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Oedipus Rex is an epic story that was written by Sophocles at around 4BCE. The main character in Oedipus Rex is Oedipus himself and the setting is Oedipus’ palace in Thebes city. Thebes has fallen victim of enormous suffering and as the King, Oedipus wants to know the cause. Creon, Iocaste’s brother and servant is sent to look for the Oracles and Prophet Teresius is summoned. The oracle advises the King that Laios’ killer have to be looked for and punished. Oedipus says that he is more than willing to find Laios’ murderer. Teiresius tells Oedipus that he is Laios’ killer but he disapproves (Sophocles 3).
Oedipus tells Iocaste what forced him out of Corinth. He tells Iocaste that the oracles had prophesized that he would kill his father, King Polybus and marry his mother. He never wanted that to happen and he ran away. On the way from Corinth to Thebes, he got into an argument with people on the highway and he killed a man. He then met the Sphinx or the monster that was devouring the Theban people because they would not answer a riddle. He answered the riddle and the monster killed itself. The Thebans crowned him king and allowed him to marry Iocaste. After some time, a messenger comes to tell Oedipus to go and rule over Corinth because King Polybus is dead, and that Oedipus is not Polybus real son. The shepherd informs Oedipus that because of this prophecy, he wanted him killed. However, the shepherd gave him to another shepherd who gave him to Polybus. When Oedipus finds that he is the cause of the suffering, he gorges his eyes, leaves Thebes while his wife, and real mother, Iocaste commits suicide.
Oedipus Rex was a myth and it became a play after Sophocles added dialogue to it. The play, Oedipus Rex, was very important during its time of production because it was a form of entertainment. It also reflected the moral values and religion of the Greek people. These people believed in gods and their prophecies seemed to dictate their fate and destiny. All the readers of the play are able to see that myths were extremely significant in the lives of the Greeks. The myths were used both as entertainment and to reinforce norms in society. For instance, it was forbidden for a man to marry his own mother.
This play had a great impact on the society during the 4BCE. People and the society in general began to value entertainment. The Greeks started to make large theaters so that people could be able to see the plays. It is evident that plays like this were used to convey information to the masses and thus shape the public opinion on what is right, and wrong (Sophocles 8). This play inspired the emergence of other playwrights because entertainment was a valued activity in society. Other playwrights also started to use the plays to relay messages to the public.
Oedipus Rex is a playwright that portrays various aspects of theatre. It has several characters, revolves around a plot, and has simple language. Its music is based on the rhythm of dialogue that takes place between the characters. Oedipus is a form of tragedy. It has a clear outline: Beginning, Middle, and the End (Styan 65). Its plot structure is climatic because it runs within a day; its main scene is at the palace, has a limited number of characters and the plot proceeds linearly in a cause and effect series.
Although this play was first acted in 4BCE, it has greatly influence the world of film and art today. Many directors have dramatized the play, interpreted, and made it more likable to modern day audiences. Many films share some features of the play. For instance, modern films center on a tragedy or problem and how it’s solutions. In looking for the solution, the plot, characters, themes, and objectives of the film are revealed. This play also influences the cultural norms of the society (incest).
In conclusion, this play stands out from the other plays of that time because it adheres to the basic elements of a playwright. It also conveys a message of moral values to the masses. The philosophy of this film reveals that in human life, fate and destiny cannot be changed.