Friday, September 14, 2012

Oedipus the Idiot

I really can't believe how mean Oedipus was the Creon at the beginning of the play when they had their differences. He was very arrogant and pretty much told Creon that he didn't know what he was talking about, even though he had just come from the Oracles, and finally he blames Creon for hatching the plot to kill King Laius. After Tiresias gives his riddle, AND A TON OF CLUES AS TO WHO THE KILLER IS, Oedipus seems stumped and hardly gets a single one of the hints from the next pages of the play hinting at the fact that he is the murder. It also takes him a while at the end of the play to catch on to idea that he was born in Thebes, killed his father, married his mother, and had children with his mother. Oedipus does just not seem to get the clue, and I suppose that was part of the whole tragic fall, the main character does not understand until the end and then the audience gasps in disbelief! I'm not bashing the play, I absolutely loved it and thought it was "short and sweet", but I do think that Sophocles could have at least portrayed Oedipus in a little more intelligent manner because he was the one that solved the Sphinx's Riddle. I believe that if Oedipus had converted some of his confidence into intelligence, it would have made for maybe a more intellectually challenging plot (for example Oedipus could challenge his accusers in a roundabout way to confuse them even though he actually knew he was one who had killed King Laius... I don't know, it's just a thought).

3 comments:

Tyler Dean said...

I personally think that Sophocles' portrayal of Oedipus as slow-witted is intentional and comic. I found it oddly amusing that the man who solved the Sphinx's impossible riddle couldn't take a hint. Also, he seems to arrogant and stuck up that it contrasts with his pride, which I believe to be his hamartia. It makes Oedipus seem like a normal person, which, as we talked about today, made the audience feel like that could happen to them because they could relate.

Mitchell D said...

My favorite part of the play would have to be when Oedopis comes to the realization that he could potentially be the murderer of King Laius. I don't have the book in front of me, but when Jocasta tells Oedipus that the king was murdered at a 3 pronged crossroad and he has a moment of "oh God what have I done." I think that at that point he really thought that he was the murderer and was scrounging for a reason to believe that he wasn't. he latched onto the idea that it was a band of theives and not one person he held onto that strand of hope, but he knew what he did. I think it's actually kind of funny how he doesn't realize because he seems to be more in denial than anything.

Lindsay A said...

I think Oedipus didn't figure out who the murderer is from Tiresias because he doesn't want to believe that he is the murderer. Tiresias practically says "Oedipus, you are the murderer" - but then Oedipus calls Tiresias a liar. But really, who wants to find out they murdered their father and married their mother? I think the reason he was so cruel to Creon was because he was in a desperate state of denial.