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Mind Map- Oedipus Rex

Analyzing Oedipus Rex for its themes and symbolism.

Jenisha Patel

on 28 March 2011

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Transcript of Mind Map- Oedipus Rex

Oedipus Rex Oedipus Creon Tiresias Figurative Language Symbols Themes Oedipus is the son of the king and queen of Thebes. Grows up with King Polybus and Queen Merope.
Kills his father and marries his mother, according to a prophecy made at his birth.
Arrogant and confident because of his power as king of Thebes.
Oedipus is motivated to get down to the bottom of things. He wants to figure out how to end the plague, how King Laius died and who his real parents are.
Oedipus is a dynamic character. At first, he is mean and arrogant. After finding out that he fullfilled his prophecy, he loses all of that. He drowns in his misery.
His actions lead to his father's murder, his mother's suicide, and loss of his throne. His children will be shunned by society.
Tiresias is a blind prophet.
He is asked by Oedipus to come and tell who killed King Laius.
He refuses to tell Oedipus the truth, knowing it would end in his and his family's ruin.
He inspires Oedipus to find out about his past.
He is a static character. Creon is Jocasta's brother and Oedipus's uncle/brother-in-law
He tries to help Oedipus figure out how to end the plague but is accuses by Oedipus of conspiring against him
He takes over Thebes after Oedipus leaves. He takes care of Oedipus's children.
He is a static character.
Dramatic Irony:
"Do you know from whom you are? Yea, you are ignorant that to your own you are an enemy, whether on earth, alive or under it" (Sophocles, p.14). Conflict:
Oedipus: "This same thing, do not tell me- that you are not a villain!"
Creon: "If you suppose your arrogance weights aught apart from reason, you are much astray."
Oedipus: "If you suppose you can espcape the pain due for a kinsman's wrong, you are astray!"
(Sophocles, p. 20) Foreshadowing:
Tiresias: "Were you not excellent at solving riddles?"
Oedipus: "Ay, cast in my teeth matters in which you must allow my greatness!"
Tiresias: "And this very fortune was your ruin!"
(Sophocles, p. 16) Tragedy:
Oedipus: "Not then had I become my father's murderer,
Nor wedded her I have my being from:
Whom now no God will bless,
Child of incestuousness,
In her that bare me, being the spouse of her;
Yea if aught ill worse than all ill be there,
That Oedipus must bear."
(Sophocles, p. 48) Vision/Blindness:

Oedipus: "Do you expect to go on revelling in utterances like this?"
Tiresias: "Yes, if the truth has force at all."
Oedipus: "Why, yes it has; except for you... blind as you are in eyes and ears and mind!"
(Sophocles, p. 14)
Tiresias's blindess symbolizes truth. Although he is blind, he can see and accept the truth better than Oedipus can. Oedipus's Swollen Feet
Messenger: "I untied you, when you had the soles of your feet bored through."
(Sophocles, p.37)
Oedipus's feet are bored through when he is an infant. His swollen feet symbolize his miserable fate. As a baby, his feet are bored through, and as an adult, he does terrible deeds that bring him pain. The Oracle of Delphi
Creon: "Phoebus our Lord gives us express command to drive pollution out of this country...{by} exile or recompense of death for death..." (Sophocles, p.4)
The oracle states that Laius's murderer (Oedipus) must be found. The Oracle symbolizes knowledge. Oedipus was destined to find out the truth about his past. Light and Darkness
Oedipus: "Woe! Woe! It is all plain, indeed! O light, this be the last time I shall gaze on thee...to have been born of those I aught not, to have wedded those I aught not...." (Sophocles, p.42)
Light and darkness symbolizes joy and grief. Oedipus was in the light when he did not know the truth about his past, but came into the dark when he did. Fate vs. Free Will:
Jocasta: "...while from our son's birth, not three days went by, before, with ankles pinned, he was cast out..." (Sophocles, p.26)
Jocasta and Laius tried to avoid the prophecy, but it came true anyways.
Suggests that there is no free will. Quest for Self-Knowledge
Oedipus: "Yea, so much hope is left. Merely to wait for him, the herdsman...if he should be found to say what you said, I shall be clear from harm." (Sophocles, p. 30)
Oedipus wants to know if his prophecy came true and so called the herdsman. He repeatedly questions people to find out about his past. Everyone is curious about his or herself. Necessity for Truth
Oedipus: "...I shall not hesitate, low though it be, to trace the source of me. But perhaps she, being a woman, proud, of my unfit extraction is ashamed." (Sophocles, pp.38-39)
Oedipus does not hesitate to find out the truth about his parentage. However, the truth can sometimes be fatal, as in his case. Nature of Innocence and Guilt
Tiresias: "...and of the woman of whose womb he came both son and spouse; one that one that has raised up seed to his own father, and has murdered him." (Sophocles, p.17)
Oedipus fulfills the prophecy by killing his father and marrying his mother. However, it was all done unknowingly. He cannot be blamed for his actions, he is innocent. But he feels the guilt as well, because the actions were done, regardless of circumstance. Fate vs. Free Will
Quest for Knowledge
Innocence and Guilt
Truth Characters
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