some point. Essentially, Oedipus kills the King and marries the King's wife. Little does he know.... that was his father and she is his mother. Whaaaaattttt? How does that happen? Seriously... well, the plot is intricate, the history is insane... and it's only the first of three in this trilogy. Find a translation and read it. It's a little convoluted, and the language may be a bit metaphorical in too many places, but the characters and the plot is amazing! About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. 4 out of 5

    emma

    nothin like a forced reread in order to write a terrible paper ------- classic oedipus!!! always going and getting himself into life-ruining, city-destroying shenanigans :') nothin like a forced reread in order to write a terrible paper ------- classic oedipus!!! always going and getting himself into life-ruining, city-destroying shenanigans :')

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kalliope

    THE EYE THAT DIES I have not read Sophocles’ text recently, but listened to this exceptional audio edition. Powerfully acted out, with an eerie chorus and dramatic music, it has been a superb experience. I have come back to this play now in a roundabout way. As part of a Seminar on Aesthetics, The Eye that Thinks, imparted in the Prado Museum, we were prompted by our Professor Félix de Azúa to read Oedipus in a Hegelian framework. We had been discussing the contributions of Hegel to Aestheti THE EYE THAT DIES I have not read Sophocles’ text recently, but listened to this exceptional audio edition. Powerfully acted out, with an eerie chorus and dramatic music, it has been a superb experience. I have come back to this play now in a roundabout way. As part of a Seminar on Aesthetics, The Eye that Thinks, imparted in the Prado Museum, we were prompted by our Professor Félix de Azúa to read Oedipus in a Hegelian framework. We had been discussing the contributions of Hegel to Aesthetics, and he wanted us to visit the play and think of the role of Sphinx and the significance of Thebes. In Hegel’s aesthetic system he identified Greek sculptures as the apex of what art could achieve in its quest of perfect and supreme beauty. Earlier architecture and art were still immature attempts. For example, the large Egyptian monuments were undertakings in which matter still prevailed over Geist. When Hegel saw some Kouroi in Munich (now in the Glyptotech), specimens of very early Greek art, he was struck by the significance of the step in this walking man. In Egyptian representations of humans, legs are seen in profile. They depicted stability, while the Greek marble in Munich man was striding forward. The Kouros, although still using Egyptian conventions presented something very new. It embodied gesture. And Hegel thought that art should strive to represent movement. The conceptual step of the Kouros, an awakening out of immobility, separated the worlds of the two Thebes: the one in Boetia in ancient Greece from the one up the Nile in ancient Egypt. In Greece Geist was finally on the move. If Hegel favoured Greek sculpture, he found that Greek drama could offer an additional dimension to sculpted beauty as the unfolding of time could be represented as well. For him Greek tragedy had invoked the greatest aesthetic power. Hegel had also understood the Egyptian Sphinx as the first instance of the representation of human emerging out, liberating himself, from his animal nature. In this reading of Oedipus Rex as I have tried to keep on some sort of Hegelian glasses (and forget about the pervasive Freudian interpretation), I have seen the solution of Oedipus to the riddle of the Sphinx, and the consequent dissolution of the curse on Thebes and the destruction of the monster, as the emergence of humanity over its previous servitudes and imprisonment. And yet, this conquered freedom also brought the possibility of unwilled intention or of the unintended will and the impossibility of unlearning what one already knows. Trapped in this situation Oedipus attempt to escape his knowledge by doing away with his eyes, could only bring death. As the chorus chants: it is the only liberation. ---

  8. 4 out of 5

    Hend

    Oedipus of Sophocles is a great work of art written by a great poet,this play symbolizes for the human misery and despair... the torments of the human soul,the innocence and guilt,Wisdom Out of Suffering and Fate that determines many things no matter how we struggle to change it.... Oedipus hears about his dreadful fate from the Delphic oracle and flees from Corinth. But instead of fleeing from his fate he runs into it... Oedipus a passionate heart,who ask questions and take risks,has all the quali Oedipus of Sophocles is a great work of art written by a great poet,this play symbolizes for the human misery and despair... the torments of the human soul,the innocence and guilt,Wisdom Out of Suffering and Fate that determines many things no matter how we struggle to change it.... Oedipus hears about his dreadful fate from the Delphic oracle and flees from Corinth. But instead of fleeing from his fate he runs into it... Oedipus a passionate heart,who ask questions and take risks,has all the qualities of a great man...he has gone through sudden shifts on the course of his life and lets every situation control him.... Despite his flaws, Oedipus is a good person who seeks the truth no matter how devastating. and who accept the responsibility for his actions..... At the end of the play, Oedipus accepts his fate as well as the punishment given to him .... He had promised to exile the one who is responsible for the plague , and he fulfills his promise even if he himself is the one to be exiled. By mercilessly punishing himself, he becomes a great hero... who has a Respect for Justice .... Jocasta, on the other hand, appears as a person who would rather control the situation. She reveals that she is more mature than Oedipus and even reveals a maternal side towards him. This is evident in the way she tries to stop Oedipus from investigating further into the mystery of his birth. At this point, she has realized the possibility that Oedipus may be her son. She would rather let the dreadful fact remain a mystery then let it ruin their lives The entwined sheets with which she hangs herself symbolize the double life she has led........ Oedipus tragic position and his trial to elude the prophecies and to challenge his Fate, that was inevitable as he at last fails, but just having the courage to attempt , makes him a true hero. This play raises a question,when someone is trying to avoid doing things. Does he have free will or the ability to choose his own path or is everything in life predetermined?

  9. 5 out of 5

    Zenki the Pixie

    You'll enjoy this book if you like: 👑 Plays (duh) 👑 Ancient Greece (also duh) 👑 A fast read! 👑 Gods who release plagues on a kingdom to ignite drama 👑 (view spoiler)[Patricide and incest (I mean, not necessarily like them, but tolerate them haha) (hide spoiler)] 👑 Murder mysteries 👑 Knowing something crucial about the plot early on and waiting for characters to find out all about it (A.K.A. Slow characters) 👑 Dysfunctional families You'll enjoy this book if you like: 👑 Plays (duh) 👑 Ancient Greece (also duh) 👑 A fast read! 👑 Gods who release plagues on a kingdom to ignite drama 👑 (view spoiler)[Patricide and incest (I mean, not necessarily like them, but tolerate them haha) (hide spoiler)] 👑 Murder mysteries 👑 Knowing something crucial about the plot early on and waiting for characters to find out all about it (A.K.A. Slow characters) 👑 Dysfunctional families

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    “I want a girl, just like the girl, that married dear old Dad”—Oedipus But, why accept a copy when you can get the real thing?! I read this because 1) recently I had read (out of order) Antigone and thought I might reread the whole trilogy; 2) I plan to see a local production of the play and 3) I had some vague notion that the play, about a king, might throw some literary light on our current American King and kingly conduct. I listened to it, though I had to start over 3-4 times because the reade “I want a girl, just like the girl, that married dear old Dad”—Oedipus But, why accept a copy when you can get the real thing?! I read this because 1) recently I had read (out of order) Antigone and thought I might reread the whole trilogy; 2) I plan to see a local production of the play and 3) I had some vague notion that the play, about a king, might throw some literary light on our current American King and kingly conduct. I listened to it, though I had to start over 3-4 times because the reader was literally the worst reader of a text I have ever encountered; I would have preferred hearing Siri read the text to this play. I thought he was deliberately doing a flat, comic interpretation at times. He made the already formal language especially stilted and dry. I already preferred Antigone, but this experience made me like the play a little less. But hey, it’s still a classical tragedy that has been read for centuries and a good story. Oedipus is the first in the trilogy, also known as Oedipus Tyrannus. As you maybe know from the fact that even if you haven’t read the play, Freud’s “Oedipus complex” comes from this play: O became king of Thebes after fulfilling a prophecy made by blind Teresias that he would kill his father, Laius, and marry his mother, Jocasta (though he didn’t really know she was his mother, to his credit). [Let’s pause here and consider this incest question with respect to the presidency; Trump said even if he murdered someone that his base would still vote for him; if he had married his, let’s say, daughter, Ivanka (and you’ve heard what he said about dating her, so this is not so far-fetched), would his base have still voted for him? Consider.] [Another kingly reflection: Oedipus means “swollen feet,” as his feet had been tightly bound by Laius. Trump is known for having tiny appendages; write a 3-5 page paper reflecting on the implications of appendage size regarding kingly pride.] So one serious theme the play takes up is the relationship of the individual to the state (as happens in Antigone, too, with King Creon). Each king makes a decision that his subjects question or disobey; each king misconstrues disagreement as rebellion. While Creon saw his mistake, Oedipus refuses to listen to anyone who disagrees with him. Question: Is listening a useful property in a leader? The blind prophet Tiresias “sees” more than Oedipus, who cannot “see” the truth because his excessive pride has made him “blind.” I leave it to you whether this insight into political leadership from roughly two dozen centuries ago has trickled down to any political leaders we know, but “pride” is Oedipus’s tragic flaw (see Aristotle), which “goeth before his fall.” Discuss. This play really builds up a lot of steam by its (tragic) end. And it's probably the greatest classical tragedy, by reputation, so in spite of the fact that I connected a bit better to Antigone (because I like that character in the play) better, I still this is a play well-worth reading about politics and human nature.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I'd say "spoiler alert" but it seems ridiculous . . . I've taught this play for years, and I think this year I finally decided what makes this play great. My students never feel sympathy for Macbeth, but they do for Oedipus, and that always used to bother me. They whine in their teenage attitudinal voices, "But he didn't know that was his father." I always respond, "So it's ok to KILL PEOPLE if they're not your father?!" In identifying with Oedipus, they forget the nature of the atrocities he co I'd say "spoiler alert" but it seems ridiculous . . . I've taught this play for years, and I think this year I finally decided what makes this play great. My students never feel sympathy for Macbeth, but they do for Oedipus, and that always used to bother me. They whine in their teenage attitudinal voices, "But he didn't know that was his father." I always respond, "So it's ok to KILL PEOPLE if they're not your father?!" In identifying with Oedipus, they forget the nature of the atrocities he committed, and that is where the greatness of this play lies - in creating a character who does horrible things, but who never seems like a monster to his audience: to them, he's just a human with human failings. He is essentially a good man, one who tries to help people, who makes tragic mistakes. In this sense my students mirror the feelings of the people of Thebes: the chorus defends Oedipus to the end, unable to believe evil of this great man who saved them once and is trying to save them again. When Oedipus is revealed as not being the son of Polybus and possibly the son of slaves, the chorus believes then that he must be the child of a god, for who else could spawn such a great man? But Oedipus' humanity lies in his course of action which spirals out of his control - and that, I think, is the element in Oedipus with which my students identify. Oedipus becomes a victim of the unforseen consequences of his own actions. These actions, of course, are fueled by his own pride - arrogance to think he can avoid Apollo's prophecy, and pride turned to anger in being pushed off the road when he feels the other driver should be giving way to his own great self (Ancient Greek road rage!). He may have been doomed since before birth by Apollo's curse on his family, but Oedipus creates his own problems. In believing he can avoid Apollo's prophecy, he shows us that he thinks he has outsmarted the gods, that he is greater than the gods. This, then, is the ultimate hubris and his ultimate undoing.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    “Fear? What has a man to do with fear? Chance rules our lives, and the future is all unknown. Best live as we may, from day to day.”

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alex ✰ Comets and Comments ✰

    this fucked me right up.

  14. 4 out of 5

    d.a.v.i.d

    I really do not like my mother. I realize that moms (mums for the English) have many hats to wear. There is the tumult she has with the husband who never listens to her, and the children who end up at the principal’s office, and the clothes that need mending, and the purveying and construction of victuals to meet everyone’s different palate. Got it. I cannot even imagine what extra toll and toil the 1960’s will bring on these unappreciated females. But that is still years away. I like to focus o I really do not like my mother. I realize that moms (mums for the English) have many hats to wear. There is the tumult she has with the husband who never listens to her, and the children who end up at the principal’s office, and the clothes that need mending, and the purveying and construction of victuals to meet everyone’s different palate. Got it. I cannot even imagine what extra toll and toil the 1960’s will bring on these unappreciated females. But that is still years away. I like to focus on the now. Why? Sounds good, I think. Please pass the black and white corn on the cob. But some mothers are…well…mothers. I include mine in this subsection. She is so bad I do not hesitate to walk little old ladies across the interstate. She is so bad that occasionally I will borrow a granny's walker for few minutes and ask them to lean against a wall while I spin it around. She is so bad that I consciously walk through the make-up departments at big chains and offer an ersatz opinion to elderly mothers on their rouge or their eyeliner or whatever it is that they buy for their faces. I will say, in passing, “No, the lipstick is too vermillion.” Of course, they will think it over, because what kind of man knows the word vermillion. “Periwinkle eye-shadow? In the summer?” will cause them to blush vermillion, as I roll my eyes (drama). You can never use the word vermillion enough, I have always thought. It’s the opposite of pizza. One slice of it after forty-years old and you have gained twelve pounds. Two slices, straight away to a triple bypass at the local emergency room. Three slices and a Parson delivers the box, and waits. And even after many attempts at self-normalizing behavior, I still do not like my mother. I know, it is against one of those ten commandments, but we just do not get along. It happens. Why are you trying to make me feel guilty? “Tell me about your mother, david?” “Oh no, not again.” “Is she pretty?” “What?” “Is she malicious?” “Well…” “Oops. Sorry. The session is up. See you again next Monday at nine?” “Cannot. I must give a speech at the Greater NY Jockey association. The topic is ‘Organic Horse Feed, Worth the Cost?’” “You sound resentful?” “I thought our time was over? Hmm.” “One hundred dollars, please.” “A little resentful, now.” Sophocles, what’s your deal? This is Greece. It is friggin’ hot here. There are no “Saturday Morning food fairs” and you do not like fishing? Why not go to Santorini for the week? They are having a sale on last year’s togas and this year’s newest flip-flops. No. Instead, you go off on your own, chisel in hand and rocks on the ground, no one around for hectares, and you start writing a story about a boy and his mommy, in an intimate way? Perhaps you also wrote for Penthouse forum? Our Athenian audience is all men, this is not Off-Off Broadway. They ain't going to like it. Well, maybe the politicians... Listen to me, your friend Socratberg. Go to the nearest dispensary and buy yourself some hybrid hemlock. Have it with a little vino. Don’t forget it may take an hour before the effects set in. Okay, basta. Y’all know how the story goes. A tragedy indeed for the son/husband and serendipity for Sophocles, who, so far has about twenty-five hundred years run on this production. Next time, take my mother, please.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    I'm being irreverent, but whenever I think of this work I cannot help recalling Mel Brooks in History of the World Part 1. Apart from the legendary, and infamous, incest, this is an ancient tale of psychological terror and angst. Human nature does not change and the themes Sophocles explored are still relevant today, this is truly a timeless work. I'm being irreverent, but whenever I think of this work I cannot help recalling Mel Brooks in History of the World Part 1. Apart from the legendary, and infamous, incest, this is an ancient tale of psychological terror and angst. Human nature does not change and the themes Sophocles explored are still relevant today, this is truly a timeless work.

  16. 5 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    The Ultimate of Greek Tragedies 8 April 2012 This play is so messed up that a part of me says that it has to be based on true events. It is sort of like one of the arguments that people use regarding the authenticity of the Bible: every character (with the exception of Jesus Christ) is so flawed that one cannot consider that the stories have been made up. In particular we see the heroes of the Israelite nation, that being Abraham, Moses, and David, warts and all. However when us consider the Gre The Ultimate of Greek Tragedies 8 April 2012 This play is so messed up that a part of me says that it has to be based on true events. It is sort of like one of the arguments that people use regarding the authenticity of the Bible: every character (with the exception of Jesus Christ) is so flawed that one cannot consider that the stories have been made up. In particular we see the heroes of the Israelite nation, that being Abraham, Moses, and David, warts and all. However when us consider the Grecian myths we suddenly discover similar things here. The story of Oedipus is that his parents received a prophecy that their child would kill his father and marry his mother, Laius, Oedipus' dad, and king of Thebes, pinned the child's legs together and left him to die on Mount Cithaeron. However, unbeknownst to him a shepherd found the boy, took him into his care, and then sent him to the city of Corinth to be raised by the king and queen there. However, years later when Oedipus had come of age, during a feast a man got too drunk and blurted out that Oedipus' parents weren't his true parents. Despite their pleading Oedipus left Corinth and travelled to Delphi to ask the oracle the truth. The Pythian Oracle, as usual, did not give him a straight answer and simply repeated the prophecy to Oedipus. As such, he decided not to return to Corith but to flee so as not to kill whom he believed where his parents. However on his way out of Delphi he is confronted by a rather arrogant man who demanded that Oedipus move out of the way. Oedipus tells him to bugger off and a fight ensures resulting in Oedipus' victory. He then arrives at Thebes while the city is being tormented by a sphinx who has a riddle that nobody knows the answer, but Oedipus correctly guesses it, kills the sphinx, and when word is brought about Laius' death Oedipus marries Jocastra, and lives happily ever after. Actually they don't because without realising it the prophecy has been fulfilled. Further a great crime has been committed, and since a father murderer is living in Thebes the entire city is struck with a plague. Oedipus, who has become king, and is the hero of the city, decides to investigate. However his investigations quickly uncover a truth that is hidden from him and upon learning of this truth, namely that he killed Laius, who turns out to be his father, and married his wife, Jocastra, who turns out to be his mother, he is struck with the guilt of what has come about, Jocastra kills herself and Oedipus rips out his eyes and exiles himself from Thebes. Well, I have just told you the plot of the play without actually saying anything about the themes in the play. Well, there are two reasons why I outlined the plot, one being that it is a very complicated plot, and secondly to demonstrate how messed up everything is. This is not a simple Hollywood plot where everything is resolved in the end and everybody goes away happy. In fact it does not seem that there was really anything that Oedipus could have done to get himself out of the mess that he found himself in. In fact it seems that the more he attempts to get out of it the deeper the hole that he digs for himself, but it is not as if he could avoid doing it. He flees because he doesn't want the prophecy to come true, but there is a lot that he does not know and a lot that he is not being told. His step parents are not telling him the truth, and in hiding the truth, they are also making the prophecy come true. As for Laius, once again, everything that he does only serves to make the prophecy come true. While he attempts to kill his son, this fails because of the compassionate nature of humanity. It is the shepherd's compassion that prevents him from leaving Oedipus alone on Cithaeron. The essay question that I answered on this play involved the question of fate and freewill. However there really does not seem to be any freewill here. Every decision that Oedipus makes only brings the revelation closer to being revealed. As a good king he simply cannot ignore the plague, and as a good king, he cannot do anything but seek justice and cleanse the city, despite the fact that he is the root cause of the problem. Despite the curse that he calls on the perpetrator, he must suffer the punishment himself, despite the pleas to the contrary. Oedipus is a just king, but despite his actions it is only when the fog is cleared and the truth comes out that he discovers that he is the perpetrator. Hey, he didn't even realise that the guy that he encountered at the crossroads was the king of Thebes, and his father. Aristotle in his Poetics writes that characters in a drama should have a fatal flaw, but nobody seemed to have told Sophocles that. Granted Ajax may have had a fatal flaw, but Ajax is not Shakespeare, and is dealing with an issue that has nothing to do with his character. Ajax is dealing with PTSD (though not by that name) and Oedipus does not seem to have that fatal flaw. In reality, other than killing Laius at the crossroads (though some could argue that he did so in self-defense), Oedipus has done nothing wrong. In fact, if he had not investigated the cause of the plague then he would have been negligent. No, it is not Oedipus that has done anything wrong, but rather his ancestors. Laius is cursed and I believe that going up the ancestral chain further we come to a situation where an ancestor fed human flesh to another human, mostly as payback (I can't remember off hand who it was, it could have been Thyestes, but it could have been somebody else - one of Agamemnon's line is also guilty of a similar offense). In a sense then it is not the actions of Oedipus that brings about his suffering and downfall, but that of his father, and of his father's father. Poor Oedipus is only caught in the middle. One might wonder what was so appealing about a story that everybody knows. Well, it is the same with us. When we look through the video store at all the movies available we discover that the plots of each and every one of those movies are pretty much the same. It is not the question of the plot, but how we get to the ending, and how the movie ends. We pretty much know that in around 90% of the movies available the good guys win and the hero gets the girl. We know that so we don't watch the movie for that, but rather how they get there, and how the good guys win. This was the same for the Greeks, and it is fortunate that we have versions of the Electra from the three great playwrights. In this we can see how the actual event differs and how each of the playwrights treated the subject. No doubt with Oedipus, both Aeschylus and Euripides would have explored different themes, and painted Oedipus in a different light, so that despite knowing the outcome, we arrive there through a different method.

  17. 4 out of 5

    ✨ jamieson ✨

    honestly, I feel bad for Oedipus. He left his house to do the right thing and try to avoid killing his dad, just to come across his real dad and kill him anyway. It's really unfortunate and it really sucks for him. And then he had to go and skewer his eyeballs like yikes he's not having a good time, is he ? RIP Oedipus eyes, I'm sorry this happened to you. Honestly, I know this play is super tragic, and it actually is interesting how he tried to avoid his fate which led to him fulfilling it anywa honestly, I feel bad for Oedipus. He left his house to do the right thing and try to avoid killing his dad, just to come across his real dad and kill him anyway. It's really unfortunate and it really sucks for him. And then he had to go and skewer his eyeballs like yikes he's not having a good time, is he ? RIP Oedipus eyes, I'm sorry this happened to you. Honestly, I know this play is super tragic, and it actually is interesting how he tried to avoid his fate which led to him fulfilling it anyway but you can't not laugh at his misfortune. Or maybe I have to laugh to avoid thinking about the fact his siblings are his children

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bam cooks the books ;-)

    This is my first reading of the ancient Greek play. Like so many stories that are part of our cultural consciousness, I thought I was very familiar with the plot but was so wrong. I asked my husband what he knew of Oedipus Rex and he said the same thing I was thinking: man murders his father and marries his mother=oedipus complex ala Dr Sigmund Freud. That, of course, is what happens but the true tragedy is that it was not intended. In the opening scenes of the play, Thebes has been plagued by f This is my first reading of the ancient Greek play. Like so many stories that are part of our cultural consciousness, I thought I was very familiar with the plot but was so wrong. I asked my husband what he knew of Oedipus Rex and he said the same thing I was thinking: man murders his father and marries his mother=oedipus complex ala Dr Sigmund Freud. That, of course, is what happens but the true tragedy is that it was not intended. In the opening scenes of the play, Thebes has been plagued by failing crops, barren women, etc. and the people want to know what has angered their gods. Creon, Queen Jocasta's brother, has sought the advice of an oracle who says King Laius was murdered and they must bring his killer to account, either by exile or death, to make things right again. Tiresias, the blind soothsayer, is brought to court and asked to identify the killer and he names King Oedipus. At first, Oedipus thinks his brother-in-law is involved in a plot to gain the crown for himself. But then the truth begins to slowly come to light as various twists of fate are revealed. The moral of the tragedy seems to be that the fate the gods have planned for a person cannot be avoided. Excellent tale! No wonder it is still so popular after over two thousand years! I look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy now.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Arthur Graham

    DUDE BANGS MOM GOES BLIND LOL

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mya

    I can say that the movie and the book were both delightful.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tamoghna Biswas

    “Mock me for that, go on, and you’ll reveal my greatness.” I was, quite frankly blown away by the entire story of the three Theban Plays. And by the amazing story that it narrates. The first one, Oedipus Rex, or simply as Penguin translates it: Oedipus the King is hors d’oeuvre to the extreme vigor of the three consecutive plays, not as much great as the latter ones, probably for being so short. It finishes almost as soon as it begins to intrigue, which can prove a bit infuriating, undoubtedl “Mock me for that, go on, and you’ll reveal my greatness.” I was, quite frankly blown away by the entire story of the three Theban Plays. And by the amazing story that it narrates. The first one, Oedipus Rex, or simply as Penguin translates it: Oedipus the King is hors d’oeuvre to the extreme vigor of the three consecutive plays, not as much great as the latter ones, probably for being so short. It finishes almost as soon as it begins to intrigue, which can prove a bit infuriating, undoubtedly. “How could kingship please me more than influence, power without a qualm? I’m not that deluded yet, to reach for anything but privilege outright, profit free and clear. Now all men sing my praises, all salute me, now all who request your favors curry mine. I am their best hope: success rests in me. Why give up that, I ask you, and borrow trouble? A man of sense, someone who sees things clearly would never resort to treason.” The exceptional aspect is that, we know now that the myths of Oedipus were even more popular, plausibly from a time much before Sophocles started writing the play. And it never fails in its tragedy even after everyone can foresee where and how the tale is going to end. And some striking relevance to the world we live in too, which we may call modern but in truth is just as hypocritically orthodox as it was, quite apparently, in 425 BCE. Most evident is undoubtedly the theme of ‘hubris’, but that’s not salient to this play alone, however. “Anything, afraid as I am-ask, I’ll answer, all I can.”

  22. 5 out of 5

    mayy

    "How dreadful the knowledge of the truth can be When there’s no help in truth." Wow. This was...intense. And I don’t mean the sort of intensity I feel whenever I read a Shakespeare play, but this is a sort of intensity I can’t even describe. To be honest I kind of expected for this to be quite dry. I mean, I was required to read this for my English literature class and you know how it usually is. Plus, this old is pretty old, and not Shakespeare old. Usually books like this can be quite tedious a "How dreadful the knowledge of the truth can be When there’s no help in truth." Wow. This was...intense. And I don’t mean the sort of intensity I feel whenever I read a Shakespeare play, but this is a sort of intensity I can’t even describe. To be honest I kind of expected for this to be quite dry. I mean, I was required to read this for my English literature class and you know how it usually is. Plus, this old is pretty old, and not Shakespeare old. Usually books like this can be quite tedious and tiresome and I am in one hell of a reading slump so I wasn’t really looking for anything heavy or difficult to help me out of it. To be honest, I was kind of relying of Twilight to rescue me. But that was a hit and a miss. But surprisingly enough, this was not at all what I expected. It wasn’t dry, it wasn’t tedious, it wasn’t very complicated and it most certainly wasn’t boring. It was incredible. The thing is, I would understand if someone who isn’t the biggest fan of literature wouldn’t like this, like I mentioned before it’s not for everyone. But it is for me. Shakespeare is one of my favorite play-write of all time (hence the username), so being able to read this play and recognize all of the similarities between this and one of Shakespeare’s or even any other tragedy, was mind-blowing for me. And at the end of the day, this play really motivated me to pick up a book and read. I love it and it is one of my favorites. Oh and by the way, Oedipus kind of reminded me of Thor and Kreon reminded me of Loki. I don’t know why, I guess I’m too much of a Marvel freak.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kaion

    What's interesting about fate, and what's different from our world and Oedipus's, is that "fate" doesn't really exist in our world. No real oracles go around telling you you're going to sleep with your mother. Instead, it's a philosophical device. On one side you've got "free will" (traditional very Western, very American even with the idea of the individual going forward), and on the other side you've got your fatalists (see my mom and her Vietnamese cosmology [is that the word? Whatever, I’m g What's interesting about fate, and what's different from our world and Oedipus's, is that "fate" doesn't really exist in our world. No real oracles go around telling you you're going to sleep with your mother. Instead, it's a philosophical device. On one side you've got "free will" (traditional very Western, very American even with the idea of the individual going forward), and on the other side you've got your fatalists (see my mom and her Vietnamese cosmology [is that the word? Whatever, I’m going to use it], in which the people who are around you are literally born to be so because of the debt you owe each other in the present, owed in the past, and/or will use in the future). I'm not really a fan of philosophy, and as far as I'm concerned the goodness of each approach is only to be judged by how useful they are to a specific person in a specific situation (and place and time). I say that there is no fate in our world, but that's not really true. What separates fate from free will is foresight, and there's plenty of that in our world. A cancer patient (like my aunt) being told she has six months to live. One step lower on the surety scale, my remaining aunts and my mother living under the knowledge that they're likely (what, like 50/50 chances) to get this dubious inheritance from their father (oh hey! Antigone, didn’t see you there). Or even to the much lower level of common sense, like stock markets: what goes up so precipitously, without merit, is likely to come down just as precipitously. What’s interesting about Oedipus, is at first glance the prophecies within are so abhorrent, who wouldn’t react in horror to the idea of killing one’s father and sleeping with one’s mother? But at second glance, is it not common sense, is it not true for all families that one day the son will surpass the father, one day the father will fall and the son will take the father’s place? Is it not true men will judge their relationships with women against that first relationship with their moms? The prophecy given to Oedipus and to his birth parents is a sensationalist version of the common sense truth for all families (even to those where the son cannot so literally inherit a father’s throne). And the real-world response to that un-sensational real-world dilemma is: “Hey, one day I’m going to die, and I’m going to try and leave the world(kingdom) in the hands of a good human being” (& “I’m going to teach my son to treat the women he loves with respect” & “I’m going to be good to my father while he’s alive and a really good person when he’s gone”). You might say I’m unfair in comparing Oedipus to an unchangeable fate (cancer, though for most people, I don’t think killing one’s baby is really an option on the table… but we’ll get back to that). No, my aunt couldn’t change her rapidly-growing tumor, but she could change the way she went out. She took hold of her finances for the first time in her life, she aired her grievances towards her husband (and the frightful in-laws) and her children instead of stewing in them, she tied up her inheritance to provide for her youngest through college, she got the death she wanted (at home and with Buddhist rites), all so she could live her remaining months in peace, and die in peace, instead of continuing to live (practically a lifetime) in sorrow. Is it fair she died so young? Is life fair? My mom doesn’t know if she’s going to get cancer in 4 years, but she’s you know, de-stressing her life, selling the house, doing things she wants to do, and going in for all her medical tests. No, it’s no magic trick to see one’s future, it’s magic to decide what to do about it. It’s easy to get desperate and anxious to change one’s fate, hey, how else do you think those snake doctors make a living… It’s not always easy to see the difference between trying to ‘master your fate’ and trying to make the best of it/just being proactive/smart. I say sensationalist, but that’s not really true—you needn’t look far—when there’s a real shortage of women in the world (China and India are the real places of impact, though considering how much of the world population is from those two countries, it is effectively, a world impact) due to selective-gender abortion and female child abandonment (told you I’d get back to it). The ‘making the best world’ response (from parents, and from governments/society) is to educate girls, give them the same chances as boys, give them a world where women can be as useful to their families as men. The ‘master your fate’ response has created increased demand for sex-trafficking (and increased forced marriages and honor killings). Of course people want to escape “fate”, it is so human (and what makes the play so human)—of course, whether you call if “life” or “gods” or “fate”, it isn’t fair, but how much of it is really “fate” and how much is it our (humans) own choices? And if we think the answer is to try ignorance, how can we try ignorance (no foresight)—people spend their whole lives trying to know, trying to make the world make sense (and we make gods and science to try and make sense of it for us) and it really is for the best psychics are really charlatans, because we got plenty of foresight on our own thanks, we just don’t know what to do with it (can’t ignore it either, see global warming). As the alcoholics/Christians say: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,/Courage to change the things I can,/And wisdom to know the difference.” Basically what I’m saying is Sophocles is pretty genius, and Freud as usual gets it half-right, half-wrong.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Itzel

    Sophocles invites us to question ourselves: Are we able to evade our destiny? Or will we inescapably see it fulfilled? Although Oedipus the King is a well-known Greek tragedy, the way Sophocles illustrates how Oedipus discovers his immoral situation is astounding and makes it worth reading.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Joey Woolfardis

    Sure, poke your eyes out. Like that's going to help with anything. Sure, poke your eyes out. Like that's going to help with anything.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jonfaith

    Let every man in mankind's frailty consider his last day; and let none presume on his good fortune until he find Life, at his death, a memory without pain. Quick question for the day: how can one love Antigone and not have read Oedipus Rex? While dishonorable, it wasn't difficult given how prevalent the play is in our reality, the Freudian safeguards, the Lizard King finding such delight in a Florida retelling. Much like those Star-Crossed Lovers I was prepared for enjoyment but found the craftin Let every man in mankind's frailty consider his last day; and let none presume on his good fortune until he find Life, at his death, a memory without pain. Quick question for the day: how can one love Antigone and not have read Oedipus Rex? While dishonorable, it wasn't difficult given how prevalent the play is in our reality, the Freudian safeguards, the Lizard King finding such delight in a Florida retelling. Much like those Star-Crossed Lovers I was prepared for enjoyment but found the crafting amazing, the chorus most stirring. I appreciate how the royal arrogance turns to ashes amidst revelation. This is a foundational text, a lesson for the perils of self-awareness.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marta :}

    I actually like this one better than Antigone, the subject is very disturbing, but I liked the writing a lot.

  28. 4 out of 5

    rose ★

    see... i get that this is, just speaking in terms of the technical aspects of the plot and structure and character, well done, especially if you’re looking at it in the context of what aristotle considers a great tragedy to be (which is what my understanding going into this was based on). but i still don’t care because gross. i would please like to take five thousand baths now. ... current stress level: the kid in my class who yelled ”NO! NO NO NO NO!!” when we reached that part. ... i’m pretty Not E see... i get that this is, just speaking in terms of the technical aspects of the plot and structure and character, well done, especially if you’re looking at it in the context of what aristotle considers a great tragedy to be (which is what my understanding going into this was based on). but i still don’t care because gross. i would please like to take five thousand baths now. ... current stress level: the kid in my class who yelled ”NO! NO NO NO NO!!” when we reached that part. ... i’m pretty Not Excited For This but oh well

  29. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    What a dark story. Some of the biggest taboos are explored: incest and parricide. Some important existential questions are asked: are we masters or victims of our fates and to what extent? Do we have a destiny? Is there such thing as God’s (or the gods’) plan for us? Can we fight and escape it? The real culprits are Œdipe’s natural and adopted parents’. The first pair ordered the killing of their child to escape the fate announced by The Oracles. The second pair never told their child that he wa What a dark story. Some of the biggest taboos are explored: incest and parricide. Some important existential questions are asked: are we masters or victims of our fates and to what extent? Do we have a destiny? Is there such thing as God’s (or the gods’) plan for us? Can we fight and escape it? The real culprits are Œdipe’s natural and adopted parents’. The first pair ordered the killing of their child to escape the fate announced by The Oracles. The second pair never told their child that he was adopted. Œdipe just tried to live a good life and never meant to harm anyone unless in self-defence. He was a victim... until he became paranoid and threw around insults and threats, and pronounced unfair punishments to anybody who crossed him. The dialogues are superb (wasn’t expecting that!) and helped to digest the sadness of the play.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Danger

    OMG this Oedipus dude just totally banged out his own mom LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLZ But really, there were descendants whose genetic makeup is irrevocably tied into my own that were walking the Earth when Sophocles wrote this play. And here I am, in 2017, thousands of years later, reading it. Literature serves humanity in subtle yet profound ways; it is one of the only bridges we have into the psychology of the past. The world is so goddamn complicated. Reading books like t OMG this Oedipus dude just totally banged out his own mom LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLZ But really, there were descendants whose genetic makeup is irrevocably tied into my own that were walking the Earth when Sophocles wrote this play. And here I am, in 2017, thousands of years later, reading it. Literature serves humanity in subtle yet profound ways; it is one of the only bridges we have into the psychology of the past. The world is so goddamn complicated. Reading books like this make me feel gigantic and tiny at the same time.

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