Oedipus is best known for his roots in Greek mythology in the story Oedipus Rex where he kills his father and marries his mother. Merriam-Webster defines Oedipus as a complex in which a child feels sexual desires toward the parent of the opposite sex along with jealous feelings toward the parent of the same sex. In summary, Oedipus at Colonnus, Sophocles exaggerates the culmination of the tragic hero’s life and his mythic implication for Athens. During the course of the play, Oedipus experiences a transformation from a hopeless drifter, expelled from his city because of his evils, into a symbol of immense power, capable of extending divine blessings. In conjunction to Stanley Diamond’s, The Beautiful and the Ugly are One Thing, the Sublime Another: A Reflection on Culture, Oedipus Rex is used as an example to measure joy within cultural realization. It describes a culture’s struggle as being something against all forces that reduce people to productive social mechanisms. A society’s needs can be simplified to routine as symbolism and are turned into behavior. Here, culture no longer serves as an expression. That realization is in the words and description that Sophocles uses when Oedipus shuffles off the guilt for his sins. The language used in this play transcends the norm and basic. It is in works like Oedipus Rex and King Lear in which culture was no longer mere functionality but transcends the norm. It is in cases like that where joy “exists”.

2 thoughts on “Oedipus”

  1. I think you conveyed your thoughts beautifully when you stated, “Here, culture no longer serves as an expression.” Though I would disagree with anyone who believes that, I think the way you harmonized the definition and story of Oedipus and it’s place in the article is very well done.

  2. Oedipus is probably one of my favorite stories and Greek tragedies. Do you think these plays are the tool of change where culture is no longer mere functionality but transcends what is normal- are they singular or in conjunction with other factors?

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