Q:

What is the theme of "Oedipus Rex"?

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Quick Answer

"Oedipus Rex," otherwise known as "Oedipus the King," focuses on themes of fate, choice, free will, determination, power and memory. The play focuses on the life of Oedipus, King of Thebes, and the unraveling of his life as his true identity, and that of his wife, Jocasta, is revealed.

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Full Answer

Queen Jocasta was initially married to King Laius, and the two received a prophecy that Laius would be killed by his son. Laius abandoned his and Jacosta's son, assuming the problem was taken care of, but that child was rescued and grew into Oedipus, who ended up fulfilling the prophecy by killing his father and marrying his mother, who didn't initially recognize him.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the functions of the chorus in "Oedipus Rex"?

    A:

    The Chorus in "Oedipus Rex" serves several important functions in the play. The Chorus is composed of a group of elders from Thebes who observe what is happening and react to it as the audience is most likely to respond. The Chorus acts as the bystander who gets to ask the tough questions as well as the observer who explains things the audience does not know.

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  • Q:

    What are the tragic flaws in the characters of Antigone and Oedipus Rex?

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    Pride is the main tragic flaw present in both Oedipus Rex and his daughter Antigone. A tragic flaw, or hamartia, is the defect in a hero's character that helps bring about his downfall. Both Oedipus and Antigone were so sure they alone knew the moral high road, even in the face of others' advice to them, that they did not always stop to think about all the possibilities.

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  • Q:

    Who wrote "Oedipus"?

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    The Greek tragedy "Oedipus the King" was written by Sophocles, one of the most famous playwrights of ancient Athens. As with most Greek tragedies, the story of Oedipus is based upon pre-existing myths, the origin of which are lost in time.

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  • Q:

    Is Oedipus responsible for his downfall?

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    According to the literary department of Ball State University, although Oedipus is not truly responsible for the murder of his father and marriage to this mother, he is the instigator of his own blindness and exile. It is Oedipus's own actions that set the prophecy in motion.

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