Oedipus the king was an interesting play that really expanded my knowledge of ancient Greek life, drama and religion. The whole plot of Oedipus is very disturbing but was nevertheless interesting to read. The play is unlike anything I have ever read before, and is very different from stories I am used to reading. For instance, the choir is a very memorable part of the play because the meaning of the chorus isn’t always easy to understand, and can be very poetic. The characters in the play are well thought out and each have distinct personalities. Oedipus is a great example of this, because by the way he speaks and acts we can see that he is courageous and mostly polite, but has a very short temper and doesn’t like it when things don’t go his way. He likes to be in control of his life, but as we can tell from the prophecy, it seems that he isn’t.
The language was also quite unfamiliar to me. It wasn’t unfamiliar in the sense that I didn’t know the vocabulary being used, but was unfamiliar with the register (high register). The way the characters spoke to each other was very formal – most of the time – and old fashioned. Namely, people refer to Oedipus as “my king” and Oedipus refers to the people of Thebes as “my children”.
One of the biggest thoughts I had while reading this book is how much politics have changed. In the story, everyone bows down to Oedipus (even after certain people basically tell him he murdered Laius). In modern day, it takes a whole lot less than that to ruin someone’s career, especially a political leader.
The play was surprisingly enjoyable to read, and gave me some knowledge of ancient Greek life and drama. For those reasons, overall I liked the play.