Oedipus the King – Personal Response

Oedipus the king written by Sophocales was an enjoyable read for me. Reading the story always had me excited for the next scene. I liked reading Oedipus the king mainly because of Oedipus the main characters personality development, and how it changed over the story. When the truth is being revealed Oedipus makes it his responsibility to keep on looking for the truth, and I really admire this respectable act of his. I also disliked Jocasta as she was the one to give off her son to die. Another thing which I found a bit difficult to understand was the old-fashioned language.

At the beginning of the story, I did not like Oedipus because of his bad temper and how hubris he was. When Oedipus comes across Laius at the narrow bridge his self-confidence from his egotistical ambitions kicks in, he kills Laius and his people over Laius telling him to get out the way. At this point of the story, I strongly disliked Oedipus as he killed for no reason and how he did not think before committing this act. This act made him unlikeable for me as I saw him to be a very cocky king that thought of himself so highly. When the King of Thebes Oedipus, comes to Corinth, he is praised to be king and marry the Queen Jocasta who is Oedipus’s mother. Later in the story, the truth slowly starts to come to light from the Soothsayer and Oedipus completely denies the accusation of him killing his father. Although, this was also something I disliked about Oedipus as he did not even think about the possibilities, we later discover that Oedipus is determined to find out the truth especially when everything is pointed at him. This changes the way I look at Oedipus, I respect him and admire him so much after his bravery and loyalty to being The King of Thebes of finding out the truth, when he easily could have ignored it. I sympathize for how Oedipus was the puppet of the Gods and how the prophecy ruled his life. However, I commend how Oedipus stabbed his eyes out for control over his own life and to end being the puppet to the Gods. I also disliked Jocasta as she tried hiding the truth.

During the story I did not think much of Jocasta as she did not have any qualities I disliked. However, when the truth is slowly coming to light instead of being loyal to her position of the Queen, she tries brushing off the accusations as she does not want to truth to be revealed. Her motive on trying to avoid grief when the identity of Oedipus is coming to light is something I do not admire. Jocasta was a character I did not like because she tried to alter the fate but then she also denies it at various points. Jocasta is selfish to me because she tried to change her fate multiple times to protect her reputation. Jocasta’s motive was to make herself prosper and successful as a noble queen. All things considered, she did not want anything interfering with her reputation and she attempts to repute Tiresias’s allegation. She tried stopping Oedipus from seeking the truth when she realized the prophecy came true. I also found the Ancient Greek old-fashioned language a bit difficult, especially when reading the chorus.

The old-fashioned language was something that was a bit difficult to follow. Certain times of reading the play I was lost and had no clue on what was being said.  There are also a few instances of rhyme, appearing only in the beginning and final scenes, and usually only by Oedipus and the chorus.