A victim of fate vilified by all, he discovers his own corruption and tears out his eyes in self-punishment — a symbolic castration for his incestuous sin.
Oedipus becomes king of Thebes before the action of Oedipus the King begins. He is renowned for his intelligence and his ability to solve riddles—he saved the city of Thebes and was made its king by solving the riddle of the Sphinx, the supernatural being that had held the city captive. Yet Oedipus is stubbornly blind to the truth about himself.
On his way to Thebes, he killed his biological father, not knowing who he was, and proceeded to marry Jocasta, his biological mother.
Read an in-depth analysis of Oedipus. Jocasta appears only in the final scenes of Oedipus the King. In her first words, she attempts to make peace between Oedipus and Creon, pleading with Oedipus not to banish Creon.
Antigone appears briefly at the end of Oedipus the King, when she says goodbye to her father as Creon prepares to banish Oedipus. She appears at greater length in Oedipus at Colonus, leading and caring for her old, blind father in his exile.
But Antigone comes into her own in Antigone. Whereas other characters—Oedipus, Creon, Polynices—are reluctant to acknowledge the consequences of their actions, Antigone is unabashed in her conviction that she has done right.
Read an in-depth analysis of Antigone. Early in Oedipus the King, Creon claims to have no desire for kingship. Yet, when he has the opportunity to grasp power at the end of that play, Creon seems quite eager. But Creon never has our sympathy in the way Oedipus does, because he is bossy and bureaucratic, intent on asserting his own authority.
Read an in-depth analysis of Creon. Polynices appears only very briefly in Oedipus at Colonus.
Polynices tries to point out the similarity between his own situation and that of Oedipus, but his words seem opportunistic rather than filial, a fact that Oedipus points out. In Oedipus the King, Tiresias tells Oedipus that he is the murderer he hunts, and Oedipus does not believe him.
In Antigone, Tiresias tells Creon that Creon himself is bringing disaster upon Thebes, and Creon does not believe him. Yet, both Oedipus and Creon claim to trust Tiresias deeply. The literal blindness of the soothsayer points to the metaphorical blindness of those who refuse to believe the truth about themselves when they hear it spoken.
Haemon is engaged to marry Antigone. Ismene fears helping Antigone bury Polynices but offers to die beside Antigone when Creon sentences her to die.
Antigone, however, refuses to allow her sister to be martyred for something she did not have the courage to stand up for. A renowned and powerful warrior, Theseus takes pity on Oedipus and defends him against Creon.
Theseus is the only one who knows the spot at which Oedipus descended to the underworld—a secret he promises Oedipus he will hold forever.(read full character analysis) Get the entire Oedipus Rex LitChart as a printable PDF.
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Jocasta - Oedipus’s wife and mother, and Creon’s urbanagricultureinitiative.coma appears only in the final scenes of Oedipus the King.
In her first words, she attempts to make peace between Oedipus and Creon, pleading with Oedipus not to banish Creon. Oedipus Rex, also known by its Greek title, Oedipus Tyrannus (Ancient Greek: Οἰδίπους Τύραννος IPA: [oidípuːs týranːos]), or Oedipus the King, is an Athenian tragedy by Sophocles that was first performed around BC.
Originally, to the ancient Greeks, the title was simply Oedipus (Οἰδίπους), as it is referred to by Aristotle in the Poetics. The Hubris of Oedipus in Oedipus the King - Hubris is defined by the Webster-Miriam dictionary as “Exaggerated pride or confidence” (Miriam-Webster Dictionary) in Oedipus the King, by Sophocles, In Oedipus The King, by Sophocles, the onslaught of pain assailing the protagonist is a .
Oedipus Rex or Oedipus the King Questions and Answers. The Question and Answer section for Oedipus Rex or Oedipus the King is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Oedipus Rex (Oedipus the King) study guide contains a biography of Sophocles, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.