"Oedipus Rex Themes". Anti Essays. 16 Dec. 2015

On behalf of appearance we see a battle in Oedipus Rex. As this battle progresses, we see appearance losing its ground. The first stage in it is the institution of the divinely instructed enquiry into the death of Laius, which means that it was the work of outland robbers. It is clear that Oedipus is led astray by an appearance --- which the robbers who were alleged to have attacked Laius must have been associated with Thebes, and the suspicion that Creon must have been at their back. “The question points to Creon. Creon gives the appearance of evading it, the suspicion, he says that unavoidably arose could not be pursued after the deed. The suspicion seems to lie dormant. But, the focus of attention is no longer in the scene of crime, but rather on those who were ultimately responsible. Then suddenly the suspicion is confirmed and the existence of a whole web of enmity stands as a fact”. Oedipus suspects that the robbers were bribed to play their part and ultimately, he thinks that both Creon and Teiresias were behind them. Thus, the supposed existence of a plot to murder Laius is another appearance which leads Oedipus astray. Oedipus is concerned with two appearances which it becomes his life mission to investigate, so that he may get the underlying truth. Oedipus believes in the appearance of some unknown enemy and pronounces on him the sentence of outlawry, and also utters a curse on him. The reality of it, that it is on him he is passing both the sentences, is unknown to him. We see that gradually Oedipus knows what reality lies hidden behind the appearance. Now, the battle between truth and appearance becomes an open contest. We see it first in the confrontation between Oedipus and Teiresias. This is not tragic error but it is tragic appearance and it is a typical of tragic art in its perfect form. "The higher you climb, the further you fall" is a cliché that is reflective of the play and of Oedipus. Oedipus is an ideal character that, by the end of the play, shows he has morals. He went from having nothing; to having everything, to once again having nothing. Thought is required in any great tragedy, and it is present in Oedipus Rex. Furthermore, not only does Oedipus Rex have the correct plot for a tragedy, but it also has the proper characters.
"Lead me away from Thebes"

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The problem is we take the Oedipus complex out of context. It is not an instrument for understanding human nature. Rather, it is entertainment. Oedipus Rex is the equivalent of today’s Jersey Shore. Trying to explain life through the guise of Freud’s psychoanalytical interpretation of Oedipus is like trying to explain life through the guise of The Situation’s take on life: lift lots, drinks lots, babes babes babes.

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