Oedipus Rex (Greek, Oἰδίπoυς τύραννoς) is one of the seven tragedies of the Athenian poet and playwright Sophocles, who lived in about 496-406 BC.
Sophocles’ works are the best examples of ancient tragedy, as Aristotle defined it in his “Poetics”: “Tragedy is a reproduction of serious and complete action using sophisticated language (different in different parts of the tragedy), a certain amount of which is reproduced not only by telling the story, but also by acting it provoking regret and fear, thus causing catharsis (purification) of such emotions.” Sophocles abandoned the principle of trilogy with linked parts: each and every of his tragedy is a fully completed dramatic whole that ends with the death of the main actors. The main characteristics of the Sophocles’ tragedies are the complexity of the composition, abundance of theatrical effects, focus on the main character, the use of tragic irony, etc.
In his “Poetics” Aristotle considered the Sophocles’ play the ideal tragic work and such that played a huge role in the history of ancient drama. Its main hero was a man who realized his guilt and executed himself for it. The tragic ending of the play by Sophocles is not associated with the passions and vices of the protagonist, and is rather caused by higher power.
The story tells about the parents of Oedipus, who, fearing the prediction that their son would kill his own father and marry his mother, have decided to kill the child. However, thanks to the pity of the killing perpetrator, the infant was given to a shepherd of Corinth and adopted by Corinthian King Polybus. When adult, Oedipus learns about the prophecy and decides to leave his foster parents, hoping to avoid the evil fate.
Oedipus Rex occupies an important place in the development of European theatrical process. It becomes a topic for dialogue between European cultures. A performance directors tried to identify themselves in the European theater of the twentieth century through the play, often trying to dissociate themselves from their national characteristics. Oedipus Rex was a popular and recognized play throughout Europe for more than two millennia. Sophocles was a poet of the golden age of slave-owning democracy, with its respect for tradition and recognition of the individual at the same time.
To better understand the subject that you have chosen for your research proposals it is strongly recommended to look through a few free sample research paper topics, which will teach you that the fate of Oedipus interested artists at different times and ages. Seneca the younger, Voltaire, and Corneille have written a tragedy Oedipus. Hofmannsthal has written Oedipus and the Sphinx, Jean Cocteau – Infernal Machine, Krause – Oedipus and his mother, etc. You will find such free examples in quantity on the Web.
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