Oedipus Rex by Sophocles Literary Analysis Paper

The central conflict in Oedipus Rex is between Oedipus and himself. He damns himself by making a royal decree meant to punish the individual responsible for the plague. He then destroys himself through his never-ending desire to seek the truth and deal with the transgressor. Oedipus committed patricide when he murdered his father while in a fit of anger which was also his tragic flaw. He also battles his fate as the Shepherd had driven him to the wilderness in the hope that he would escape the oracle’s prophesy but ends up killing his father and subsequently marrying his mother (Sophocles).  Oedipus was running from his fate but still found himself in Thebes.  The central theme here is free will versus destiny. After learning that the man he had grown to call father was not his biological parent, he heads to the Oracle of Delphi in search of the truth. He soon finds out that he will kill his father and marry his mother. His free will leads him to escape the oracles prophesy, but in the end, fate ensures that he fulfills it. Moreover, the first literature element in Oedipus Rex is the use of verse. The performance also involves a chorus and three actors that engage in dialogue and choral odes which discuss Oedipus’s fate. There is also the use of an exposition that is meant to describe the debacle that the city of Thebes was facing. In the middle, conflict and mystery develop through rising action. The play’s climax occurs when the Oedipus comes to terms with the truth and resolves this by blinding himself.

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