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English 1102: Oedipus the King- discuss an element of fiction used in the play


bassnbabe2 1 / 3  
Apr 27, 2007   #1
I am doing a research paper for English 1102 class. I have to do an analysis of the play Oedipus the King an discuss an element of fiction used in the play. I have worked on the paper for a while now. I am having trouble narrowing the paper down to a managable focused paper. I am having trouble, I guess deciding what to focus on...like the irony found in the paper or the contrast of blindness versus sight. Anyone and everyone please give me some ideas...maybe suggest some thesis statements. Anything would help and be greatly appreciated. The paper is supposed to be 4-6 double spaced pages.

THANKS SO MUCH
EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Apr 28, 2007   #2
Greetings!

What about the willingness of Oedipus and Jocasta (and, in a broader sense, humans in general) to ignore an obvious truth which one does not want to face? It is essentially a form of voluntary blindness, much like Oedipus' blinding of himself at the end, so that the metaphorical blindness becomes a literal blindness.

When you have a fairly wide-open assignment it can, indeed, be difficult to narrow it down. Ultimately, you just have to pick one thing that you believe is workable and go with it, and force yourself to stop saying, "oh, but maybe this one would be better..." When you get really stuck, try doing an internet search on the play and see what others have written about it!

Good luck!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP bassnbabe2 1 / 3  
Apr 28, 2007   #3
Thanks so much...I thought I would just but a copy of my very rough draft...which isn't even complete at that.
Please anyone with time...pick this apart and give me some suggestions on anything from structure, arrangement, grammar...ect...either repost or email me...bassnbabe2@aol.com

PLEASE PLEASE>>>THANKS SO MUCH!!!
OP bassnbabe2 1 / 3  
Apr 28, 2007   #4
I have been working more on my paper...could you take a look at this and see if it is better...please offer advice on my paper.

Thanks so much.

Blinding Truth

Oedipus the King is an ancient Greek tragedy written by Sophocles. The play's protagonist, Oedipus, is abandoned as an infant on Mount Cithaeron by King of Thebes, Laius and his wife Jocasta because they had been told their son would kill Laius. A shepherd finds Oedipus and gives him to the King and Queen of Corinth. Later in Oedipus's life he receives an oracle that he is fated to couple with his mother and kill his father. In an effort to avoid this fate he flees Corinth. Despite the effort to avoid the prescribed fate, Oedipus does in fact couple with his mother and kills his father. The theme of sight versus blindness is evident throughout Oedipus the King. The word "see" has a literal meaning of being physically able to see ones surroundings and has a deeper figurative meaning of being able to understand or to know something. Although Oedipus can physically see, Oedipus is figuratively blind and unable to "see" the obvious truth in his life. Sophocles uses "...images of vision and blindness to refer not only to physical sight but also to seeing as understanding", according to literary critic, Sutton (1).

One example of the emphasis on vision and blindness is near the beginning of the play, when the city of Thebes comes to Oedipus for help because a plague is ravaging the city. Ironically, Oedipus says, "... I would be blind to misery/ not to pity my people kneeling at my feet" (Barnett 951). Moreover, during the conversation between Oedipus and the priest, chosen spokesman of the gathered group, the priest tells Oedipus to, "... look around...see with your own eyes..." (Barnett 951). The problem is Oedipus is figuratively blind and unable to "see" that he is the reason for the woes of the city.

The theme of sight versus blindness is further emphasized when the leader of the chorus recommends that Oedipus send for Lord Tiresias, a prophet of Apollo, because he "...sees with the eyes of Lord Apollo..." (Barnett 959). Oedipus, enraged at the reluctance of Tiresias to assist in finding the murderer of Laius, begins to taunt and mock Tiresias' blindness. Tiresias tells Oedipus, You're blind to the corruption of your life" (Barnett 963).

On the other hand, Oedipus possesses physical sight but is blind to the truth in his life. Oedipus being figuratively blind to the truth mocks Tiresias blindness when ironically it is Oedipus that is blind.

Oedipus even though he has physical sight remains blind until the truth is spoken to him by the Theban shepherd. It is then and only then that Oedipus can truely "see" and ironically the pain of finally being able to "see" proves unbearable for Oedipus. Ironically in the beginning of the play Oedipus seemed voluntarily blind in his refusal to "see" the truth. Now that he can see the truth he actually voluntarily makes himself literally blind by stabbing his eyes with the broaches from Jocasta's robe. "This loss of eyes largely coincides with the protagonist's ability to "see" in a deeper sense..." (Sutton 2).
EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Apr 29, 2007   #5
Greetings!

I think you've done a great job! I have just a few small editing suggestions:

The word "see" has a literal meaning of being physically able to see one's surroundings

On the other hand, Oedipus possesses physical sight but is blind to the truth in his life. Oedipus being figuratively blind to the truth mocks Tiresias blindness when ironically it is Oedipus that is blind. - It isn't really "on the other hand" --this thought is a continuation of what came before, so I'd omit that phrase. Also, you tend to overuse "ironically." The irony is apparent without your needing to point it out more than once.

It is then and only then that Oedipus can truly "see"

Oedipus, [add comma] even though he has physical sight, [add comma] remains blind until the truth is spoken to him by the Theban shepherd.

he actually voluntarily makes himself literally blind - you don't need "actually" here.

I think this sentence should go nearer the end: Despite the effort to avoid the prescribed fate, Oedipus does in fact couple with his mother and kills his father.

It's coming along nicely! Good work!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP bassnbabe2 1 / 3  
Apr 29, 2007   #6
Thank you so much for your help.
I have been out of high school for nearly 20 years. I work full-time as an LPN and am going to school full-time working on my RN degree. English never was my best subject, but I do try to do the best I can...Did I mention I have a 15 month old who is forgetting who his mother is? LOL

Any more suggestions ...bring them on..I need to work on making the paper a little bit longer...
EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Apr 29, 2007   #7
Greetings!

Goodness, you're doing a fantastic job of juggling everything! As far as making it longer, one place you might be able to stretch a little is when you say "the truth is spoken to him by the Theban shepherd." You could expand a bit on what that "truth" is. Similarly, you might be able to get a bit more out of "the conversation between Oedipus and the priest." You want to be careful not to overquote, of course, so that it is obvious you're just trying to stretch to reach the word limit of the assignment; however, in these instances, I think a bit more would be quite appropriate.

Best of luck with your studies--and everything else! :-))

Sarah, EssayForum.com


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