Sat, 03 Jun, 2023

Oedipus Rex: A Fine Greek Play

By Shila Parajuli

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Oedipus Rex is one of the finest Greek tragedies. Seeing a play about Odeipus, Sophocles Anthenian audience will instantly know that the play comes from the cycle of myths about the city of Thebes, one of the rivals of Athens in the 5th century.

The story of Oedipus goes back to few generations before the Trojan war, which took place in 1184 BC. The play starts with the sins that the city of Thebes was facing. A group of people, along with priest, approach Oedipus at the beginning of the play. During that time, Thebes was suffering from famine, fires and plague. Widespread suffering and deaths among their families and animals, damage of crops were all that they were being exposed to. So they think that there might be some supernatural reasons behind their village suffering, and approach Oedipus. Oedipus sends Creon to Apollo’s home at Python. They try to find every possible reason behind the trouble that Thebes was facing.

In the course of uncovering the reason, they travel down the memory lane. They remember how many years ago Oedipus had killed a man named Laius, how he had saved Thebes from a monster with the head of a woman, body of a lion and wings of an eagle (called the Sphinx) by solving her riddle, how he had been crowned the King of Thebes and to whom he was married.

Towards the end of the play, the citizens of Greece find out the reason behind the trouble that their city had been suffering from; the reason comes as a surprise for Oedipus and to all of them. His marriage also comes as a horrifying revelation to him.

Watching the play, one can see how the anger can create a problematic situation. I would suggest my readers to go watch the play once since it is an interesting amalgam of thrill, mystery and Greek myths.