Mood Messengers In Oedipus Rex

1252 Words6 Pages
It is often said that an anti-climax work is more admired than its counterparts. For reasons, the struggle of humans, the ultimate failure of a hero, and the corruption of mortal spirit have always hold its ground against classic comedy. From the ages of Oedipus Rex, a tragedy carries the irony of an egoistic giant trapped in predestined downfall. Oedipus was almost certain that he had escaped the arranged destiny. This confidence led him to pursue the murderer of Thebes until, at the end, he made the horrible discovery that his wife was his mother, and that his daughters were instead, his sisters. In this case, such a miraculous story is hugely benefited by some re-occurring elements call motif. Sophocles adaption of motif enhances the mood…show more content…
In the story of Oedipus Rex, messengers can be classified into two groups, ones that convey the message of human, and others that foretell gods will. By delicate touches, these seemingly minor characters could reverse the mood of our protagonist in various occasion. Such an intricate usage of this repeating element motivates the mood, elevating the tension in the passage. A clear example of this manipulation can be seen with the messengers sent from Corinth. When the messenger comes to inform Oedipus, he freed Oedipus from his concerns about his mother and father. But when the messenger reveals the true identity of Oedipus in the latter part, a reversal of mood is produced. The mood indeed lightened up after Oedipus heard the death of his dad: “So! Why then, Jocasta, should we study Apollo’s oracle, or gaze at the birds screaming over our heads-----those prophets who announced that I would kill my father? He’s dead, buried, below ground. And here I am in Thebes----I did not put hand to sword.” (Sophocles 53). A clear contrast is given to the audience, as before this scene, Oedipus is filled with anger and the fear, and now, he is filled with satisfaction and joy of escaping the prophecy. However, this delight is then shattered by a drastic change, as the messenger mentions the truth that Oedipus shares no blood with his kind: “Because Polybus was…show more content…
Blindness is also a motif recited numerously during the story, from times before the story right down to the end, reflecting the wise and ignorance in the characters of Oedipus Rex. Sophocles, interestingly, seems to have grouped the characters of the play into two distinctive groups, the ones who can “see” and the ones who can’t “see”. This contrast of seeing and not seeing is becomes overt when the prophet Tiresias enters the stage. Tiresias is literally blind, but he can see clearly of not only Oedipus ' past, present, but also the horror in his future. Oedipus ' eyes works fine, but he 's completely blind of the ugly fate that gods have placed upon him. This blindness towards doom is made even more ironic by the fact that he was made king by his knowledge and insight. Oedipus was known as the person who solved the famous riddle of the Sphinx, a monster which terrorized the citizens. As the play proceed, we can see how much of a contrast between the two groups of character there is, even the messengers knows stuff that the king doesn’t. Sentences like “My son, it is clear that you don’t know what you are doing” (Sophocles 55) salutes to the ignorance of the supposedly “wise” king. Using words like “son”, Sophocles gives an sign that even the messenger It illustrates the flaws that exist in Oedipus, amplifies it by comparing him to other who are supposedly

More about Mood Messengers In Oedipus Rex

Open Document