Oedipus Rex Pgs. 159 – 198

Table of contents

Characters

The major characters are Oedipus, Creon, and Tiresias. Oedipus, the king of Thebes, is completely stubborn. He doesn’t want to listen to Creon or Tiresias about the truth of who he is. Creon, Oedipus’s brother-in-law, is businesslike. When he brings the news from the oracle, he suggests that they should go into a more private place to talk. He also makes a lot of deals to reason with Oedipus’s rage towards him. Tiresias, the blind prophet, is secretive. He doesn’t tell Oedipus his knowledge at first, keeping the truth away from Oedipus.

Events

The first event is when Oedipus and the priest are talking. I think this event is included because it signifies how much the city relies on Oedipus. Since he stopped the plague once, they believe he can stop it again, which shows their faith in their king. When Tiresias is trying to tell Oedipus that he is the cause of the plague, Oedipus snaps back, not believing a single word. I think this shows that Oedipus really doesn’t know how his past connects to the present problems. Also, we get a better insight into Oedipus as a person. COG Blindness is a big idea throughout the reading. Tiresias is literally blind in his eyes, which allows him to “feel all the more what sickness haunts [their] city,” (l. 342 – 343). Oedipus is also blind. Not literally blind like Tiresias, but mentally blind to “the corruption of [his] life,” (471). Truth is another big idea in this section. Throughout this reading, the characters are constantly trying to tell the truth apart from the lies. Oedipus doesn’t think that Creon and Tiresias are being truthful with the prophecy.

Oedipus doesn’t seem to know the truth about his real parents, which is causing him to deny the truth of the prophecy that Creon and Tiresias bring.

Chorus

The chorus is a summary of what happened. Also, the chorus is like the voice of the audience. Near the end of the reading, when the chorus comes in, the chorus and Oedipus seem to have a conversation. The chorus is also trying to convince Oedipus to stop this outrage towards Creon. That reflects the feelings of the audience because we, the audience, feel sympathy for Creon.

Observation and inference

Observation: Oedipus: “I’ll rid us of this corruption. / Whoever killed the king may decide to kill me too,” (157 – 158). Inference: Oedipus doesn’t make any connection between him saving the city and the story that Creon tells. To save Thebes, Oedipus solved the Sphinx’s riddle and in Creon’s story, the Sphinx was the one who told them to forget about the mystery of the death of the king. Oedipus tells Creon that this killer “may decide to kill [him] too,” (158). This proves that Oedipus has no idea that he is involved in the mystery.

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