Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles and performed in the late fifth century BC, is an ancient Greek tragedy that follows Oedipus, a man who fulfilled a prophecy that he would kill his father and marry his mother. Oedipus willingly left home after this prophecy was given to him, but ended up killing his father and marrying his mother after Oedipus was abandoned on Mount Cithaeron by his father, King Laius of the Theban kingdom.
Oedipus unknowingly fulfilled this prophecy since Oedipus had been given to a shepherd who had recently lost two children during birth. Oedipus’ biological parents did not want Oedipus because Oedipus was born with a great misfortune that would destroy both their lives if Oedipus were left alive, so they gave Oedipus to another family where Oedipus could live without bringing harm to them. This tragedy continues when Oepidous realizes that the plague in Thebes is caused by his unwitting crimes against the gods and decides to uncover the truth.
Oedipus becomes more and more violent upon the realization of his crimes, so Oedipus’ wife leaves him. Oepidous also ends up killing his own father in anger, which was foreshadowed by Oepidous’ ignorant words during Oedipus Rex’s exposition: “You are old; if you must go, go then; leave me this house” (Sophocles). Oedipus does not know that he just sent his own father into exile despite Oedipus saying these words to Oepidous’ mother.
Oedipus Rex , written by Sophocles, is a tragedy that follows Oedipus as he uncovers the truth about his past and how it has led him to be an unwitting participant in shaping two family lines. Oedipus’s life begins with a prophesy that states that Oedipus will kill his father and marry his mother. Oedipus’s parents, not wanting their son to fulfill said prophesy, send Oedipus away at birth and he is raised in a valley by shepherds. Oedipus is led to believe that the King of Corinth (King Laius) was his father; Oedipus leaves the shepherds and travels to Thebes because King Laius has been killed on the road leading from there.
Oedipus finds out along with Jocasta (Queen/Mother of Oedipus), Laius’ wife/mother, that Oedipus did not kill Laius but saved him from robbers and helped him get home again. It turns out that Oedipus is the long lost son of Oedipus and Laius (Oedipus killed his father unknowingly, as Oedipus thought at first that he was Jocasta’s husband instead of her son). Oedipus now knows the truth about who he really is: Oedipus Rex. Oedipus now resolves to go back to Thebes and give himself up, despite Jocasta’s pleading not to.
Oedipus has a series of vengeful acts against those who committed crimes against him but didn’t realize they were doing wrong; this includes killing their own kin without recognition and marrying someone whom he believed was his mother. Oedipus ends up leaving Thebes with his wife and children, Oedipus thinking that he can never return as it would mean Oedipus’ entire family will die; Oedipus ends up returning to Thebes after realizing that Oedipus is cursed.
Oedipus has a fight with the Sphinx (beast like creature who killed all of Oedipus’s children and then Oedipus himself) and eventually kills the Sphinx by solving its riddle; Oedipus marries Jocasta’s sister/daughter Antigone, not knowing about their relation. Oedipus Rex ends on a tragic note: Oedipus takes out his eyes after realizing what he has done (he married his mother, having children with her, killed his father, etc.
Oedipus Rex is considered ironic tragedy because Oedipus deals with the truth about himself in an ironic way; Oedipus is doomed by fate to fulfill these acts but Oedipus doesn’t know that he is destined to do them. Oedipus has always done good things in protecting others and defeating enemies who would try to harm the city of Thebes; Oedipus unknowingly ends up killing his father and marrying his mother (the king and queen of Thebes respectively) in the process.
Oedipus is led to believe he killed his father and married his mother, but in reality it was the opposite. Oedipus truly did not know who he was killing when he murdered Laius. Oedipus did not know who Laius was, or that he was truly his father, or that Jocasta his wife was really Oedipus’ mother. Oedipus truly did not realize what happened until after the truth came out through Tiresias’ prophecy. Oedipus had no idea these things were true when they were happening, but because of where Oedipus comes from it gave him reason to believe that these events are important for someone else’s gain.
Oedipus was on a quest to find the source of the plagues because Oedipus believes he is doing it for Jocasta, Oedipus’ mother. Oedipus believes that only someone from Thebes would have reason enough to do such a foul deed against him and his kingdom. Oedipus did not think anything bad could come from a person in a similar situation as him, so Oedipus never even questioned why these events were happening. In Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, there are many instances of irony found throughout this tragic tragic play.
Oedpius’ main goal throughout the play was to find who is behind all of the plaguing going on around Oedipus’ kingdom. Oedipus thought that because Oedipus and Oedipus both grew up in similar situations, Oedipus never questioned why Oedipus happened to be the one to find all of these issues happening to his beloved city. Oedipus was not even aware the events that occurred earlier that day were true until after Jocasta revealed herself as Oepdius’s mother and Tiresias told Oedipus what really happened to Laius. Oedipus believed he killed who he really wanted dead: Laius.
Oedipus did not think it could possibly be him since he had no idea who Laius was. Oedipus did not realize what was going on until after Tiresias told Oedipus the truth and Oedipus saw his mother for who she really was. Oedipus never once suspected that he could be killing and marrying the people he really wanted dead. Oedipus has no idea until after Oedipus realizes what is actually going on and Jocasta hangs herself. The word irony can be defined as a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result.