Oedipus Rex Theme Analysis Essay

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Oedipus Rex Theme Analysis Essay Sophocles, the renowned Greek playwright, is known as one of the greatest Greek writers of tragedy by Aristotle's definition. His most notable work is Oedipus Rex, which is about an ill-fated king named Oedipus whose mysterious past catches up with him and causes tragic events to him and his family. Through this tragic hero, Sophocles explores the idea of fate versus free will, which was a new subject for the era in which the Greeks lived in. He portrays this concept of fate versus free will through the prophecies, the choices of the characters, and the contrasting attitudes of the characters toward their destiny. One of the ways in which Sophocles accomplishes his goal of presenting the theme of fate versus free will to the audience is by including prophecies. During the time(circa 600 B.C.) in which Sophocles wrote this famous play, many people considered their destiny was already assigned and planned through the work of the gods. This perception influenced his writing, and it was clearly evinced throughout Oedipus Rex. The whole play is centered around the basic notion of oracles and prophecies even from the beginning. Laius, the King of Thebes and the husband of Queen Jocasta, decides to kill Oedipus after finding out about the prophecy put upon him. The prophecy stated “that his(Laius) doom would be death at the hands of his own son.” (228) This quote shows the audience how prophecies influenced the choices that the characters made. It reveals to the audience how prophecies played as the nucleus throughout the play. Another prophecy is when Creon, the brother-in-law of Oedipus is sent to ask about the reason for the plague at the temple in Delphi. “I have sent Creon...to Delphi, Apollo’s place of revelation.” (206) This attests to the records that the Greeks relied heavily on oracles and prophecies. Through these examples

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