Oedipus the King

So this read was definitely easier than Plato, that’s for sure. I also enjoyed this play particularly more as well. This was a kind of book that really made me sympathize for the characters in many ways. Talking about the play as a whole, I really enjoyed this. To further elaborate, I find these twisted, yet short tragic plays to be very interesting. I greatly enjoyed Medea, so this play was definitely one that grabbed my interest instantly.

It’s somewhat tragic, and depressing, since Oedipus starts out as such a well respected, praised king. He doesn’t expect the death of King Laius to come back to him in any way in the end, yet it does. I found this read interesting because I thought that it was somewhat surprising. As a reader, I did not expect Oedipus to be responsible for his father’s death, or engage in incest with his mother.

Quickly into the play, I noticed Oedipus’ quick fall from grace. Essentially, his life just disintegrates into disastrous chaos, and there isn’t really anything he can do to fix it. I also thought that it was really unfortunate how he happened to kill his own father. It could have been anyone on that dividing road, yet it happened to be King Laius himself. I also got the sense of Oedipus being unable to avoid his fate. In a sense, it is ironic, because at the beginning of the play, he is so adamant on finding who it was that killed their late king, and killing him instantly. The fact that Oedipus had absolutely no idea that the murderer is he himself, makes you sympathize for him. All he wanted to was to be a good leader, though little did he know that everything would be taken away from him.

As the play came to a close, I also noticed the love he feels for his daughters, which I initially did not realize. In the end of the play, he states that his sons are free to go on their own, and are capable of leading their own lives. However, he demonstrates this fear for his daughters’ well being—showing his love and concern for them. I found this quite interesting, because I was under the impression that in the Greek world, sons were of more importance and value, but Oedipus goes against that in this play, and reveals the love and compassion he has for all of his children, not just his sons.

All in all, I thought this was a very good read.

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