discussion and respond to two classmates

I’m working on a Writing question and need guidance to help me study.

Construct a one-paragraph argument about one of the following topics:

  • The exposition, complication, climax of Sophocles, Oedipus the King;
  • the central conflict of Sophocles, Oedipus the King;
  • one of the characters of Sophocles, Oedipus the King;
  • one of the dominant themes of Sophocles, Oedipus the King.

Once you have selected a topic:

  1. Make a claim about how the literary elements above are significant in the assigned classical Greek tragedy. Alternatively, you may discuss the relationship between two of these elements in the play.
  2. Add evidence to support your claim in the form of a quotation from the story to illustrate the point you are making.
  3. Add analysis by explaining how your quote proves or illustrates your claim.

Respond to Two Classmates

After you have constructed and posted your argument, reply to at least two of your classmates’ arguments by either:

  1. Agreeing with that person and adding another quote or example that supports his/her argument, or
  2. Disagreeing and adding another quote that undermines his/her argument.

Current post

1.For this assignment I chose to write a paragraph on the central conflict of Sophocles work Oedipus the King. The Oedipal myth is very important for western culture. Freud, for example, drew heavily on this work in the construction of his psychological archetypes. The classical story Oedipus the King is a work written in the genre of tragedy, and therefore as a tragedy, it is a story of embattled individuals who fall prey to all the malice of the human experience. The story is set around a central prophecy made by an oracle that a plague was coming to the land, and area known as Thebes. The city is in trouble and distress all because the individual responsible for the death of the King, King Laius has not been found or brought to justice. A character named Tiresias communicates to Oedipus that he is responsible for the plague. This news is not welcomed by Oedipus, and he rejects the news, thus starting the central conflict of Oedipus the King. The conflict is who is responsible for this suffering, therefore themes of guilt, shame, and responsibility play a large role in the story and conflict itself. Whoever is responsible for the death of the king is also responsible for the turmoil in the city. There is even a prayer in the story for justice and peace at the discovery whoever killed the king. This is an example of the central conflict of the story:

Teiresias, seer who comprehendest all,
Lore of the wise and hidden mysteries,
High things of heaven and low things of the earth,
Thou knowest, though thy blinded eyes see naught,
What plague infects our city; and we turn
To thee, O seer, our one defense and shield.
The purport of the answer that the God
Returned to us who sought his oracle,
The messengers have doubtless told thee–how
One course alone could rid us of the pest,
To find the murderers of Laius,
And slay them or expel them from the land.
Therefore begrudging neither augury
Nor other divination that is thine,
O save thyself, thy country, and thy king,
Save all from this defilement of blood shed.
On thee we rest. This is man’s highest end,
To others’ service all his powers to lend.

This is an example of the central conflict of the story. I found the story to be a bit foreign, but enjoyable. I was glad to be introduced to Sophocles.

2. For this week’s discussion, I chose to focus on the central conflict of the main character, Oedipus. Oedipus’s conflict was with himself; he was a proud King and at times refused advice, which in the end led to his demise. The priest praises him with his words, “You came and by your coming saved our city, freed us from tribute which we paid of old to the Sphinx” (Kennedy, pg. 726). He was compared to the Gods, calling himself a champion for them and his country. His pride indulged him to banish the killer of King Laius, and implore his people of Thebes to come forward with information on the killer or face the same curse he placed on the murderer. He let his pride get in the way of the prophet, Lord Teiresias, not wishing to speak the truth which would undermine the King. He envisioned Lord Creon, his brother (actually his Uncle) was conspiring against him for the Kingship. Finally, his pride interfered with him listening to his beloved wife, Jacosta (who is actually his mother) to end his search for the truth; “I beg you—do not hunt this out—I beg you, if you have any care for your own life. What I am suffering is enough” (Kennedy, pg. 754). Oedipus eventually learned that truth, that he was the killer of King Laius, and cursed himself to banishment from Thebes. After learning of Jacosta’s death, he used her brooches to gouge his eyes so “they will never see the crime I have committed or had done upon myself” (Kennedy, pg. 761). He counsels with Creon, requesting to be led out of the city to live in the mountains “which my mother and my father while they were living would have made my tomb” (Kennedy, pg. 765). In the end, the central conflict brought a King to his knees and exile from his land.

Kennedy, X.J., et al. Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing; Sixth Edition. Pearson, Boston, 2020

3.Oedipus was the main character and protagonist in the play “Oedipus the King”. Oedipus is unaware of his own truth. His name’s literal meaning “swollen foot” is the clue to his identity; he was taken from the house of Laius as a baby and left in the mountains with his feet bound together. On his way to Thebes, he killed his biological father, not knowing who he was. He married Jocasta, his biological mother. Oedipus is the king of Thebes, making Jocasta the queen. As a young man, he saved the city of Thebes by solving the riddle of the Sphinx and destroying the monster. He now sets about finding the murderer of the former King Laius to save Thebes from the plague (Grene, 733).

“Since I am now the holder of office,

and have his bed and wife that once was his,

and had his line not been unfortunate

we would have common children–(fortune leaped

upon his head)– because of all these things,

I fight in his defense as for my father,

and I shall try all means to take the murderer

of Laius the son of Laddacus”

Kennedy, X.J., et al. Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing; Sixth Edition. Pearson, Boston, 2020

4. Conflict in Oedipus Rex

The most prevalent conflict in Oedipus Rex is character vs. fate. The play covers the main conflict of Oedipus versus his fate, or another common theme of man versus fate. At the start of the play, the prophecy Apollo proclaims that Laius and Jocasta, king and queen of Thebes, will have a baby, Oedipus will murder his father and wed his mother. When the Shepard carried the newborn Oedipus into the woods in the faith of hoping he escape the dreadful fate the oracle ruled Oedipus to do, he however eased that identical ending, since situations would lead Oedipus right back along with the past to Thebes, murder his dad in the progression and afterward wedding Jocasta. Oedipus was adopted by King Polybus of Corinth (Links to an external site.) and his wife. Oedipus was raised as their son. Oedipus visited Delphi (Links to an external site.) when he was in his early manhood and upon discovering that he was destined to assassinate his dad, he decided to never go back to Corinth. Journeying towards Thebes, he runs into his father Laius, who he does not know is his dad. Laius elicited a dispute in which Oedipus ends up killing him. Continuing on his way, Oedipus discovered Thebes tormented by the Sphinx (Links to an external site.). He put a riddle to all spectators and obliterated those who might not respond. Oedipus answered the mystery, and the Sphinx murdered herself. In return, he obtained the power of Thebes and the hand of the queen, Jocasta. Once truth became known that Oedipus murdered his father, Jocasta committed suicide and Oedipus went into exile.

“Of the children, inmates of his home,
He shall be proved the brother and the sire,
Of her who bare him son and husband both,
Co-partner, and assassin of his sire” (Kennedy, 2012).

This quote shows Oedipus is the murderer of Laius, he is both brother and father to his children and son and husband to his wife.


  • Kennedy, X. J., and Dana Gioia. Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Longman Publishing Group, 2012.

5.When reading the play Oedipus the King, I wanted to do central of conflict towards Oedipus. During the play, Oedipus was ignorant and confused by what he believed was a false statement regarding his father’s death. Oedipus was eager to learn the truth, but even hearing it from someone, he was not allowed to have his people accuse him “I say you are the murderer of the king whose murder you seek” (Kennedy, pg. 736.) Not only did he not want to fail as a king, but Oedipus did not want to believe his mother was his wife. Selfishness and embarrassment was a big disappointment for Jacosta since their name was going to be damaged. Oedipus was not thinking like a king, and he was thinking more of his ego and the prophecy.

Kennedy, X.J., et al. Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing; Sixth Edition. Pearson, Boston, 2020


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