Oedipus the King Essay Examples & Outline

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Oedipus the King

My nephew Oedipus, the king, is aware of a curse that has befallen him, and he needs the advice of Apollo. I heed the request of my king and proceeds to the undertake a journey seeking the advice of the gods. Apollo comes up with a hard way of lifting the curse. He states that Oedipus has to look for the murderer of his predecessor, King Laius. He also has to ensure that he brings the murderer to justice.

My nephew is desperate to have the curse lifted for falling in love with his mother. The desperation drives my nephew to all sorts of pursuits for the Kingslayer. He puts a number of unwilling citizens under questioning. One of the people that he questions is a blind prophet by the name of Tiresias. The prophet gives him the unfortunate news that he (Oedipus) was the king’s slayer. This information is a real bother to my nephew since he is unaware of what he should do to vindicate himself. He is also forced to deal with the issue at crossroads. Jocasta, the queen, comforts her bus band by assuring him that the prophets ought not to be believed since after all they have been mistaken in their prophesies before.

She gives an analogy of how she was supposed to have a child with king Laius, who was prophesied that he would kill the king in his sleep and sleep with her. She states that they killed the child, and the prophesy did not materialize. The story does not comfort Oedipus since he had killed a man at crossroads and as a child; someone told him that he would kill his biological father. The same events in the story seem to relate to his story making him more and more anxious about the role that he had in all of this.

The king is worried since the story he is told from the wife and the other people is pointing towards one direction. Jocasta attempts to make her husband forget that there was any chance of him being the killer. She tries to shift his attention to something else and other people. Her attempts are ignored since Oedipus seeks the truth in pursuit of rest.

It takes Jocasta a moment of reflection for her to realize that the king is her son. She remembers how she had given up the infant son after the prophesy instead of killing him. The giving up of the son to adoption was an approach that was meant to ensure that the child would be safe while the prophecy will not be attained. Jocasta and Laius envision a bridge between the two outcomes and they are confident that this bridge will hold.

However, their perceptions are wrong. The bridge is a recipe for calamity since it still ensures that the prophesies are sustained. At every instance, when the Jocasta, king Oedipus, and King Laius try to change the destiny they, ironically, get closer and closer to its materialization.

Jocasta reflects the past and realizes that the inevitable had already happened. They had given up the child for the adoption but the child had still managed to come back into their lives. The death of King Laius at the crossroads occurs just as prophesied. All the time, Oedipus thinks that he is deposing of another king from this throne. However, he is unknowingly helping in the achievement of the prophesy.

The reflection by Jocasta on the turn of events makes her understand the main drivers behind the life events. She realizes that there was no way of changing the destiny of a person. The insight gained from the moment makes her realize that the mistake was already done, and the prophecy had come to the fulfillment.

The realization is mortifying. She cannot live with herself with the knowledge that her husbands were both father and son. The love the thinks she found is a rotten apple with an appealing sheen. The real underlying details her life and details no longer make sense in the traditional way. She realizes that what she has been through is a contradiction of all the moral principles of Thebes. Her involvement in the entire saga and the control is not important.

For Jocasta, my sister it is the end of life. She cannot envision any life with the burden of the news still heavy on her back. There is no way of looking at the world the same way. There is no way of continuing with her life with the son for a husband. The throne that she sits on is attained through morally corrupted means.

She realizes that she in desperate need for a reconciliation of the future and the past. She knows that she is in need of more than one approach to the matter. She looks for an approach that will make her more acceptable to the society. She searches for the second option to no avail. At this point, she opts for suicide whereby she will be able to find rest.

On the other hand, Oedipus still keeps on looking for information into his past. He moves down from his high societal level to intermingle with the lowest members of the society. The mingling with the lowly makes him realize that the information about his past has been within his reach for the longest time possible. The shepherd and the messenger give him the story about his childhood. The explanation also shed the light on his past and the fact that Laius and Jocasta are his parents.

He realizes that the prophecy that the blind prophet told him had been the running theme all along in his life. He realizes that the prophecy had been fulfilled since he had been sleeping with his mother, and he had already killed his father (Sophocles. & Bagg, 1982). This realization is also too much to deal with, so he opts to gouge out his eyes since they are the main causes of the fulfillment of the prophesy. The public humiliation makes him lose the right to the throne. He is desperate for a place whereby he can hide away from the glare of the public humiliation. He requests that I take care of his children (Sophocles., Storr, Sophocles., Sophocles. & Sophocles., 2008). He also asks for a banishment due to the veracity of his actions. He requests me to send him off Thebes even after my insistence that he should stay at the events that took place were beyond his control.

Altering of a story gives it a new feeling and understanding such that it is no longer in the same genre. It could even change the flow since the storytelling from another perspective introduces the new perception. The word choice and the organization of thoughts cannot be the same when a story is told from another perspective.

The story changed from a play into a narrative since the third party perspective in storytelling requires that a narrator recount the events. The authenticity of deducing the cause and effects of the events is also lost when one uses the third party perspective in storytelling. The audience is subject to taking the perception and the perspectives of the third party storyteller as the ultimate truth even when they are not. The originality in the story also fails.

Most of the characters in the play are not included in the third party storytelling since the third party story telling is more of a narration of the sequence of events and the main characters. The small parts that fail to meet the criteria for categorization as major events or significant contributors to the plot are inevitably removed from the narration.

Use of the third party perspective in storytelling removes the outright depiction of the character trains of the rest of the characters. There is an inevitable focus on the characters that are more important. The other characters playing supportive roles are not accorded the same respect. They are eventually part of the system, but their contribution is lost.

The third party characters end up being relegated to the secondary roles whereby they are mentioned in passing, and their contributions to the story or the development of the plot are mentioned or ignored entirely. This issue leads to the question of how effective the third party story was telling is.

Third party storytelling helps in the understanding of the vantage points on the topic of discussion. The third party storytelling allows the reader to view the story from different perspectives. The reader can understand what the actual perspectives of the partners were in the end. It will also lead to the understanding of the main traits of the character.

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The third party storytelling allows the reader to understand the main drivers of action in a certain character. Some of the characters are opaque, and one has to fit himself or herself in their shoes to understand their motivations. Therefore, third party storytelling leads to the development of a more adept understanding of the story.

The lesson learnt from this assignment is that there are numerous ways of looking at a story. Each character in a story is a representative of a different viewpoint. The vantage points in a story help a reader understand the motivation of certain courses of action. It also helps validate the activities that are undertaken.

The information obtained from the assignment is also relevant in the contexts outside the classroom. Various people are involved in any situation. In order to understand the situations better, on has to focus on the other sides and vantage points in the story. The decision-making processes that involve the adoption of different vantage points calls for the evaluation of the different points of view. The outcome of this approach is the increment of the fairness and inclusivity of the decisions.


Rao, S., Wolf, G., & Sophocles., (2004). Sophocles' Oedipus the King. Los Angeles, Calif.: J. Paul Getty Museum.
Sophocles., & Bagg, R. (1982). Oedipus the King. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.
Sophocles., Storr, F., Sophocles., Sophocles., & Sophocles., (2008). Oedipus trilogy. [Auckland, N.Z.]: Floating Press.