“Oedipus the King” Brief Notes

“Oedipus the King” Brief Notes
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1. According to the Ancient Greek Belief, the fate refers to the belief of an individual that some one controls your destiny. For the Greek, the concept of fate held great importance, this is because of the reason that they believed that their actions and behaviour shall affect their fate and cannot control it. Therefore, it held great importance them as reflected through the quote, “ To have a fatalistic sense of life is to hold that in this game of life, the rules, the flow of play, the success or failure of my team (and my contribution to that), and so on are out of the control of any human being or collection of human beings. The outcome and all the various stages of the game are determined from non-human sources” (Friesner).

2. Oedipus’s main objective was to appear himself look well, and therefore, he portrayed himself as a selfless king who aimed to work for the people. He gained respect among the people of Thebes by fixing the problems of the people in the kingdom as savour. “They acknowledge not only his political power (which they have given him), but also his pre-eminence among all human beings for wisdom, especially in dealing with things they don’t understand. Second, we see in Oedipus a person of enormous self-assurance and self-confidence, a man who is willing to take on full responsibility for dealing with the crisis, a task which he clearly accepts as his own unique challenge”.
“For you came here, to our Cadmeian city,
and freed us from the tribute we were paying
….
how, with gods’ help, you gave us back our lives.”

3. The heated dialogue between Oedipus and Teiresias was about the information regarding the murderer of Laius, the late king of Thebes. Teiresias knew something about the murder, which he was unwilling to share with the king (Sharpe). When Oedipus provoked Teiresias, he accused Oedipus as the one who had contaminated the land. The king got angry at this situation and thought that there was a conspiracy going on against him (Harbage).

4. Oedipus accuses that the present sentry has been bribed in order to defend his crime, therefore the Sentry is threatened by Ceorn with the exile or death. The punishment that has been declared is to exile or death of the wrongdoer. As stated in the poem, “The king vowed that the murderer would be banished from the land for ever without any other punishment” (Shakespeare).

5. Teiresias predicts that the murderer will turn out to be a native of Thebes against the belief that he is a foreigner. The murderer would lose his eyesight and go blind; he would lose all his richness and become a poor beggar; lastly it will be proved that his wife is his mother and all his children are his brothers and sisters. Finally, he would be banished from Thebes forever (Rusche).

6. The poet has used following words or phrases related to light, sight or color;
a. “shed light on darkness” meaning the king wanted to find the answer to the murder of Laius.
b. By “grey-haired mothers” the author portrays the wisdom that arrives with the aging.
c. “O light, may i look upon you for the last time”, here the author aims to establish a strong essence of the last effort he is about the make for his deeds.
d. “Bring dark to life” referring mysery of Laio’s death, that has engulfed him with the grief of the loss.
e. “your eyes are blind” referring to the mental state, not the physical state. Reflecting that one is unable to seek the right things.
f. “blind wrongs you have done” stating the murder of the father was an involuntary act of Oedipus due to the lust of power he possessed.

Works Cited
Friesner, Donald Neil. “William Shakespeare, Conservative.” Shakespeare Quaterly (1969): 165-178. Print.
Harbage, Alfred. Shakespeare the Tragedies; a collection of critical essay. New Jersey: Englewood Cliffs, 1964. Print.
Rusche, Harry. “Edumunds Conception and Nativity in King Lear.” Shakespeare Quaterly (1969): 162-164. Print.
Shakespeare, William. King Lear. Cheltenham: Stanley Thornes Publishers Ltd, 1990. Print.
Sharpe, Robert Boies. “The Real War of the Theaters: Shakespeares Fellow in rivalry with the Admirals Men.” Repertories, Devices and Types (1930): 1594-1603. Print.