Essay One – Explanatory Synthesis.docx

November 22, 2018 General Studies

Jenna HaszProfessor MaitiWLIT 1113 – 901 10 June 2018 The Innocence of a King The Greek tragedy, Oedipus the King, written by the Greek tragedian Sophocles’, is a timeless classic piece of literature. Beginning in the town of Thebes where the interesting storyline of this Greek tragedy takes place. The play is set up like a mystery as Oedipus, the King of Thebes, is in search to find out who killed the previous king, Laius. Leading to find out that he, had killed Laius, his father as well as marrying his mother all of which the gods prophesied to Oedipus would happen. Although, the Greek tragedy has a twisted plot some scholars, professors and the readers have analyzed this play with many different interpretations.In the articles Oedipus Pharmakos? Alleged Scapegoating in Sophocles’ Oedipus The King published by R. Drew Griffith and Theodicy in Sophocles’ “Oedipus the King” published by R. Drew Griffith as well, have an interesting analysis over this classic Greek tragedy. Both articles by Griffith portray the innocent suffering of the crimes that Oedipus the King had committed throughout his life.Throughout the Greek tragedy Oedipus is in search of who killed the previous king. Both the reader as well as Oedipus are shocked to find out of the crime Oedipus has done when discovering that he had killed Laius. Emotion is a key aspect in Greek tragedies, they want the audience and readers to understand as well as feel an emotional reaction to certain events take partake in the play. Having this emotional reaction with Oedipus we, the readers, are able to feel the fear as well as wanting Oedipus to be innocent. In the article, Theodicy in Sophocles’ “Oedipus the King”, Griffith mentions how are sympathies are with Oedipus. The knowledge of having these emotional ties to Oedipus the understanding of his innocent in both articles. Griffith goes off another text, Sophocles’ Oedipus: Evidence and Self-Conviction written by Frederick Ahl, to use as an anchor source in his article, Alleged Scapegoating in Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, to inform the reader of Oedipus’s innocence. Griffith states, “… Oedipus is totally innocent of the crime which he is accused; he never laid a finger on Laius, who died instead at the hands of persons unknown. Thus, not only have all the generations of classical scholars misread the play, but Oedipus himself misreads it in wrongly convicting himself of the crime.” (Alleged Scapegoating in Sophocles’ “Oedipus the King”, 95-96). In the other article Griffith states, “Oedipus has no essence beyond what we can infer from the deeds that he performs and, of these, Sophocles’ contemporaries will have found some morally innocent and others not.” (Theodicy in Sophocles’ “Oedipus the King”, 194). In comparison with both articles Griffith states how the readers can understand the viewpoint that Oedipus had no free will nor control over what his future entailed. Almost as if there is a complete misunderstanding of Oedipus the King, to look at this famous Greek tragedy that Oedipus has moral innocence over the actions committed in the play. Thus, the Greek tragedy of Oedipus can be analyzed thoroughly by scholars, professors as well as the readers in many different aspects, Griffith states Oedipus innocence through both articles. In both articles, Griffith uses textual evidence as well as other sources to help connected the readers with the sympathy they express towards Oedipus. While informing the reader of other analysis, Griffith makes his main focus on the loss of freewill as well as the innocence of Oedipus.Works CitedAhl, Frederick. Sophocles’ Oedipus: Evidence and Self-Conviction. Cornell University Press, 1991.Griffith, R. Drew. “Asserting Eternal Providence: Theodicy in Sophocles’ ‘Oedipus the King.'” Illinois Classical Studies, vol. 17, no. 2, 1992, pp. 193–211. JSTOR, JSTOR,, R. Drew. “Oedipus Pharmakos? Alleged Scapegoating in Sophocles’ ‘Oedipus the King.'” Phoenix, vol. 47, no. 2, 1993, pp. 95–114. JSTOR, JSTOR, “Oedipus the King.” The Norton Anthology World Literature, edited by Martin Puncher, Third ed., A, W. W. Norton and Company, 2012, pp. 707–747.


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