“Oedipus Rex” Literary Analysis
Sophocles', “Oedipus the King” is a classic work of literature that opens the reader’s minds to the possibility of preordained destiny. It is a timeless theory that holds as much importance in our lives today is it did for those who lived in Sophocles' time. Even though it may seem impractical, as a species, it is sometimes beneficial for humans to consider life after death. One philosophy that Oedipus may teach us is that one should always have an open mind; no one knows everything, especially not when it comes to complicated subjects such as fate. Some relatable religions rationalize the big questions and require us in return to offer our trust or faith, our fear, or even our lives. Oedipus' story is not only a testament to the solidity of fate and the power of the gods, it also alleges that responding to one's destiny with arrogance will lead to disaster, or hubris, in Greek. A downfall led to by overconfidence, something Oedipus became familiar with in the story as him and his family led themselves right into more than what they dreaded most.
From the beginning of the story it is apparent that Oedipus has the confidence any stereotypical king would be expected have. However, his over-dramatic response to his people, his short temper, and his paranoia, bring about questions concerning whether
Oedipus is really merely a confident king or an arrogant ruler. It goes beyond even the declarative style of traditional Greek plays, and the king just seems as though he views himself as more-than-human… (Nassaar) We first see Oedipus' disregard for prophesy when he barely listens to and then rejects the claims of the blind prophet Teiresias. To make matters even less moral he starts of the dialogue by telling Teiresias, "you understand all things, what can be taught,...