Notes on Oedipus Rex.

Начать. Это бесплатно
или регистрация c помощью Вашего email-адреса

1. How maintaining one’s reputation within the wider community involves personal sacrifice.

1.1. To maintain the respect of Thebes, Oedipus feels the need to constantly prove himself, even after saving the city from the sphinx.

1.1.1. He takes it upon himself to find Laios' murder, not just out of his own good will, but to make a show of his power as king and lead his people out of a period of darkness, which eventually results in his downfall.

2. How fear of an impending loss affects one’s consciousness.

2.1. As Oedipus comes closer to the truth his judgement gradually becomes more and more skewed as the evidence of him being a Laios' murder continues to build. This fear of accepting the truth, and his resulting ignorance, makes him act violently and unfairly towards those around him.

2.1.1. This shift in behaviour as a result of fear and insecurity acts as a magnifying glass for Oedipus' flaws. A man who is introduced as a strong, caring leader is reduced to a nescient, desperate tyrant.

2.1.2. By accepting that he is Laios' murder, Oedipus not only loses his position as king of Thebes, but also must accept the fact that he has lost his father, and, towards the end of the play, his mother as well.

3. How an individual’s unresolved trauma manifests itself in violence later on in life.

3.1. The trauma of Oedipus' abandonment as a child as well as the knowledge of his unavoidable fate could be considered a traumatic event, as well as the violence that he enacts upon others and the terror that the sphinx spreads through Thebes.

3.1.1. In all of these instances, Oedipus is put under and immense amount of pressure that he seeks to relieve himself of through any possible means, however, the more he tries to avoid his fate, the closer he is brought to carrying it out.

3.1.2. The ultimate manifestation of this trauma and building pressure is Oedipus' violent outburst towards his father at the crossroads, as well as his erratic, tyrannical behaviour towards the end of the play where he threatens all those who do not provide him with substantial information with punishment.

4. How individuals look for a leader to lead them out of oppression.

4.1. This global issue is seen most prevalently at the very beginning of the play when the Thebans are pleading outside of the palace for salvation, and pray that Oedipus saves them again as he did once when solving the sphinx's riddle.

4.1.1. Oedipus feels a great sense of responsibility for his people, and therefore makes it his goal to find Laios' murderer and bring them to justice.

4.1.2. He takes on an almost fatherly role for his people, and his confidence and innate sense of justice makes the Thebans seek out his leadership.

5. How individuals seek vengeance for crimes committed against their family.

5.1. Oedipus unknowingly seeks justice for his father's death all throughout the play, and enacts it at the end by banishing himself from Thebes.

5.1.1. He fulfills his promise to find the murder of Laios and exile him, but is so full of shame that he blind himself so that he does not have to face his parents in the underworld.

6. How alpha character types strive to maintain their position at the top of the social group.

6.1. While Oedipus also values his position as king, Iokaste goes to much greater lengths to preserve her reputation, for both her sake and for Oedipus', as her power relies on his.

6.1.1. She attempts to manipulate him into dropping the search for Laios' murderer and dismisses the whole thing as nothing but a waste of time.

6.1.2. She bids Oedipus in several instances to come inside the palace, away from the eyes of the Thebes' citizenry. The palace is a physical symbol of power and taking refuge in one superior status to avoid facing judgement from those lower on the hierarchical ladder.

7. How characters struggle to let go of their past and the problems this causes.

7.1. Oedipus is unable to accept his fate. He lives in fear and tries to outrun the inevitable, which leads him to do everything in his power to go against the events he has been destined for.

7.1.1. He tries to distance himself from his family, from his place of birth, and even becomes king of Thebes, as this position should absolve him of any danger. However, this constant running from his problems only builds up ignorance and ego, as well as making him untrustworthy of those around him, as shown by how he treats Kreon at the beginning of the play.

7.1.2. Instead of being unable to let go of the past, Oedipus represses the memory of killing Laios for fear that it would mean fulfilling the prophecy.

8. How characters from different backgrounds struggle to see eye to eye.

8.1. Oedipus and Iokaste and both hesitant to trust the words of the Thebans due to their higher status and personality traits, such as Oedipus' hubris and Iokaste's maternal instinct to protect her husband.

8.1.1. Oedipus dismisses Kreon's concern as nothing more than envy for his position.

8.1.2. Iokaste tells Oedipus to ignore the shephard's words, as well as Oedipus threatening him with death and torture if he refuses to reveal the truth to him.

8.1.3. Oedipus berates and ridicules the blind man.

9. How the dominance of a gender’s characteristics over the other, is challenged.

9.1. While Iokaste, as a woman in ancient Greece, would be below Oedipus in terms of power, she often acts as his voice of reason and pacifies his violent and emotional outbursts.

9.1.1. As Oedipus begins to lose control as he comes closer to learning the truth towards the end of the play, Iokaste tries to take control and commands Oedipus to cease his attempts at discovering his own identity, thus creating a shift in the power dynamic.

10. The question of moral identity in the face of societal conflict.

10.1. Oedipus' initial desire to find Laios' murderer, with the intent of protecting his people and liberating them from the plague, gradually morphs into a treacherous journey of self discovery.

10.1.1. As Oedipus' goals change, so does his behaviour towards other characters and his own personal traits. He begins to act desperately, violently, and is mistrustful of others and hesitant of relying on his own memory.