Theme Of Justice In Oedipus The King

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Oedipus the King, a tragedy written by Sophocles, revolves around a king who is in search for the truth in order to save his people. At the beginning of the play, King Oedipus is informed that in order to save the city of Thebes from a plague, the killer of King Laius should either be killed or banished from the kingdom. He later finds out that the truth is tied to the prophecies given to King Laius and Jocasta, as well as to himself. This paper will focus on the theme of justice, as seen in the play, in terms of the truth, and injustice, in terms of a person’s fate. In Aristotle’s Poetics, Aristotle discusses poetry and tragedy, focusing on its definition and elements. He defines tragedy as “the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude… with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions” (Aristotle 8). This applies to Sophocles’ tragedy because it is written in a way that focuses on the characterization of its characters, which lead to its catharsis or the final effect of the play on the audience. Aristotle also notes the importance of the events outside the play and since Oedipus the King starts in medias res, the events before the play should be discussed. To give context as to how Oedipus became the king of Thebes, he grows up knowing that his father is Polybus, the king of Corinth, and his mother is Dorian. He is informed about his prophecy that he will marry his mother and kill his father. After

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