Oedipus Essay

Oedipus-and- Sphinx

Many high school students have had to write an Oedipus essay or two. Some teachers require it as a major term paper, while others assign it to teach students how to write the different types of essays. Although it is just one topic in the end, there is so much that can be written about the story of Oedipus that even if thousands of students have written about it, there is always a new story to tell.

Oedipus and his Destiny

The story of Oedipus was written by Sophocles, one of the three historic Greek playwrights. It is a story of tragedy that follows the story of Oedipus, a man who has become destined to be king of Thebes. In order to do so, he had to kill his own father and marry his mother, with none of them actually knowing about these facts. What sets this tragedy apart from the rest is the fact that although fate and destiny play a heavy part in it, it is the main character’s own characteristics and faults that ultimately lead to his downfall. It has even come to be regarded as the Greek tragedy par excellence and is thus the subject of many school papers.

Oedipus, Hero, Tragedy, and Fate

There are many who simply wish to define Oedipus as the classic type of tragic hero. Here, they would describe what it takes for a story to be a tragedy, and how one character becomes its hero. There are also those who wish to tackle the issues of fate and destiny and how this man Oedipus tried to escape them, only to make them come true by doing so. This theme of fate commonly occurs in Greek writing, along with the elements of a tragedy. Thus, this could be the topic of an Oedipus essay, with some students taking it a notch higher by aiming to compare it to other Greek writings of tragedy and destiny.

Oedipus of Sight and of Wisdom

The story also brings to mind the idea of certain values, particularly that of wisdom and the truth. There is a part where Oedipus seeks the advice of a certain seer who was literally blind, but could be depended upon when one was seeking the truth. This seer gave an answer that did not please Oedipus, and it is often a topic of many papers how one like Oedipus who had clear eyesight could not see the truth while a blind one could. The story further develops this irony as Oedipus blinds himself in the end, and this is where he accepts the truth and later on proves that he has gained much wisdom than before.

An Oedipus essay does not need to cover the same topics that have been covered in the past. There are always new venues to tackle such as the setting, the flow of the story, even the characters themselves are topics that are full of life.

About the author:

Anthony Ubelhor is a technology consultant at UK School of Library and Information Science at University of Kentucky. He has experience in medical library reference, dissertation and thesis writing consultancy, online research and mobile technology. Contact Anthony at: LinkedinFacebook.