- Term Papers and Free Essays

Tragic Events That Take Place In King Oedipus

Essay by   •  December 21, 2010  •  984 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,650 Views

Essay Preview: Tragic Events That Take Place In King Oedipus

Report this essay
Page 1 of 4

Do you ever wonder if the person you married or are going to marry is a relative of yours? Especially an unknown parent; well, this is the tragedy that ruined King Oedipus life.

One day a tragedy just took over the city Thebes. There is a plague amongst the city. By this time now Oedipus is the king because his father has died. He wants to know why the city is dying and being that everyone is asking him to end it he needs answers. Oedipus sent Creon, his brother-in-law and fellow ruler to the Delphic oracle to find out how to stop the plague. Creon returns to tell Oedipus that the god Apollo knows who murdered Lauis. Oedipus gets angry and tells the Chorus that he will end the plague himself.

Oedipus is convinced that his friend Creon has betrayed him. So therefore his wife Jocasta convinces him not to kill Creon. She tries to convince her husband that Creon is innocent. As proof, she offers the fact that the Delphic oracle told Laius he would be murdered by his son, while actually his son was cast out of Thebes as a baby and Laius was murdered by a band of thieves. She explains to him how Laius was killed at a three-way crossroad just before Oedipus arrived at the city of Thebes. Oedipus' mind starts wondering and he remembers how when he was the prince of Corinth, he heard that he was not really the son of the King and Queen. Because of this he fled to Thebes where on the way he killed travelers in self-defense and this is where Laius was killed. He hopes that he will not be identifies as the murderer of Laius. So he sent for the only sheperd that survived the attack.

In the meantime a messenger tells Jocasta that Oedipus' father Polybus is dead from natural causes. Jocasta rejoices because the prophecy that Oedipus will murder his father was false. According to the prophecy Oedipus would sleep with his mother and kill his father. Oedipus still fears sleeping with his mother until the messenger tells him not to fear because Polybus and Merope are not his natural parents.

Finally the truth comes out that Oedipus real parents are his wife and Jocasta and Laius. This is terrifying to many. Jocasta locked herself in the bedroom and committed suicide. After seeing his wife/mother dead Oedipus took gold pins and stabbed out his eyes. He asked Creon for his forgiveness for accusations of treason and asked him to watch after his daughters because they cannot take care of themselves how his sons can. Creon agreed and arranged for Oedipus to leave the city.

The tragic play has many flaws for example its rising and fallen action and a climax. The rising action is when Creon returns from the oracle with news that the plague in Thebes will end when the murderer of Laius is discovered. The fallen action is the learning that Oedipus killed his father and slept with his mother. Because of all this Jocasta hangs herself, Oedipus pokes his own eyes out and Creon exiled Oedipus from Thebes. Through both of these actions the climax is Oedipus realizes that he is the cause of the plague that has destroyed Thebes.

In Sophocles's play, an obviously important notion is the role played by fate. The emphasis placed on these words gives to the stories and the vision of life they hold up something which might be called a fatalistic quality.



Download as:   txt (5.3 Kb)   pdf (75.7 Kb)   docx (10.4 Kb)  
Continue for 3 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2010, 12). Tragic Events That Take Place In King Oedipus. Retrieved 12, 2010, from

"Tragic Events That Take Place In King Oedipus" 12 2010. 2010. 12 2010 <>.

"Tragic Events That Take Place In King Oedipus.", 12 2010. Web. 12 2010. <>.

"Tragic Events That Take Place In King Oedipus." 12, 2010. Accessed 12, 2010.