Calamity In Oedipus Rex Essay, Research Paper
Calamity in Oedipus Rex
The Grecian play Oedipus Rex is clearly a calamity. It decidedly meets the
five chief standards for a calamity: a tragic hero of baronial birth, a tragic defect,
a autumn from grace, a minute of compunction, and katharsis.
Oedipus Rex clearly meets the first of these five standards. Oedipus is the
boy of Laius, who was king of Thebes. Even at the beginning of the narrative, when
we are told that Oedipus is the boy of Polybus, he is still of baronial birth ;
Polybus is king of Corinth.
The tragic defect, or misidentify that a character makes, in Oedipus Rex does non
really take topographic point during the narrative. We merely watch as Oedipus and the remainder of
the characters discover this error that was really made long, long ago and
can non be reversed. This tragic defect is of class Oedipus killing his male parent
Lauis, and so get marrieding Jocasta, his female parent. We realize that these actions
have taken topographic point much earlier in the narrative than the characters do. However,
both of these events really took many old ages ago.
The autumn from grace in Oedipus Rex is when Oedipus, Jocasta, and all the
other characters in the narrative realize that Oedipus really did slaying Laius
and that Jocasta is so his female parent every bit good as his married woman. This occurs instead
rapidly, really near to the terminal of the drama.
The audience sees this coming long before it really does, nevertheless. In one
of the transitions of Oedipus talking with Jocasta, merely about everything is
spelled out for us. Jocasta speaks of Laius go forthing the palace with merely a few
retainers and his being killed where three roads meet. Oedipus claims that he
killed person where three roads met, who had a few retainers with him. As
though this International Relations and Security Network & # 8217 ; t plenty, Jocasta describes Laius to Oedipus by stating & # 8220 ; his
figure was non much unlike your ain & # 8221 ; ( p. 27 ) . Oedipus, after hearing all this,
says & # 8220 ; O, it is apparent already! & # 8221 ; ( p. 27 ) indicating that he was the slayer of his
male parent. He goes on to do perfectly certain, even though it is obvious that he
was Lauis & # 8217 ; s slayer.
The minute of compunction comes at the terminal of the narrative, when one of the retainers
who had accompanied Laius on his concluding journey came to talk to Oedipus. He was
the lone 1 who survived the onslaught, and told that contrary to rumour, Laius
was killed by one adult male, non robbers. He so pointed out this one adult male, Oedipus.
We are told shortly after that Jocasta hanged herself upon hearing this. When this
intelligence reaches Oedipus, he takes the pins from her frock and knife his eyes out.
The katharsis, or emotional cleaning of the audience, comes at the same clip
as the compunction. The audience all of a sudden feels sorry for this hapless adult male who has
unwittingly killed his male parent and married his female parent, for the people of this
land who have been enduring from an atrocious expletive because of it, and for the
unfortunate Jocasta, who was fundamentally an guiltless bystander in the whole
In these five ways, the narrative Oedipus Rex classifies as a calamity. However,
in my sentiment at least, you don & # 8217 ; t truly necessitate a standard checklist to see if
Oedipus Rex is a calamity or non. Any narrative which ends in the decease of one major
character and a life-time of wretchedness, shame, and self-exile for the other major
character is clearly a calamity.