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Oedipus the King Essay Questions

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Oedipus the King What does his opening speech reveal about the relations between Oedipus and the people of Thebes?

The play titled Oedipus the King begins with a speech in which Oedipus addresses the people of Thebes. In his speck, Oedipus seeks to know the needs of his people who are evidently suffering and have come to him for help. Oedipus expresses a high level of arrogance and overconfidence that he can solve his people’s problems. Oedipus expresses his concerns for the people, but his pride is clear in every statement he makes. Therefore, it becomes evident that Oedipus has a good relationship with his people. However, the people do not seem to like his arrogance. In their suffering, Oedipus the King promises to solve their problems and restore peace in his kingdom (Sheehan, 2012).

Given that the original audience would have been familiar with the plot of the play, how is Sophocles still able to create suspense?

The audience was well aware of the play’s plot. However, Sophocles exhibited his expertise in creating suspense. Since many of the plays reflected existing mythologies, the people were aware of the potential turn of events in the plays. Sophocles used his expertise in writing and developed a rich, dramatic atmosphere, which created the suspense needed in different scenes. With Sophocles’ outstanding language, the plays prove to be more intriguing to the people. The people had known the mythologies from oral narratives. However, Sophocles dramatized them making them more appealing. In the process of dramatizing, Sophocles integrated the plot with different instances of suspense (p. 32).

By the end of the play, what has Oedipus learned about himself?

By the end of the play, Oedipus recognized that he is the one who had killed his father and married his mother. The objective throughout the play was the identification of the person who killed Laius. After the revelations in the play, Oedipus realized that he was a fulfillment of what an ancient oracle had foretold. The news devastated him and eventually preferred to die to escape the suffering he felt (p. 46).

Reference
Sheehan, S. (2012). Sophocles Oedipus the King’: A Readers Guide. London: Continuum International Pub.

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