Unanswered [6] | Urgent [0]
  

Home / Writing Feedback   % width Posts: 4

Persuasive Essay on Oedipus Rex: Oedipus's guilty for the tragic events that happen to him


bwenner 1 / 2  
Oct 6, 2009   #1
I'm writing a persuasive essay for AP English of 750-1000 words (I won't be penalized if it's longer) on why Oedipus is guilty for the tragic events that happen to him. Here are the basic instructions:

"You have just witnessed a catastrophe. A great and noble man, Oedipus, has been blinded and dethroned. His wife has killed herself. His children are driven from their homes. As the cosmic prosecutor, it is your job to indict whoever or whatever is most responsible for this tragedy.

Length: Length is difficult to assign in a paper. For the most part, your job is to use whatever length is needed to get the job done. In this case, the suggested length helps you understand what the teacher's expectations are for the amount of effort expected, for one could write a book on this topic. For this paper, about 750-1,000 words is the expectation. You will not be penalized for exceeding that suggested length.

Ideas: The thesis clearly states the opinion of the writer. Supporting evidence from the play and/or background information about Sophocles and the Greek theater completely and persuasively support the point. If the writer should be able to expect an opposing point of view, that opposing point of view is not ignored but is dealt with effectively.

Organization: Paragraphs are well developed, using effective examples and quotations from the play to support main ideas. The paragraph sequencing creates a logical progression of thought. The paper concludes in a way that brings a clear sense of resolution."

I'm working on my essay, but I don't feel very confident about my writing so far. I think that I have some technical issues with the writing. I know everything I want to say and have a very clear understanding of the play, but I don't know if my writing is reflecting that... I would dearly appreciate any feedback. I think I'd cry if I got anything less than an A- in this class (so far so good). ):

As you can see, I've finished some things, and in other places I just have notes and driveling brain-vomit type stuff.

(THESIS)
In the tragedy of Oedipus Rex, it is Oedipus who is responsible for the fulfillment of his own catastrophic fate. In the Aristotelian tradition of the tragic play, it is by the hand of his own flaws that he creates a ripple, waving on the misfortunes of his wife taking her life, his children being cast from their home, and the eventual blinding and exiling of himself. It is Oedipus's pride that is his tragic flaw.

(PARAGRAPH 1)
The play builds upon the Greeks' common knowledge of the myth of Oedipus. Sophocles' use of dramatic irony is seen heavily throughout both action and dialogue, fostering a sense of doom as the story progresses. It begins as Oedipus answers to the calls of his citizens, who ask him for his aid in placating a plague set on them by Apollo. Oedipus's vows to seek justice for the death of the recent king Laius and his murderer are his first steps toward disaster. This is the end of the comfortable interim between the lie and the time it is found out, and the start of his separation from the fabricated security he has been living in, thinking that he would escape the prophecy foretold for him. It is with the foreknowledge of Oedipus's guilt in the murder that the audience witnesses his hand in his own demise. He claims that he will cleanse the city of its stain, fighting for the lost king as he would his own father until the murderer is condemned. In unknowing irony, he convicts himself and sets his fate in motion from the start. "For not on behalf of more distant friends, but as if from myself I shall dispel the stain. For whoever he was who killed that man would as soon kill me with that same violent hand. Helping that one, therefore, I am helping myself."

(PARAGRAPH 2)
Misfortune slowly unfolds from Oedipus's disguised security. As he seeks out King Laius's murderer, he seeks his own fate. Too arrogant to initially see the connections, it's not until he has interrogated Tiresias that we witness firsthand his ego eclipse his judgment. Confronted with his guilt, he fabricates absurd accusations of fraud and conspiracy, insulting the prophet for his lack of sight while he himself lives and acts with a film of dark arrogance over his eyes. The signs of his past, meanwhile, maraud after his security in clear view in front of him. Confronted with his doomed prophecy once again, he continues to dodge truth and calls for the execution of Creon.

- jocasta
- conditions of Laisus' death
- messenger scenes
- etc

connect to previous paragraph, build on events and irony

eventually coming to take his own sight, Oedipus admits his guilt "Apollo, friends, Apollo - he ordained my agonies - these, my pains on pains! But the hand that struck my eyes was mine, mine alone - no one else - I did it all myself!"

(PARAGRAPH 3)
just notes:
- Reversal involves the change of one condition to its opposite
- Recognition is a change from ignorance to knowledge on the part of a character.
- these two occurred at the same time.
- dramatic irony
- Aristotle etc
- Oedipus's guilt in this reversal is outlined both subtly and boldly throughout the play.
- The metaphor of blindness is applied liberally
- symbolism for ignorance
- thought built on a foundation of delusion or lack of knowledge
- with any building built upon a foundation of a few sticks, whether it's made of concrete or wood, it's fated to collapse

(CONCLUSION)
more notes:
- Oedipus Rex is seen as the gold standard of tragedy plays. It is "Greek tragedy par excellence", as the action of the play proficiently follows all of Aristotle's defining rules of literary tragedy. It is a reversal of fate that the protagonist experiences by his or her own error of character, teaching a moral lesson by way of example, that's considered a classical feat. It is by Oedipus's ego that the fate foretold for him comes to reality. It is by his ego that he is moved every step of the way ...

(the conclusion is complete draft/free writing/notes, not any sort of guide for what I'm going to write, just, again, more brain vomit.)
aznpoo 7 / 23  
Oct 6, 2009   #2
In the tragedy of Oedipus Rex, it is Oedipus who is responsible for the fulfillment of his own catastrophic fate. In the Aristotelian tradition of the tragic play, it is by the hand of his own flaws that he creates a ripple, waving on the misfortunes of his wife taking her life, his children being cast from their home, and the eventual blinding and exiling of himself. It is Oedipus's pride that is his tragic flaw.

Comma's crazy much?

Why are there two "and's" in that sentence? I would find a way to chop this huge sentence into smaller blocks. You should emphasize or add more clarity to your thesis. How did oedipus's pride eventually lead to his demise?
OP bwenner 1 / 2  
Oct 6, 2009   #3
"his children being cast from their home, and the eventual blinding and exiling of himself. "

The first 'and' is included after the comma to define the end of the list and still identify that the last item is separate from the item before it. The last 'and' attaches the two items (blinding and exiling) to one idea. This is how I was taught, and MS Word hasn't given me any grammar error highlights. /:

I agree though that sentence is way too long and awkward. I blame the fact that I've been reading Ayn Rand in my off time, hehe. Thank you for catching that! How is this instead?

"In the tragedy of Oedipus Rex, it is Oedipus who is responsible for the fulfillment of his own catastrophic fate. In the Aristotelian tradition of the tragic play, it is by the hand of his own flaws that he creates a ripple. He waves on the misfortunes of his wife taking her life, his children being cast from their home, and the eventual blinding and exiling of himself. It is Oedipus's pride that is his tragic flaw which causes him to fulfill his prophecy told by the gods."
aznpoo 7 / 23  
Oct 6, 2009   #4
^
Yup, I am liking it a lot better. I still think you should include, what type of action he took that causes his fate to be what it was. About the "and's", i meant you shouldn't include multiplies of it in a sentence.

Why not include some more direct quote from the play into the essay? Please italicize them, when you do.


Home / Writing Feedback / Persuasive Essay on Oedipus Rex: Oedipus's guilty for the tragic events that happen to him