Personal Response to Oedipus The King

Oedipus the King was the first Greek play I’ve ever read and there was a lot to get through. It felt quite long probably because the chorus went on for ages every time Oedipus shut up for a second. I had to learn about a lot of cultural stuff too since a lot of the Greek references were foreign to me. But despite the gibberish lost in bad translation and my limited knowledge of older English, I really enjoyed Oedipus the King. I enjoyed it because of the funny banter and the big dramatic images it drew in my mind.

The parts that made me most engaged while reading the play was definitely when Oedipus argued with the prophet or Creon. First off I found the language much easier. There was less poetic nonsense and more straight up yelling, which happens to be more understandable in this situation. It was also not as daunting to read small sections of text rather than a big block, and the content was usually more descriptive as well, unlike the chorus or Oedipus’s speeches which would question a lot of who’s what’s where’s why’s and how’s of every situation.

When I wasn’t engaged through what I read directly, but through how what I had read made me feel or think of. I wrote an essay on emotion directly and indirectly through Poetry last year and I think this story is a perfect example of the indirect way we can feel emotion from the writing. Although we don’t relate with the text directly since killing fathers and marrying mothers isn’t the most familiar topic, a lot of the emotion we get from the story comes from the compelling ideas of mystery and tragedy. Key moments in the book that relate to this are when Oedipus meets the Sphynx, when he tries to figure out who the murderer is and when he finds out its him. All of these awesome scenarios really paint a picture of a great story in my mind.

I really enjoyed the play for the smile it put on my face at the pointless arguing of two old Greek guys and the want to keep reading when something crazy happened. I’m definitely anticipating the next play.