Major Works Data Sheet Oedipus the King Title: Sophocles Author: Date of Publication: Around 450 BC Tragic Drama/Theater Genre: Historical information about the setting The work was written around 450 BC, a time of high Greek culture where literature and drama were placed at the forefront of society. Sophocles was a key player in this movement, and his plays were performed in a widespread area across ancient Greece and beyond. However, its popularity grew immensely as time went on, especially during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period, when the fascination with the arts and the accomplishments were revived.
Major Works Data Sheet – Page 1 2 Cody Hankies Name: per. Biographical Information Sophocles pursued many passions of an ideal, hellbender Greek citizen. He was a politician, writer, priest, and general, and wrote a wide variety of pieces throughout his career. He was born into a family of modest means, but greatly expanded his horizons and became extremely popular. He also was trained in music, which contributed to the poetic flow Of the passage, and greatly expanded his cultured persona. He received an expansive array of awards for his work, even when he was still alive, and never got below second place in 16 literary contests in Athens.
He enjoyed the benefit of high culture Athens, which was prosperous. He was a significant pioneer of the tragedy genre, and his work is extremely popular and influential, a true masterpiece of drama. Characteristics of the Genre The tragic drama is characterized by extreme sorrow or downfall, typically brought upon the main character resulting from a heroic flaw or inevitable series of events. It is designed as a catharsis for the reader, to release emotion and somehow feel better. Plot Summary The city of Thebes has had a plague fall upon it, and the people are seeking help from the king to help alleviate the issue.
After a deep description of the misery and pain, the king talks about all the steps he has already taken to resolve the issue. Croon, his brother came back from the Oracle of Delphi and told the most significant aspect of the story: the fact that the murder of Alias was the only thing that would raise the plague from the city. Oedipus vows to find and punish the perpetrator, which was his critical mistake, because in an ironic twist, it would end up being him. However, a heated debate ensues, where the king argues with some uncooperative individuals, so the king then calls upon the blind oracle/prophet Treaties to settle the issue.
Treaties cryptically alludes to the fact that the king is the actual perpetrator, and Oedipus becomes furious, accusing him and Croon of collaborating to undermine the authority of the king. He continues to grow upset, until Treaties finally leaves with a foreshadowing hint that both Oedipus is the murderer, but also has married his mother. Oedipus turns on Croon, accusing IM, while Jotas (Oedipus wife) tries to settle the situation down. After an intense conversation, Oedipus realizes that he may in fact have done it, where he killed some travelers in self-defense.
He summons a shepherd that was present at that time and interrogates him on the true nature of what had occurred, which results In inconclusive results. A messenger then comes and implores Oedipus to come and rule Corinth, because his “real” father had died, but that turned out to be a misnomer. The shepherd then discloses that he had not killed the baby he was supposed to (Oedipus), who had made his ay back. They finally realized that Oedipus indeed killed his father and slept with his mother. She went and hung herself, and he stabbed his eyes out and was exiled. Finally, Croon took over.
Major Works Data Sheet – Page 2 Describe the author’s style: The author wrote an eloquent tragedy, and the manner in which it was translated plays a large role. The work is primarily in iambic pentameter, a poetic style with alternating rhyme. This highly stylistic approach greatly enhances the work, and is central to his ability to manipulate diction to both convey his objectives as well as add artistic flair to it. He implemented tone to a great degree, meant to inspire some sympathy for the tragic hero, yet unflinchingly bestowed punishment upon him for the sake of the story.
He focused on a few central ideas characteristic to the work, and greatly expanded upon a few central ideas which are characteristic off tragic work. An example that demonstrates the style: “Blind who now has eyes, beggar who now is rich, he will grope his way toward a foreign soil, a stick tapping before him step by step [Oedipus enters the palace] Revealed at last, brother and father both to the children he embraces; to his mother on and husband both – he sowed the loins his father sowed, and he spilled his father’s blood! -Treaties, lines 517-523 This tragic addition is central to the goal and theme of the work, and greatly exemplifies the overall impression he desired. Memorable Quotes Quote “In this land, said the god; “who seeks shall find; who sits with folded hands or sleeps is blind” -Croon, L 109-1 10 Wretch, may he pine in utter wretchedness! And for myself, in with my privy he gain admittance to my hearth, pray, the curse laid on others fall on me, see that ye give effect to all my Hess, for y sake and the god’s and for our land, a desert blasted by the wrath of heaven. Oedipus 246-253 “Offspring of endless Night, thou hast no power o’er me or any man who sees the sun” -Oedipus 174-376 “Let the storm burst, my fixed resolve still holds, to learn my lineage, be it inner so low… Thus sprung, why should I fear to trace my birth? Nothing can make me other than I am” – Oedipus 1077-1078, 1084-1086 Significance This tragic commitment to finding out the truth was central to the story and defined the persistent and committed nature Of Oedipus, but he was not fully repaired for the results of his investigations.
The fervor for which Oedipus renounced the murderer profoundly backfires, and ends up being the worst possible choice he could have made. His rash commitments and impious attitude turn out to be devastating later, and eventually result in him gouging his eyes out and exiling himself. It summed up his powerful fervor that remained throughout the entirety of the work. Oedipus disregards the influence of higher powers (an unwise move) when Treaties proclaims his future. This is a lack Of vision and foresight that is predominant in the ark, and plays a large role in his character development.