The fall Of Oedipus : changes in his sense of identity and fate
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In this thesis, I focus on Oedipus' sense of himself, regarding his kingship, social identity, and fate in Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus, and then draw out Oedipus' reactions and how emotions change when these subjects are discussed by other characters and the public. Unlike articles that examine the human perspective versus the divine perspective, I argue that Oedipus Tyrannus shows the examination that Oedipus as an individual has to go through in society; moreover, Oedipus cannot ignore the opinions of others or stick to his own preferences to maintain his image. Oedipus creates an ideal image of himself as king based on his past experiences and achievements and defines his own fate in advance, without knowing the public perceptions and ideas. In his search for the murderer, Oedipus discovers that his kingship is not as strong as he has thought, and that the foundation of his power is not entirely based on his accomplishments and experiences. When the king identity is shaken, Oedipus experiences his different identities in conversations with different characters. In this process, Oedipus completely falls out of the framework he originally set. Fate is explored at last, which undergoes frequent interpretations and comparisons by different characters; it eventually makes Oedipus realize that he has failed to define it.