Oedipus Rex and Antigone. A formal review using literary elements. Character Analysis : Oedipus. At the start of the play he is hugely confident and proudly bears his name– he has saved Thebes from the sphinx and has become king overnight
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A formal review using literary elements
C) He is constantly in motion – trying to keep up with his fate but it is always out of his reach
D) By the end of the play his name has become a curse – he is ashamed of himself and his actions (shows he is a DYNAMIC CHARACTER) – this curse passes on to his children as shown when his two sons and daughters meet their fate
C) Although sounding sympathetic to Oedipus in the final scene, he is eager to have Oedipus separated from his children and grants his request for exile – shows that Creon really does desire to be king
D) In Antigone, Creon believes he is in a comfortable place of power.
E) Once Creon achieves stability and power he begins to make the same mistakes Oedipus did (shows he is a Dynamic Character); Creon also realizes his mistakes and tries to fix them but he is too late
D) She casts doubt on Creon’s authority – she points out his laws cannot override the will of the gods or the traditions of men
E) She places Creon’s laws against Polyneices burial in a way that makes the law seem shameful and ridiculous
F) When she is sentenced to death, she is happy she will be reunited with her family – shows she is desperate to maintain her family connections even in death
B) his laws cannot override the will of the gods or the traditions of menOedipus Rex – Man vs. Man or Man vs. Himself (Oedipus vs. Teiresias or Oedipus vs. himself) – When Teiresias tells Oedipus that he is the cause of the plague, Oedipus refuses to believe him; hence why Oedipus investigates deeper into the prophecy and his fate
A) Oedipus Rex – The consequences of Oedipus learning the truth (he killed his father and married his mother) – this causes Jocasta to hang herself, Oedipus to blind himself, and Creon to grant Oedipus’ request of banishment
B) his laws cannot override the will of the gods or the traditions of menAntigone – occurs when Creon decides to free her from her tomblike prison. Creon arrives too late to find Antigone has hanged her herself. Haemon, Antigone’s fiancée, attempts to kill Creon and fails; he then kills himself. Creon’s wife, Eurydice, stabs herself.
A) Oedipus’ “Swollen Foot” – Oedipus gets his name from the fact that he was left on the mountainside with his ankles pinned together; the injury leaves Oedipus with an injury that symbolizes the way in which fate has marked him and set him apart. It also symbolizes how his movements have been restricted since birth by Apollo’s prophecy
Motifs are recurring structures or events that help inform the reader of the story’s themes
1) Violence against oneself – Almost every character that dies in both plays is at their own hand – Jocasta and Antigone hang themselves, Haemon and Eurydice both stab themselves, Oedipus inflicts violence on himself when he stabs out his eyes
1) Clear vision is used as a metaphor for knowledge and insight
2) Oedipus is famous for his quick comprehension and insight when he defeated the sphinx
3) Oedipus is blind to the truth for many years, but then blinds himself so he won’t have to look upon his own children
4) Creon experiences the same type of blindness to truth in his laws cannot override the will of the gods or the traditions of menAntigone.
5) Tieresias is a blind prophet; he can see the truth and into the future
3) In his laws cannot override the will of the gods or the traditions of menOedipus Rex, Oedipus cannot be buried in the city of Thebes because his presence there is the cause of the plague and the sight of him insults the gods (reminder: incest was a sin against the gods!)
A) Excessive Pride – In Antigone Creon shows pride when he establishes a law that goes against religious principles (no man can create a law that is equal to the laws of the gods). When Tieresias tells Creon of his fate, Creon refuses to believe this; thus Creon must suffer the loss of his family
4) As the play continues, Creon is shown to care more about the value of law rather than the good of the people
5) When Creon is given a choice to choose his law or the law of the gods, he chooses his own
4) The dramatic irony emphasizes how Jocasta and Oedipus don’t want to speak the truth; they look at the circumstances and pretend not to see what’s really there
3) It’s possible Oedipus’ story is meant to show that error and tragedy can happen to anyone, that human beings are powerless before fate or the gods, that the caution of disaster is the correct attitude for life (Oedipus thought he was free of the prophecy and did not worry it might come true)