Oedipus Personal Response

Oedipus the King was a play written by Sophocles for the Dionysus festival that was held in Athens in Ancient Greek.  This play took me in for a ride, and surprised me with a sensation of misery mixed with tiny bits of irony and interesting plot twists. In this play, I learned a lot by just looking at the lines, vocabulary, and how sometimes Sophocles personified certain things to make emphasis in them (such as time), it added more detail to the story, something that is to my liking.

Before we started reading this play, we learned the story of Oedipus and his tragedy in a summarized way. Oedipus was crowned King of Thebes after defeating the Sphinx, but what he did not know is that on that same path he had killed his own father (Laius, the past king), and later on married his mother when he ruled over Thebes. The most ironic part of the story is that Oedipus has no idea that he is the culprit of such acts, and so he carries on with the investigation until the end, when he finds out he’s the guilty/corrupted one. Traumatized, alarmed, and perturbed, he gouges his eyes out and is exiled from his own kingdom, living in misery for the rest of his life.

I had heard of this story before, and I was quite curious to see in more depth the story and what was Oedipus’ character throughout it. Before reading the play, I thought Oedipus was as innocent as a young infant. But, once the plot kept going, it became noticeable that Oedipus was an overly confident man, and that at some point, it got combined with arrogance. Although he had his flaws, like every other person does, he was overall a good person that tried to do the right thing for his own people. Something else that I observed is that he was brave and ambitious. The will to find the killer of Laius was something that Oedipus did not lack, no matter the consequences of the truth that were to come after.

The story can be approached in different ways, but the one that has caught my eye so far, is the philosophical one. Do we have free will? Are prophecies true? If so, to what extent? Who created the prophecies in the first place? Or, are they just there because that’s how the world works? These questions have been raised ever since I finished the story, and are questions I cannot find the right answers to. In my opinion, it is compelling how a play written so many years ago has relevancy in the now. I love stories that get me into a rabbit hole, and this is why Oedipus the King has been one of my favorite stories so far.

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