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Summary of Oedipus Rex
Transcript of Summary of Oedipus Rex
The Oracle of Delphi predicts that Laius's son will murder his father and marry his mother
Their son Oedipus is born
Abandoned to die on Mount Cithaeron Shepherd finds Oedipus
Sends him to King Polybus and Queen Merope of Corinth
Oedipus raised as their son Oedipus grows up and hears rumors that he was adopted
Consults Oracle of Delphi
Oracle repeats prophecy given to Laius
Fearing for safety of Polybus and Merope, Oedipus flees to Thebes On way to Thebes, Laius almost runs him over with his chariot
Part 1 of Prophecy: Oedipus kills Laius in the following argument
Travels to Thebes, solves the Riddle of the Sphinx
Part 2 of Prophecy: Wins Jocasta's hand in marriage Q: What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three legs in the evening?
A: Man. Rising Action Citizens of Thebes ask Oedipus for a response to a plague.
Creon, Oedipus's brother-in-law, returns from the Oracle.
Plague will end when Laius's murderer leaves the city. Oedipus consults the blind prophet Tiresias.
Tiresias believes that Oedipus is the murderer.
The murderer "shall be proved the brother and the sire" of his children, the "son and husband both" of his mother, and the "assassin of his sire" (Sophocles). Oedipus accuses Creon of conspiring with Tiresias.
Jocasta reassures Oedipus that prophecies are unreliable.
Explains that Laius was murdered by thieves instead of his son Messenger arrives at palace.
Informs Oedipus that Polybus has died from natural causes
Adds that he delivered Oedipus from a shepherd to Polybus and Meropes
Oedipus decides to interrogate the shepherd. Climax The shepherd reveals that Oedipus was Laius's orphaned son.
Shepherd pitied Oedipus.
Believed the prophecy would not prove true if Oedipus was shipped away
Oedipus realizes the prophecy had come true. Falling Action Jocasta hangs herself.
Oedipus takes the pins on her robes, "upraise[s] them high and sm[ites] [f]ull on his eye-balls," becoming "henceforward quenched in darkness" (Sophocles).
Asks Creon, the new king, to banish him from Thebes. Resolution Oedipus wanders in exile as a blind traveler.
His daughters, Antigone and Ismene, are left under the care of Creon. Theme Free will is merely an illusion to man. Significance Second place at the Dionysia.
Aristotle considered it the perfect tragedy.
Prequel to _Oedipus Colonus_ and _Antigone_.
Inspired Sigmund Freud's Oedipus Complex Dolloff, Lauren. "Oedipus Complex." _The University of
Vermont_. The University of Vermont, 16 Nov. 2006. Web. 14 Oct. 2012. <http://www.uvm. edu/~jbailly/courses/tragedy/student%20second%20documents/Oedipus%20Complex.html>. Works Cited McManus , Barbara. "Outline of Aristotle's Theory of
Tragedy." _College of New Rochelle - New York College_. College of New Rochelle, 1999. Web. 14 Oct. 2012. <http://www2.cnr.edu/home/ bmcmanus/poetics.html>. Sophocles. "SparkNotes: Complete Text of The Oedipus
Trilogy: Antigone, Oedipus Rex, and Oedipus at Colonus: Chapter 2." _Sparknotes_. SparkNotes LLC, 2011. Web. 14 Oct. 2012. <http://pd.sparknotes. com/drama/oedipus/section2.html>. "Oedipus The King -- Part 3/12 - YouTube." YouTube -
Broadcast Yourself. YouTube, 21 June 2007. Web. 15 Oct. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=gUPuCTdGIw0&feature=related> Smith, Helaine L. _Masterpieces of Classic Greek
Drama_. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2006. Print.