Oedipus Rex

Students will write a 1250- word essay that analyzes the drama by Sophocles, Oedipus Rex. The analysis should break the drama into elements and study one part closely. The analysis should also unravel the drama’s complexities and meaning. Students may begin with a general idea or arrive at one by thinking about a smaller detail in the drama that stood out to the student. Students should focus on their own interpretation of the work and maintain the originality of their thoughts. Papers will be graded on the originality of thought and depth of the investigation by the student. The essay should be unified, concise, grammatically correct, and submitted in MLA format with a Works Cited page included.
• No outside sources are required, but may be utilized. If outside sources are utilized, they must appear on the Works Cited page.

Keep the following in mind when writing the analysis:

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Focus on a single, manageable element. Some possible choices are:

The irony (dramatic, verbal, and or situational) used by Sophocles and its affect on the characters and, or audience.

Oedipus, as a tragic figure- does he deserve his fate?; The play itself as a tragedy – could the tragedy have been averted?

The seafaring metaphor and its use by Sophocles to create images in the audience/reader’s mind.

The themes discussed in class such as sight vs. blindness; ignorance vs. wisdom; or fate vs. freewill.

The role of prophesy in the drama and its affect on the characters and eventual outcome of the play.

The characters, for example- Jocasta – what is her role in the tragic outcome of events? Is she more responsible than Oedipus himself? Is that why she commits suicide?

Show how the element contributes to the drama as a whole. While no element of the work exists apart from all the others, by taking a closer look at one aspect of the work, you can see the whole more clearly.

Support your contentions with specific references to the drama. Use line numbers for in-text citations.

Remember that interpretation is a form of self-expression.

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