Oedipus: Aristotelian or Formalist Theory Essay

August 20, 2017 General Studies

Teiresias’s address at the terminal of scene one of Sophocles’ drama Oedipus Rex is reasonably short but it is in this brush between Oedipus and Teiresias where the chief struggle of the narrative begins to blossom. This is a polar address in the drama as it helps to develop some of the major subjects in the drama every bit good as Begin to construct up the tragic sarcasm at the centre of the narrative. When this address is analyzed utilizing either Aristotelean or Formalist theory cardinal elements can be found that are effectual in increasing the play in the drama and in binding together one of the play’s cardinal subject.

In the Poetics Aristotle outlines his vision of a successful calamity and provinces that secret plan and character are the first two rule characteristics of calamity. Teiresias’s concluding address helps to develop both of these cardinal constituents of calamity in Oedipus Rex successfully. During his conversation with the male monarch Teiresias introduces the first beginning of struggle into the drama as Oedipus tries to convert the old adult male to uncover what he knows about Laios’s slaying.

Aristotle termed this minute of the secret plan the “desis” which in modern literary footings is known as the complication which serves to construct up the play of a narrative towards the flood tide. and Teiresias’s address here achieves that intent. There is besides an effectual usage of boding in Teiresias’s address in which he reveals to the audience the turn of destiny that Oedipus will see even though the male monarch at this point is incognizant of Teiresias’s true significance.

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The reversal of luck and acknowledgment contained in Oedipus Rex are praised by Aristotle as being features of an ideal secret plan and the prefiguration found in Teiresias’s address aid to construct up the expectancy towards the disclosure of Oedipus’s individuality. In the perfect calamity Aristotle stated that character should back up the secret plan and Teiresias’s concluding address was indirectly really effectual in constructing Oedipus’s character.

Until his meeting with Teiresias Oedipus was seen a considerate male monarch looking out for the involvement of his people in seeking to detect Laios’s slayer. In his conversation with Teiresias the audience gets its first glance of Oedipus’s choler and can get down to see him as capable of being the liquidator they are seeking for. Teiresias’s concluding address besides reveals to the audience Oedipus’s “tragic flaw” of non cognizing who he genuinely is. which will finally be his ruin.

In uncovering Oedipus’s echt ignorance to his true individuality through this address the audience feels more commiseration for the male monarch when the disclosure occurs and this heightens the calamity of the drama. From a Formalist theory position of Teiresias’s address two literary devices are used that efficaciously increase the play of the drama and tie in a cardinal subject and those are symbolism and tone. Symbolism in Teiresias’s address begins to construct the tragic sarcasm of the drama and to set up one of the subjects of the drama of sight versus cognition.

Teiresias describes the slayer as “a blind adult male. Who has his eyes now” . but he is besides mentioning to Oedipus’s inability to see the truth ( Sophocles 720 ) . Teiresias himself is a powerful symbol every bit good in the drama as he is blind but he can see the truth of better than Oedipus despite the king’s efforts to detect the truth so smartly. In the terminal of the drama when Oedipus blinds himself upon eventually larning the truth he completes the imagination that was begun in Teiresias’s concluding address.

The tone of Teiresias’s address is baleful and premonition and it serves to alter the tone of the full drama. At this point the audience is going cognizant that things will non stop good for Oedipus and his valorous pursuit to happen Laios’s slayer is traveling to ensue in dire effects. The in writing imagination in the line “Who came to his father’s bed. moisture with his father’s blood” helped set up this baleful tone that serves to construct the tenseness through the remainder of the drama ( Sophocles 720 ) .

After his brush with Teiresias Oedipus becomes increasing confrontational with other characters in the drama and the tone set by Teiresias’s address helps to set up much of that struggle. Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex is such a all-around piece of literature that regardless of what literary attack is used to analyse it the drama will supply an eternal vehicle for find. There are so many complex images. subjects. and symbols weaved together that it is an ideal narrative to analyze.


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