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In this case, it is the turning point which leads Oedipus to his dramatic downfall. The reversal occurs when he learns the truth of his parentage and that he is the man responsible for the death of Laius. This happens due to a series of events starting from when the messenger from Corinth informs Oedipus of Polybus's death. After Oedipus tells the messenger about the dreadful prophecy, the messenger tries to relieve Oedipus of his fears by revealing that Polybus was not Oedipus's biological father. 1. It lead to a change of motives.
At first the question under discussion was ‘who was responsible for the death of Laius’, but now it has changed to ‘who were Oedipus’s biological parents?’ The recognition or discovery by the protagonist of the identity of some character or the nature of his own predicament
Oedipus' realization of his mistaken self-image and recognition of his true self-identity:
The queen’s recollection of the murder of the king sparked a disturbing memory of the old man Oedipus had met on the road, and later murdered. Could this be Laius? The course of what the ancient poets called peripeteia(turn of events) triggered the mechanisms of anagnorisis (realization).
Oedipus's recognition of the role he played in his own downfall reflects the worldview that our actions play a role in controlling our destinies Oedipus' quest to know himself, and to investigate the death that he must avenge, led to his horrific downfall.
The anagnorisis created the epiphany of the horror for Oedipus, henceforth created the greek tragedy. Throughout the play, the audience is able to assume the perils that about to befall on Oedipus, the protagonist, yet Oedipus himself is naive and ignorant to the reality of his heritage which which leads him to face circumstances which are beyond his control. Throughout the play, Oedipus Rex, Oedipus misleads himself by jumping to conclusions instead of thinking through the information given to him. The Chorus often takes his side of the argument which makes Oedipus believe what he says as a justifiable and correct. An oracle once told Jocasta and Laius that their son was to kill Laius and marry Jocasta and in order to avoid this, the couple sent their son off to be killed as an infant. Later in the course of the play, Oedipus hears a prophecy where it is stated that he will be the murderer of his father and share beds with his mother and he too fled Corinth to avoid this fate. Unfortunately, the fates of both Laius and Oedipus were unavoidable and at the crossroads both of their destinies were fulfilled. Anagnorisis Examples: Tiresias has tried to shelter him form the truth of his heritage. Jocasta tries to stop Oedipus from seeking more information. Oedipus believes that he was luckier than Laius because he had sons and became a king despite being a "foreigner" to Thebes. Oedipus believes that he is lucky because he survived as an infant and became a king. Oedipus believes he is lucky but the reader knows that he is ill-fated. Characters have tried to stop Oedipus from looking more into the case of Laius' death and the truth of his heritage. ... small Example #1 Oedipus overreacts to Tiresias' accusations and blames Creon. The Chorus states that it was just a result of anger. Oedipus:
" Creon, my old trusted family friend,
has secretly conspired to overthrow me
and paid off a double-dealing quack like this"
has spoken in anger, and, Oedipus
you have done so, too." Chorus:
"To us it sounds as if Tiresias Lines: 462-465 & 485-487 Example #2
who censures Oedipus, for it was clear
when that winged Sphinx went after him
He was a wise man then." (Lines: 465-488) Chorus: " I will not approve of any man You are all ignorant. I will not reveal
the troubling things inside of me, which I can call
your grief as well. Tiresias: Lines: 391-393 Jocasta: "Oh, you unhappy man!
ay you never find out who you really are!" Lines: 1283-1284 "Perhaps my queen is now ashamed of me
and of my insignificant origin-
she likes to play the noble lady.
But I will never feel myself dishonored.
I see myself as child of fortune -" Oedipus: Lines: 1295-1299 Oedipus: "But now I
Possess the ruling power which Laius held
in earlier days. I have his bed and his wife-
she would have borne his children, if his hopes
to have a son had not been disappointed." Lines : 301-305 The death of Polybus (Oedipus' adoptive father). Jocasta: "But still,
your father's death is a great comfort to us." Lines: 1173-1174 To Jocasta, the death of Oedipus' father means that the Oedipus' prophecy won't come true but the audience know that the fates of Jocasta, Laius and Oedipus are connected and the prophecy that they share has already come true. The chorus regards Tiresias as a noble and wise man and omniscient figure. But when Tiresias' begins to blame Oedipus, the chorus takes Oedipus' side. Jocasta: " It is said Laius was fated to be killed
by a child conceived by him and me.
Now, at least according to the story,
one day Laius was killed by foreigners,
by robbers, at a place where three roads meet.
Besides, before our child was three days old,
Laius fused his ankles tight together
and ordered other men to throw him out
on a mountain rock where no one ever goes." (Lines: 857-865) Oedipus: "Ah, so it all came true. It's all so clear now.
O light, let me look at you one final time,
a man who stands revealed as cursed from birth,
cursed by me own family, and curse
by murder where i should not kill." (Lines: 1418-1422) Oedipus: " It was my fate to defile my mother's bed,
to bring forth to men a human family
that people could not bear look upon,
to murder the father who engendered me.
When I heard that, I ran away from Corinth." (Lines: 951-955) Oedipus: "As I was on the move, I passed close by
a spot where three roads meet, and in that place
I met a herald and a horse-drawn carriage.
Inside there was a man like you described.
The guide there tried to force me off the road-
and the old man, too, got personally involved.
In my rage, I lashed out at the driver,
who was shoving me aside. The old man,
seeing me walking past him in the carriage,
kept his eye on me, and with his double whip
struck me on the head, right here on top.
Well, I retaliated in good measure-
I hit him in a quick blow with the staff I held
and knocked him from his carriage to the road.
He lay there on his back. Then I killed them all." (Lines: 964-977) Examples: #1 #2 #3 #4 Peripeteia Role of Anagnorisis "And if you are this baby," he said to Oedipus, "then you are definitely the most wretched man who ever lived." Pressed for answers, the shepherd finally revealed the fact that the baby was the son of Laius and Jocasta Not only had Oedipus killed his own father, but he unknowingly had wed his mother and fathered children with her. The oracle's prophecy had come to pass. Significance of that was... Only then came the full anagnorisis of the tragedy. 2. It led to the truth that Oedipus has killed his father and married his mother.
This led to the dramatic downfall which reversed his status as a well regarded King into an outcast, and murderer. As shown by the quotes : Oedipus: "with all these indications of the truth here in my grasp, I cannot end this now. I must reveal the details of my birth."
Lines 1265-1267 Oedipus: "...I will strive to do everything I can to find him, the man who spilled [Laius's] blood."
Lines 310-311 VS Oedipus: "Ah, so it all came true. It's so clear now. O light, let me look at you one final time, a man who stands revealed as cursed by birth, cursed by my own family, and cursed by murder where I should not kill."
Lines 1418-1422 What does peripetia do? The point is to show contrast so, the reversal of circumstances makes Oedipus's down fall more dramatic and tragic.
Possibly causing the audience to feel pity.