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Plot Structure For Oedipus Rex.

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Kortne Hamilton

on 1 October 2014

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Transcript of Plot Structure For Oedipus Rex.

Plot Structure of Oedipus and The King
Rising Action
The rising action begins when Oedipus sends for a blind prophet, Teiresias, to ask if he has any idea about the murder, but Teiresias refuses to share any information about the truth because it will cause an even bigger disturbance and even more pain.
A. Teiresias cryptically states, "You all are ignorant. I will not reveal the troubling things inside me, which I can call you grief as well" (391-3).
Skeptically, Oedipus questions Teiresias further, which offends Teiresias and causes him to reveal a hint that Oedipus is the cause of polluting the city of Thebes by murdering Laius.
A. Oedipus offends Teiresias by saying, "Do you know and will not say? Do you intend to betray me and destroy the city?" (395-6).
B. Teiresias replies saying, "Is that so? Then I would as you to stand by the very words which you yourself proclaimed and fro now on not speak to me or these men. For the accursed polluter of this land is you" (418-21).
The turning point of the play is when Oedipus unravels the truth behind Teiresias's riddle. After their confrontation, Oedipus tells his wife, Jocasta, about him being accused with Laius's murder, but she insist that he is being naive and the accusation is false because an Oracle told Laius, he would be murdered by his own son, therefore the two parents decided to abandon the child.
A. "Listen to me, and ease your mind with this - It said Laius was fated to be killed by a child conceived by him and me. Laius was killed by foreigners, by robbers, at a place where three roads meet. Besides, before our child was 3 days old, Laius fused his ankles together. (851-63)
Oedipus begins to remember one of his voyages when he came across three roads that met, he asks Jocasta if Laius had a servant with him, which whom got away and asked to be moved to a far away land.
After rejoicing when finding out that Oedipus's adoptive father, Polybus, died of natural causes, Jocasta feels a wave of relief because she thinks it discontinues the assumptions of Oedipus being the murderer. However, a messenger tells Oedipus that he does not need to worry because Polybus and Merope are not his biological parents and where he really came from, which causes Jocasta to not want Oedipus to pursue any further information about the murder.
A. "Well, before you came, he had no children - that made him love you" (1218-19)
B. "Why ask me what he means. Forget all that. There's no point in trying to sort out what he said" (1263-4).
Falling Action
The beginning of the falling action begun when Oedipus summoned for the servant, who found him when he was baby, to come forth and reveal the truth, but the servant is unwillingly to say anything until Oedipus threatens his life.
"If you must know, they said the child was his. But your wife inside the palace is the one who could best tell you what was going on" (1402-04).
Everything begins to make sense and Oedipus realizes who he and his biological parents are. The horror behind the truth causes him to storm back into the palace to confront Jocasta.
"Ah, so it all came true. It's so clear now. A man who stands revealed as cursed by birth, cursed by my own family, and cursed by murder where I should not kill" (1418-22)
The Characters in Oedipus Rex!
The main characters in the story are Oedipus, who is both the protagonist and antagonist, Jocasta, Creon, Teiresias, and The First Messenger.
The minor characters in the story is the Chorus Leader and the Servant.

Exposition Cont.
The story takes place in the city of Thebes, where Oedipus is the new found king because the original king of Thebes, Laius, was killed. And the because of the bad environment and vibe that has gathered in Thebes, the people and the priest have gathered around Oedipus's palace wanting him to fix the problem. Oedipus, who is unaware that he is the one who murdered Laius, sets it upon himself to find and hunt down the person who committed the horrific crime because the people of Thebes are greatly effected by the murder. Finding the murderer is the main conflict of the play because once he/she is found, the plague that has risen on the city of Thebes will be gone.
Exposition Cont.
1. "So now, Oedipus, our king, most powerful in all men's eyes, we're here as suppliants, all begging you to find some help for us, either by listening to a heavenly voice, or learning from some other human being" (46-50)
- The high priest of the land of Thebes begs and seeks Oedipus's help to fixing the problem in the land of Thebes because everyone sees him as a noble, honest, and trustworthy person.

2. "So now I will fight on his behalf, as if the matter concerned my father, and I will strive to do everything I can to find him, the man who spilled his blood" (309-12).
- Oedipus vows to the distraught citizens of Thebes to find the man who has killed Laius because he would do the same as if his own adoptive father was the one killed

3. "Your agony comes to each one of you as his alone, a special pain for him and no one else. But the soume sorrows for myself, and for the city and for you -- all together" (71-5)
- Oedipus tries and relates to the citizens of Thebes by telling them that Laius' murder affects him as well because everyone in the city are connected as one whole.
Rising Action Cont.
As Teiresias continues to accuse Oedipus for the murder, he reveals that his dearest or true family is unknown and he lives a disgraceful lie.
A. "I say that you yourself are the very man you're looking for" (434-435).
B. "I say that with your dearest family, unknown to you, you are living in disgrace. You have no idea how bad things are" (439-41).

Oedipus begins to wonder if his brother in law, Creon, and Teiresias are conspiring against him with the accusation, but Teiresias insist that Oedipus caused this trouble on his own.
A. "Creon is no threat. You have made this trouble on your own" (457-8).

Falling Action Cont.
Ashamed that her past mistakes were coming to light, Jocasta decides to commit suicide.
"She killed herself. You did not see it, so you'll be spared the worst of what went on. But from what I recall of what I saw you'll learn how that poor woman suffered...." (1477-80)
Because he was ashamed of killing his own father, marrying his mother and having children with her, Oedipus figures he does not deserve to see so he gashes his eyes out with golden brooches from Jocasta's dead body.
"What happened next was a horrific sight - from her clothes he ripped the golden brooches she wore as ornaments, raised them high, and drove them deep into his eyeballs" (1512-15).
Because Oedipus was negatively affected by the disgraceful life he has lived and murdering his biological father, he decided to gash his eyes out in hopes of being blind was better than seeing the disasters he has created. Instead of being self-centered, Oedipus felt sorrow for his daughters because of what he had brought upon to their lives and he wants to continue being with them. Also, he pleaded to be moved away from the city of Thebes.

A. "I do not believe what you did to yourself is for the best. Better to be dead than alive and blind" (1613-5).
- The Chorus Leader tells Oedipus this because he figures he should have resorted to another way of dealing with the problem he created instead of taking the easy way out.
B. "I'd make a dungeon of this wretched body, so I would never see or hear again. There is joy in isolated thought, sealed off from a world of sorrow" (1638-41)
- Oedipus prefers being alone and away from the everything, physically and mentally because it cannot stand against the realities of what he has done.
C. "But I urge you - pray that you may live as best you can and lead your destined life more happily than your own father" (1785-7).
- Oedipus hopes the decision and mistakes he has made affects his daughters in their life and their able to be genuinely happy, unlike him.

The theme found in the Oedipus Rex play is that no matter how hard you try to do things your own way and go against fate, it will be impossible because if it is really destined for it to happen, it will and it may happen in much more drastic measures. Also, it causes the reader to wonder if Oedipus had any choice of free-will because what was destined for him to complete in his time of being alive actually happened.
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