Oedipus the King, an Ancient Greek playwright written by Sophocles, is a successful tragedy. The main character in the play, Oedipus, who I feel great sympathy for, has a coarse life in which he has gone through the pinnacle and the most tragic that could have happened to him. First of all, I admire his smartness. He solves the Sphinx’s riddle and saves the citizen of Thebes from her. Nevertheless, it turns out he is the cause of the plague in his city as he is cursed by the gods since he was born. I empathize with Oedipus since he loses everything he had after he finds out about the misery of his life and the reason for the plague, so as everything he does. He loses his mother/wife; he loses his daughters and indeed the city. I can feel the pain of losing all his properties and his love in his life. I respect Oedipus for giving up everything he had to save the city of Thebes. I also commiserate with the Queen, Jocasta, who finds out his husband was killed by his son whom she abandoned years ago. She also finds out that she has slept with her son which is unholy. I understand that she committed suicide afterward since this must be a tragedy for her. I think it is unfair for Oedipus that he does not deserve to be cursed, hated, and treated as a “toy” by all the Gods as he saved the citizens of Thebes.
The plot of Oedipus the King mostly makes sense to me, apart from the chorus part. The Chorus is written from the citizens’ perspective, who do not know what happened to Oedipus. As a reader of the play, I know the plot of the story in advance, before I read the play. Therefore, it was difficult to immerse me into the crowd’s perspective, which requires me to bypass all the advanced knowledge. While I was reading, I was also confused by the formatting of how the play was written. I noticed that some lines are indented. I sometimes skipped those lines unconsciously and accidentally. After Mr. Macknight’s explanation in class, I understood that this play is translated from Greek, also in poem format. Lines were not aligned after translation. Therefore, some lines are indented to match the poem format and lines of the original version.
The main theme of Oedipus the King is fate. Oedipus is cursed since he was born. Although he tries his best to escape the prophet, he fails, kills his father, and marries his mother eventually. The play’s theme is established, “fate guides a person’s life”. However, I personally disagree fate dominates our lives. I believe that we have the authority to be in charge of our lives. After reading, an open-ended question was raised: “What would happen if Oedipus was extremely in charge and mindful of his actions, is the prophet still be accomplished?” The answer is yet to be found.