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An Intellectual and Emotional Response to Oedipus the King

An Intellectual and Emotional Response to Oedipus the King

While reading the play Oedipus the King, my response to the work became more and more clear as the play continued. When I finished the play, my reaction to the work and to two particular characters was startling and very different from my response while I was still reading. My initial response was to the text, and it was mostly an intellectual one. I felt cheated by the play because the challenge of solving the mystery of the plot was spoiled for me by the obvious clues laid out in the work. My second response was not as intellectual; instead, it came more from a feeling that the play evoked in me. I felt a strong disappointment in the drastic actions that Oedipus and Jocasta took at the end of the play. My two different responses to Oedipus the King, one intellectual and one not, now seem to feed off and to amplify each other as if they were one collective response.

The play’s plot, in a nutshell, develops like this. After solving the riddle of the Sphynx, who had kept Thebes under a curse of some kind, Oedipus is invited to become king of the city. He marries Jocasta, the widow of the previous king, and they have two children. When the play begins, Thebes is again under some sort of curse, and Oedipus tries to find out its cause so that he can rescue the city. He is told that the cause of the curse is that the murderer of the previous king is still in the city and has gone unpunished. In the process of searching for the murderer, Oedipus discovers that it is he, himself, who is responsible and that he is actually the son of Jocasta and her previous husband. Horrified by his sins of incest and murder, Oedipus claws out his eyes. Jocasta commits suicide because she is so disgraced.

My disappointment in the lack of mystery in the plot of the play was evoked by the continual clues appearing throughout the play. For example, in Oedipus’s first speech to the people of Thebes, he condemns the murderer of the previous king, stating that “he will suffer no unbearable punishment, nothing worse than exile” (261-62). This is the first of a multitude of clues about the outcome of the play.

Love in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

Love. In all its facets and colors, love is understood and accepted as a concept by even the most primitive cultures. But what is love? Many writers have debated this subject. Many works have been produced detailing the understanding individuals had of the concept of love.

The more accepted conception of love is usually found in Romeo

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