Oedipus Rex: Short Essays

Oedipus Rex: Short Essays
Write a well-developed paragraph with specific reasoning and supporting evidence for
each prompt.
You may use your notes and the text to find support.
Staple this handout to the top of your completed work.
1. Explain how irony replaces suspense to increase the intensity of the play. Cite several
specific examples to illustrate the emotional impact of the irony.
2. Explain how Oedipus, while he is humiliated and destroyed at the end, is actually
more heroic, more noble (in the classical sense) than he is at the zenith of his
accomplishments and power.
3. Compare Oedipus’s search for truth to that of the released prisoner in Plato’s “The
Allegory of the Cave.” Examine their struggle, their motives, their suffering.
4. Define hubris and explain how it functions specifically in Oedipus Rex, applying it to
Oedipus, to his parents, and to the populace of Thebes.
5. Define nemesis and explain how it functions in the play, citing several examples of its
specific form in the work.
6. The discovery of one’s fate through the discovery of the nature of one’s true self is
central to tragedy. Explain how this is illustrated in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex.
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