Aristotle's Analysis Of Oedipus The King

1293 words - 6 pages

Aristotle's Analysis of Oedipus Rex

    Aristotle is the most influential philosopher in the history of Western thought. A Greek drama by Sophocles, Oedipus Rex, was praised in the Poetics of Aristotle as the model for classical tragedy and is still considered a principal example of the genre.  In this essay I will analyze Oedipus Rex using Aristotle's concepts praxis, poiesis, theoria.

            Thought and character make persons actions.  They only indicate the basic meaning of action but if one wants to understand how the arts imitate action more than just in concepts of thought and character he or she should explore the notion of it a little further.  Action springs from ...view middle of the document...

 Afterwards when Creon brings the Oracle?s word, the action becomes more clear as ?to find the murder?.  Oedipus becomes very eager to help the former king.  He asks the citizens of Thebes to assist him in finding the killer so that the killer may be banished from the town and this will bring an end to the plague.

Aristotle uses energeia as a word to cover any movement of spirit.  There are three different forms of it, praxis, poesis, theoria.  In praxis the motive is ?to do? something, in poesis the motive is ?to make? something, in theoria the motive is ?to grasp? something. These three modes of action prepare us only with rough classification of human actions. 

When Aristotle says ?action? or (praxis) in the Poetics, he usually implies on the whole working out of a motive to its actual end in success or failure.  Action (praxis) does not mean deeds, physical activities: it means, rather, the motivation from which deeds spring.  In praxis the motive is ?to do? something; Oedipus?s action can be seen as soon as he sees that he must find the slayer, is actually a praxis.  Oedipus actions, including those over the course of the play, were determined before his birth, and he cannot avoid them although it is his will to do so, those actions cannot be construed as real choice.  In the beginning of the drama, Oedipus learns that King Laius had been murdered.  He sets out to find the killer, not knowing that it is himself. Oedipus had killed the man unknowingly, when he had encountered him at a crossroads, in the town. Hearing the news of the King's death, he is angered and wants to find the killer. This begins the dramatic turn of events, and Oedipus downfall. 

            In poiesis the motive is ?to make? something.  It is the action of artists when they are concentrated upon a piece of the art work such as play, song, poem, which they are trying to construct.  I believe that Aristotle is trying to construct and show us that Greek beliefs during the time of Sophocles took for granted that all of man's actions were preordained.  Once the destiny of an individual was woven, it was irrevocable, and could not be altered, an individual could not of course evade his or her fate, and was sometimes punished terribly by the gods for trying to overstep the boundaries that were set by the Gods.  Oedipus fate has been determined at his birth.  He can not run away from it and Tereisias prophecy comes true.  He becomes a poor blind man who can now see the internal truth.  Oedipus fate is falling from sovereignity and fame to self-blinded degradation, which puts him in complete darkness from external truth, but makes him see the internal truth.  He is in the corridor with no side passages, and he is constrained in his choices.  In Rex, Oedipus says of his fate, "Some...

Other Papers Like Aristotle's Analysis Of Oedipus The King

Oedipus the King Essay

548 words - 3 pages Oedipus Just as it was with Oedipus, Creon is also a victim of his own arrogance. To say he is a victim is somewhat gracious, but he is after all, human. Arrogance being a chief means of suffering throughout these plays, it continued its role in the third episode via Creon. But of course, he doesn't realize the destruction in the making until it is too late. Not only does he lose the respect of his country, but he also loses his

Oedipus the King Reflects the Rules of Poetics??

944 words - 4 pages . There are certain criteria that a drama has to follow in order for it to be characterized as a Tragedy. The criteria are established by Aristotle and are still being used today. Aristotle's Poetics is the earliest-surviving work of dramatic theory and the first extant philosophical article to focus on literary theory. In it, Aristotle examines its "first principles" and identifies its genres and basic elements of tragedy; his analysis of tragedy

Symbolism In Oedipus The King

1903 words - 8 pages know his true identity and his ultimate fate? In my analysis, I would say Oedipus truly didn’t know. Oedipus was so occupied with trying to help his people; he failed to piece together the puzzle. While traveling the Theban Way, Oedipus comes upon a three way crossroad. Here a fateful decision was made. Oedipus murders a band of travelers. His father, King Laius, just happened to be amongst that group of travelers. This is when the next use of

Oedipus The King And Ghost

1240 words - 5 pages The two famous playwrights Oedipus the King by Sophocles, written thousands of years back for Greek audiences and Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen which was written as a criticism of the Norwegian society in the 1890’s. The universal theme that both Sophocles and Ibsen explored in their plays is that people are punished through their own actions, and unfortunately those ungrateful events can occur to essentially good people, who suffer through no

Oedipus the King Dramatic Techniques

1259 words - 6 pages Sophocles was one of the most celebrated playwrights of his time, writing more than 100 plays to captivate and delight his ancient Greek audiences. Today, although only seven plays remain, his work continues to be enjoyed, evoking a variety of emotions and passions from his meaningful and disturbing tragedies, proving that he revolutionised the face of drama. One of Sophocles most legendary plays, Oedipus the King, demonstrates his outstanding

Analysis of Oedipus Trilogy

3871 words - 16 pages classic tragic form within the plot of the trilogy, making it a perfect tool for analysis of the ancient literary motif. Oedipus the King is set in Thebes, a kingdom beset by plague and death. Oedipus, ruler of Thebes, is beseeched by his people to make things well again. Via word of an oracle Oedipus learns that the unknown murderer of Thebes former ruler Laius is cursed. The murderer’s presence within the kingdom causes the plague, and upon

Oedipus the King: Free Will or Fate?

639 words - 3 pages . Later, the prophet Tiresias tells Oedipus exactly what the oracle did, making himself another example of divine will, that is, the gods speak through him. Divine intervention is abundant in Oedipus at Colonus, too. In it, Oedipus tries to gain sympathy for himself by saying all the sins he committed in the previous play were the work of fate, thus proving the point of divine intervention in Oedipus the King. There are examples of divine

Dramatic Techniques In Oedipus The King

1342 words - 6 pages Sophocles was one of the most celebrated playwrights of his time, writing more than 100 plays to captivate and delight his ancient Greek audiences. Today, although only seven plays remain, his work continues to be enjoyed, evoking a variety of emotions and passions from his meaningful and disturbing tragedies, proving that he revolutionised the face of drama. One of Sophocles most legendary plays, Oedipus the King, demonstrates his outstanding

Relevance Of The Introductory Scenes In "Antigone" And "Oedipus The King"

1765 words - 8 pages to the role of the chorus in "Oedipus the king" by Sophocles. The role of the introductory scene goes beyond shedding light on the characters in the play and this essay seeks to explore the importance of this device in relation to an understanding of and empathy for the plot and characters in Oedipus and its sequel."Oedipus the King" unfolds as a murder mystery and a psychological whodunit. Throughout this mythic story of patricide and incest

Oedipus The King: A Painful Path To Wisdom

783 words - 4 pages Oedipus:  The Painful Path to Wisdom Through the character of Oedipus, Sophocles shows the futility and consequences of defying the divine order. Oedipus served Thebes as a great ruler, loved by his subjects; but it is his one tragic flaw, hubris, which dooms his existence, regardless of the character attributes that make him such a beloved king. From the opening dialogue we sense the character of Oedipus. When confronted by his

Analysis of Platos Philosopher King

640 words - 3 pages In this part of The Republic, Plato suggests that only the philosophers have the capability to know something, since they are the only ones that have access to the world of forms, and because of this ability, they should be the kings (guardians), hence the term philosopher-king. But before going further, Plato describes the difference between a philosopher and a lover of sights and sounds. The lovers of sights and sounds only deal with the

Related Essays

Oedipus The King Summary And Analysis Of First Three Sections

662 words - 3 pages ."XOedipus's insults Tiresias and accuses him of conspiracy"XProvoked by the anger and insults of Oedipus, Tiresias begins to hint at his knowledge."XHe reveals the truth."XThe king criticizes Tiresias's powers wildly and insults his blindness, but Tiresias responds that the insults will eventually be turned on Oedipus by all of Thebes.Analysis"XThe entrance of Tiresias signals a crucial turning point in the plot."XHis blindness augments the

Oedipus The King Essay

608 words - 3 pages JP Evans Dr. Bettye Kash Theatre 1030 February 9, 2014 Oedipus the King Oedipus the King is an Athenian tragedy written by Sophocles that was first performed in 429 BC. The certain remake we watched in class was directed by Don Taylor and aired on the British Broadcasting Cooperation network in 1984. Michael Pennington played Oedipus, and Claire Bloom played Jocasta. Oedipus is the king of Thebes and the town is under a curse. Crops

Oedipus The King Essay

851 words - 4 pages The events in Oedipus the King, written by Sophocles, show an underlying relationship of man's free will existing within the cosmic order or fate that the Greeks believed guided the universe. Man was free to choose and was ultimately held responsible for his own actions. Both the concepts of fate and free will played an integral part in Oedipus' destruction. Although he was a victim of fate, he was not controlled by it. Oedipus was destined

Oedipus The King Essay

606 words - 3 pages      Man controls his fate by the choices that he makes. In being able to chose what his own actions are, fate is a result of his decisions. In Oedipus the King, the Greek writer, Sophocles, uses characterization and dramatic irony to project a theme throughout the play providing the idea that man is responsible for his own fate.      Sophocles lived 90 years, revealing a plethora of amazing