King Oedipus, Reaction Paper
2/12: Oedipus Tyrannus
The play starts by revealing Oedipus as a strong King, a man with flexible actions and an influential person too. Oedipus incredible qualities present him as an adorable and excellent King, who is answerable to his subject’s needs. For instance, the Thebe people asked their King to provide the solution to the menacing plague that had befallen them. Oedipus had already moved out to look for a solution. A king should always be a step ahead in ruling so as to contain the opposition who might look for his weakness and attack from there. On the contrary, Oedipus’ nature of acting flexible and swift tends to possess some dangerous effect too. It is evident in the story within a story when Oedipus narrates on how he killed a bunch of travelers who attempted to jostle him at a three-way crossroads. As much as he reacted out of self-defense, killing the travelers was too much, and this suggests that Oedipus is a rash person, which is dangerous from a King’s position.
Additionally, Oedipus is also a confident King in a positive manner. It is through his confidence that we see the people of Thebe being rescued from the curse of the Sphinx. Oedipus collected all the credits for himself and took advantage of this to proclaim his name suggesting that, his name has a healing charm. “Here I am myself— / you all know me, the world knows my fame: / I am Oedipus” (7–9). Often, rulers will want to leave a legacy behind no matter what it takes. Ancient kings tend to rob their citizen’s achievement or ideas and plant them with their names in quest for fame and legacy. Oedipus wish of making his name a powerful name is in doubt. As the play unfolds, Oedipus name becomes a curse at Oedipus at Colonus when the Chorus King gets horrified when he met him and learnt he was Oedipus: “You, you are that Man?”
Furthermore, Oedipus flexibility and art of confidence continues to display even at the end of the play. He starts to catechize Creon and call for the Thebe’s fortuneteller, prophet Tiresias. Rashly, Oedipus threatens to excommunicate both Creon and Tiresias. He appears so doctorial by forcing Tiresias to reveal the murderer of the late Laius, who was the former King of Thebe. Now, Oedipus was shocked to learn he was the murderer of King Laius, and he was his real father, and his current wife who is her maternal mother. On the stage, Oedipus is constantly in motion, symbolically, this implies on how he struggles to keep pace with his fate despite the fact that it has gone beyond his control. Finally, Oedipus starts to accept what has transpired in his life, as he is seen helplessly sitting rather than acting which is ironic, because he is always an of being an abrasive person.2/17: Oedipus at Colonus