Thursday, October 13, 2011

Oedipus Essay

Oedipus Essay Example

Our group's question is "Is Sophocles" Oedipus the King a cathartic play, as defined by Aristotle? Why or why not?

According to Aristotle, "the purpose of tragedy was to work a cathartic, or purging, effect on the audience, to "arouse pity and terror" so that these negative emotions could be drained from the soul. The tragic heroes were warnings, not models; the spectators were instructed to seek modest lives and not aim too high" (M&P, 63-64).


I believe the play Oedipus the King does in fact meet the criteria of a cathartic as defined by Aristotle.

The play's "two themes: the relation between humans and gods and the hero's moral dilemmas" (R1, 56) evoke one to arouse one's pity and terror for the hero and the gods. More specifically, pity for the human attempting to act morally; and fear from the gods as they destroy Oedipus (the king). The result of Oedipus realizing "that humans, even kings, are fated to suffer"(R1, 57), makes the audience realize the same. This play could act as a warning, as suggested by Aristotle, that even though a person acts morally they may still be destroyed.

With all this being kept in mind, Oedipus the King surely measures up as a cathartic play.

I believe that Oedipus the King is a cathartic play for the following reasons. Aristotle defined a cathartic play as making the audience feel pity and terror, in order to drain it from their soul. Oedipus the King certainly does this.

Yes, I believe Oedipus the King to be a cathartic play. Cathartic plays have the effect of pity and terror so the negative emotions could be drained from the soul. Oedipus the King does this.

Warning!!! All free online essays, sample essays and essay examples on Oedipus topics are plagiarized and cannot be completely used in your school, college or university education.

Order Custom Essay on Oedipus
If you need a custom essay, dissertation, thesis, term paper or research paper on your topic, will write your papers from scratch. We work with experienced PhD and Master's freelance writers to help you with writing any academic papers in any subject! We guarantee each customer great quality and no plagiarism!