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Historical Context for Oedipus Rex by Sophocles


The social climate influences the stage significantly in Oedipus; this paper will shed more light on how the same exactly happens. Almost every character commits suicide in this tragedy and this makes the social climate really tense and unpredictable.

The savage-like behavior of Creon makes the tragedy even more unpredictable, he kills Polynices like a heartless man and feeds his flesh to dogs and eagles, this savagery heats up the social climate and indicated towards revenge and bloodshed which are also the main two characteristics of a tragedy, excessive suffering of the tragic hero is also a very important characteristic of a tragedy and the same happened, Oedipus suffered a lot in the tragedy and even committed incest by marrying his mother, all this was influenced by the social climate in the tragedy. In each tragedy, the social climate plays a pivotal role in building up the tension and enough tension was already built-in Oedipus before the conclusion.

The prophecy also is really important; it gives a different dimension to the social climate. The climate becomes exciting to the readers when they get to know that Oedipus would kill his father and to make matters worse, he would marry his mother and commit incest by doing so.

To conclude it is very fair to say that the social climate plays a pivotal role in the tragedy right from the opening scene to the very last, the social climate keeps altering with each important happening in the tragedy.

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