Free Essay

Oedipus and the Sphinx

In: Other Topics

Submitted By nolanc1234
Words 662
Pages 3
Oedipus and the Sphinx

I have chosen to do my essay paper on picture of Oedipus and the Sphinx that is in our book because it was a picture that we did not discuss in class. The body language in this picture shows both focus and anticipation. I will attempt to explain the by discussing three parts of the picture. The parts I will be talking about are the stance of Oedipus, the stance of the Sphinx and the eye contact that they have with each other. Before I start off with the first part of my paper, let me say that even though this is a picture in the book it was a painting first and I am going to refer to it as a painting.

Oedipus’s stance to me shows focus by the way he is holding his hands and his posture in general. The way he is holding his left hand to me shows he is focused on the riddle and is trying to think of an answer to it. His pointer finger is protruding away from the others, not straight to point but as if he is using his fingers to help his thought process and focus on finding the right solution to the riddle. He is leaning forward and is resting on his left arm in anticipation of hearing what the Sphinx has to say. This is a relaxed position so he can focus on the riddle and finding a solution for it. His right hand is not holding anything and his arm is bent and cradling the spears in his elbow, showing me he is not afraid of the Sphinx but focused on her and the riddle she has posed. His posture is very relaxed with bends in all the joints, even his back leg is appears slightly bent. This leads me to believe he is relaxed and his only focus is the Sphinx and the riddle. In this painting he does not appear to have a care in the world other than trying to solve this riddle.

The Sphinx’s stance is one that shows anticipation and she is just waiting for the answer, the wrong answer it’s probably the desired answer. The way her paw is drawn up in the air and her claws are out shows an anticipation for the wrong answer and shows she is ready to strike out at him if it is a wrong answer. The Sphinx does not appear to be relaxed like Oedipus but is anticipating a wrong answer and her stance is one ready for movement. The leg and paw on the ground shows some muscle definition which leads me to belief she is anticipating movement like she is poised to strike. With her wings up it appear she could be anticipating attack and with one swoop of her wings she could be upon him.

The eye contact between Oedipus and the Sphinx appears to be one that will not break. She is anticipating an answer and is looking into his eyes as if they may reveal or alter his thought process. He is focused on her as well as solving the riddle. I think he is intrigued by the Sphinx, she is a beautiful but deadly beast in this painting. They are so close together that nothing is distracting them and their eye contact is unbroken by the man off in the distance, not far but they are focused on each other.

I think that this painting is very good and has an excellent display of body language. As I have explained the body language to me shows both focus and anticipation between Oedipus and the Sphinx. Overall I think the painting is true to the story but I don’t think that foot in the left hand corner of the painting needs to be there. The bones add reality to the painting as the past victims were killed and eaten with only the bones left behind.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Research Paper On Oedipus The King

...Oedipus the King is a tragic play written by Sophocles. The setting is in Thebes during the mythical past of ancient Greece. Oedipus sent his brother-in-law, Creon, to Apollo’s house to ask the priest how to get rid of the plague. Creon later comes back to Oedipus telling him that once the killer of the previous king, Laius, is found Thebes will be cured from the plague. Oedipus then decides that he shall find Laius, and then proceed to murder him. Oedipus kills Laius not knowing that Laius is his biological father. A tragic hero is described as a literary character that makes a decision making error that leads to his or her own suffering, destruction, or anxiety. The play, Oedipus the King, considers Oedipus as being a tragic hero because...

Words: 708 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Oedipus the King: a Story of Fate

...Name: Marc Krishke Instructor’s Name: Professor Karen Richie Course: English 1220 Date: 18 December 2008 Name: Marc Krishke Instructor’s Name: Professor Karen Richie Course: English 1220 Date: 12/10/08 Title: Oedipus the King: A Story of Fate Thesis: “Oedipus the King” by is generally a story about fate as it deals with its unalterable nature and the consequences that come with the attempt to change it. I. Fate and its Characteristics A. Characteristics of Fate 1. Fate as controlled by external force 2. Insignificance of man in relation to fate B. Fate according to Sophocles 1. Determined nature of fate 2. Freedom of man as manifested through his attitude towards destiny II. Oedipus A. His destiny as determined before his birth 1. The attempt of King Laius and Queen Jocasta to alter his fate 2. The futility of such attempt B. Oedipus’ lack of knowledge as instrumental in determining his fate C. Oedipus’ negative attitude towards his destiny D. Man’s attitude as uncontrolled by fate but possesses the power to influence 1. The role of arrogance and self-confidence in the fulfillment of the prophecy 2. Arrogance as a result of experience 3. Self-confidence as contributed by the people of Thebes 4. Arrogance and self-confidence as his response against fate III. Fate according to Epictetus ...

Words: 3315 - Pages: 14

Premium Essay

Oedipus the King

...In his Poetics, Aristotle outlined the ingredients necessary for a good tragedy, and he based his formula on what he considered to be the perfect tragedy, Sophocles’ Oedipus the King. According to Aristotle, a tragedy must be an imitation of life in the form of a serious story that is complete in itself. A good tragedy will evoke pity and fear in its viewers, causing the viewers to experience a feeling of catharsis. Catharsis, in Greek, means "purgation" or "purification"; running through the gamut of these strong emotions will leave viewers feeling elated, in the same way we often claim that "a good cry" will make one feel better.  Aristotle also outlined the characteristics of a good tragic hero. He must be "better than we are," a man who is superior to the average man in some way. In Oedipus's case, he is superior not only because of social standing, but also because he is smart ? he is the only person who could solve the Sphinx's riddle. At the same time, a tragic hero must evoke both pity and fear, and Aristotle claims that the best way to do this is if he is imperfect. A character with a mixture of good and evil is more compelling that a character who is merely good. And Oedipus is definitely not perfect; although a clever man, he is blind to the truth and refuses to believe Teiresias's warnings. Although he is a good father, he unwittingly fathered children in incest. A tragic hero suffers because of his hamartia, a Greek word that is often translated as "tragic flaw"...

Words: 1842 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Oedipus Rex

...Irony in Sight Throughout Sophacles’ play Oedipus Rex, he uses sight and blindness to demonstrate irony and the hubris of Oedipus. This is marked by Oedipus’ unwillingness or inability to understand that which is clear to the audience. His hubris (extreme pride) is his tragic flaw, truly blinding him from the truth. Oedipus eventually blinds himself, and it is then that he can finally “see”. From the very beginning, Oedipus was blinded by pride. Throughout the play, it is the one greatest irony that those with physical sight are blind, yet those who cannot actually see can see the truth. With the city of Thebes dying, Creon, having been sent to do so by Oedipus, comes from Delphi and the Oracle to deliver the message that the "the pollution of this land" (Sophocles 232), the murderer, be killed to bring an end to their strife.. Oedipus shows hubris when he demands Creon talk with him publicly, so convinced is he that he can solve any problem. Oedipus Has already solved the riddle of the Sphinx, that which had thwarted so many before him; "Oedipus knew the famous riddles. He was a mighty king, he was the envy of everyone who say how lucky he'd been. Now he's struck a wave of terrible ruin" (276) The chorus wishes for Oedipus to appeal to the gods to find the killer, Oedipus asserts that "to force the gods to act against their will- no man has the power."(320) Here, at least, he seems to humble himself before at least Apollo. Oedipus calls for Tiresius, the blind prophet.......

Words: 1485 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Rome and Greek

...base, the column capital is the easiest way to determine whether the order used in the construction of a building is Doric, Ironic, or Corinthian. The Greek drama was a great influence in the art. They had many plays and some our still famous as of today. Of the Greek tragic dramatists, SOPHOCLES is perhaps the most widely read and performed today. Unlike people before him Sophocles plays focus on individual human, rather than broad civil and religious, concerns. His most famous plays Oedipus the King and Antigone center on private crises and portrays characters under extreme duress. The play Oedipus the King has been rewritten by many people like the Romans, and the Italians. Oedipus the Kings is a play is about Oedipus who saved Thebes from the Sphinx, a winged creature with the body of a lion and the head of a woman. The Sphinx terrorized the city by devouring anyone who crossed its path and was unable to solve is riddle correctly. Oedipus solved the riddle and after slaying the Sphinx Oedipus was given the kingship of Thebes and the hand of its recently widowed queen, Jocasta, in reward. This play has many takes. Play has been a big part of art over centuries. Today you can find plays in big cities, towns, and many...

Words: 292 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Oedipus Rex

...Oedipus Rex Upon reading Oedipus Rex, written by Dudley Fittz and Robert Fitzgerald, Oedipus is based upon Greek mythology 430 BCE. Oedipus Rex, former king of Thebes wants to solve the Cities problem with a proper cause to why people are dying with the plague. Oedipus is determined to find out who murdered king “as if it were his own father.” There has been a Sphinx going around telling riddles to the people of Thebes. If you get the riddle correct, you will not die. The outlook of the community is dark, gloomy and desperate for answers. Oedipus find himself out for questioning at the oracles domain, where he meets a man name Teiresias, a blind prophet teller. Oedipus vows to find the murder of the former king of Thebes. He will do whatever it takes, even if it means killing his friends or family. Upon searching for answers, Oedipus crosses a blind prophet teller Teiresias in request to unsolved answers. Teiresias pays no mind in telling Oedipus what he does not know. In the refusal of answers from the old geyser, Oedipus reflects his authority with ignorance. Teiresias replies to Oedipus to stop searching for the killer and the questions you do not want to know the answers too. Oedipus arrogantness set himself up for more adventure than he had in mind, with more questions that came along with so few answers. Kreon, brother of Iokaste, queen of Thebes, wife of Oedipus is swindled in the horrifying democracy. Kreon is sworn upon with......

Words: 751 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Oedipus Rex

...Oedipus was an inferior monarch. He was unjust to many of his people and is not only an arrogant King, but an ignorant one. However, one of Oedipus’ major accomplishments was ridding the country of the sphinx, back when Oedipus first arrived in Thebes. It seems that Oedipus’ life was largely based on pride. Pride was ultimately what led to King Lauis’ murder, the killing of the sphinx and him becoming king. As he became more powerful, his pride eventually began to get the better of him. He refused advice from his wife Jocasta when she warned him not to continue to pursue the mystery of his birth. “No! In God’s name do not go on. Have I not suffered enough?... I am warning you for your own good.” Even with this warning, he refused to listen and ignored the foretold danger. Without his stubborn attitude, he could have very much saved himself from a life filled with regret. When Oedipus meets Jocasta for the first time, it was obvious that they had some sort of a connection, which is understandable as they would have some sort of connection - being mother and son and all. It is because of this connection that Oedipus fell in love with, married and had children with his mother. However this was of no fault of Oedipus’ or Jocasta. As Jocasta believed her son to be dead and so believed that her actions were no different to anybody else. Everybody loves and has a connection with their mother so it is understandable that without knowing, Oedipus he would’ve felt like there was......

Words: 629 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Comparing

...Comparing Oedipus and Othello For Oedipus and Othello “duty” should have their first priority. Othello’s duty was supposed to be the importance of his marriage, but he listened to Iago, ignored Desdemona, didn’t believe his own conscience, and his own heart. Oedipus’ duty was to defeat the Sphinx(which he does) free Thebes from heavy taxes(which he does) be a great king of Thebes and be a good husband, but instead he offends Creon, his brother-in-law and uncle; insults his friend, Tiresias the blind prophet; kills his father; and destroys Jocasta, his mother and his queen. Fatal flaws demolished the lives of both Oedipus and Othello. Othello was so proud of his honor and bravery that he didn’t recognize his violent temper and Iago’s mind tricks. Oedipus was so proud of his cleverness that he tried so hard to escape his own fate. With all that said, these were honestly just a couple of comparable traits between Oedipus and Othello. When looking for a great leader that would lead your city through anything and everything it is not hard to tell that both Oedipus and Othello could be those leaders. Both had great gifts in leadership. They stood up in what they believed in. Each held exceptional accomplishments and both possessed the ability to be an all-around leader. Othello was a respectable citizen who was usually known for his fighting or war success. He knew how and what the goal was to succeed. Not all leaders knew that. Oedipus was also somewhat the same. He,......

Words: 1011 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Literature

...chose to compare are “Oedipus Rex” by Sophocles and “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry. These two pieces of literature were written in two different time periods. One was written in ancient Greece while the other was written in the 1950’s. These two pieces of literature do have many differences but they also have some similarities. Let’s take a brief look at each of these and then we will compare and contrast the two pieces. “Oedipus Rex” revolves around a nobleman, Oedipus, who leaves his city when a prophecy is revealed to him that says he will kill his father and marry his mother. He travels to the Thebes to escape his fate. On the outskirts of the city, he meets and quarrels with a group of riders, all of whom he kills. When he finally arrives in Thebes, he finds that the Sphinx is tormenting the people. The Sphinx refuses to leave the city unless someone answers his riddle. King Laius has been killed, and the land is without a monarch. Oedipus takes on the challenge, answers his riddle, and becomes King of Thebes. He also marries Jocasta, the widow of Laius.The play is set many years later. A plague has descended on the land, so Oedipus summons the blind prophet, Tiresias (who brings dire warnings). Through a number of conversations, Oedipus discovers that killed on the road was none other than the king. Oedipus has more of a claim to the throne of Thebes than he'd ever imagined. In fact, he was Laius's son. Laius heard the same prophecy as Oedipus, and had......

Words: 1555 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Oedipus Prompt 5 Debate

...Debate Five Prompt Name: Institutional Affiliation: Oedipus could not have known he was fulfilling the very prophecy he was trying to avoid, and could not have acted differently The story of Oedipus offers insight into many aspects that point to the fact that he fulfilled the prophecy of killing his father without his knowledge. First of all, Oedipus knew that his father was King Polybus and Queen Merope and not King Laius and Queen Jocasta. This fact stems from the fact that he had been raised by the former and not the latter. To show that he was not aware of his actions being part of the prophecy, Oedipus left Corinth after learning from the oracle at Delphi that he was to marry his mother and kill his father. In the best interests of his family and himself, he left Corinth as a way of avoiding fulfilling the prophecy. It can be deduced at this point that Oedipus was not yet aware of the fact that his real father was King Laius and that maybe staying in Corinth could have worked better for him. Oedipus could not have acted in a different way since he did what anyone with the wish of not seeing the prophecy fulfilled would have done. Besides the factors mentioned above, Oedipus had been raised in the king's palace as a prince. “He is rescued, and grows up as a king’s son in a foreign court,” (Freud, p. 12). To him, the father he was supposed to kill was a king and the mother to marry a queen. However, he meets his father, King Laius,......

Words: 708 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Epic Hero

...Works Cited Page: Sophocles, Dudley Fitts, and Robert Fitzgerald. The Oedipus Cycle. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1958. Print. The Alabama A&M University World Literature Anthology. New York: Pearson, 2009. Scodel, Ruth. "Oedipus the King." An Introduction to Greek Tragedy. New York: Cambridge UP, 2010. Print. What defines an epic hero? There are many things that do, and I’m going to break the Epic Hero Cycle down describing how Job from the bible qualifies as an epic hero in the following passage. I will first list, and describe each step in the Epic Hero Cycle, then give a brief summary of the story, then describe each step of the Epic Hero Cycle using references of Oedipus from the Oedipus the King. The first step of the Epic Hero Cycle is meeting the main character, who usually possesses some type of supernatural power. The character is introduced, sometimes with an introduction. Occasionally there is a brief background on the character. The hero’s family may be introduced. The hero’s life may be good at the time, or it may be going bad. The second step of the Epic Hero Cycle is when the hero is charged with a quest. Usually given by a king or someone in high power, the hero is sent off on a voyage. Sometimes the hero is a figure such as an ultimate warrior, and the king sends him on a voyage since he is the bravest. The third step in the Epic Hero Cycle is when the hero is challenged......

Words: 1391 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Oedipus Rex Dramatic Research Paper

...Pig-headedness IV. Downfall V. Conclusion Dramatic Research Paper “Oedipus Rex” by Sophocles “Oedipus Rex” was a Greek Tragedy written by Sophocles in the fifth century BC. It was the first of a trilogy of plays surrounding the life of Oedipus. Sophocles wrote over 120 plays approximately 100 years before Aristotle even defined a tragedy and the tragic hero. Aristotle’s definition of a tragedy is “… an imitation of an action of high importance, complete and of some amplitude; in language enhanced by distinct and varying beauties; acted not narrated; by means of pity and fear effecting its purgation of these emotions” (Kennedy and Gioa 2010). According to Aristotle there were six elements to a tragedy: the plot, the character, the thought, the spectacle, the diction, and the music. He believed that “[t]he plot, then, is the first principle, and, as it were, the soul of a tragedy; character holds the second place” (Aristotle 1999). The character (tragic hero) being the second most important element of the tragedy, he must be of nobility, he is not infallible and his downfall is due to an error in judgment, and is capable of making his own choices and, most important, accepting the consequences for those choices. “Oedipus Rex” is not only a classic example of Aristotle’s definition of a tragic plot; Oedipus (the protagonist) has all the characteristics of a tragic hero. Oedipus is the son of a king and eventually becomes a King; his character is also......

Words: 2128 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Oedipus and Bible

...In both Sophocles’ Oedipus and the Hebrew Bible’s Exodus there is a common theme of leadership. Through the portrayal of the respective protagonists of these works, Oedipus and Moses, the readers are able to compare the qualities of leadership that each individual author values. These similarities and differences include the willingness of the characters to accept their roles, their unique and varying levels of confidence, and the reactions by others to their respective leaderships. Although Oedipus and Moses both displayed leadership qualities at times, Oedipus’ willingness to become a leader sharply contrasted Moses’ initial unwillingness to carry out the Lord’s request to lead the Israelites to freedom. In the opening scenes of Oedipus, Oedipus was portrayed as a very compassionate King, as he so desperately wanted to save his Kingdom from the infectious diseases that were causing havoc in Thebes. The priest described it as, “Disease infects fruit blossoms in our land, disease infects our herds of grazing cattle, makes women in labour lose their children” (line 29). However, before even the Priest requested his help, Oedipus had sent Creon to Apollo’s shrine to ask the gods how he could rid Thebes of this plague. Oedipus even said, “For I well know that you are ill, and yet, sick as you are, there is not one of you whose illness equals mine” (line 69). Although it may be Oedipus’ kingly duty to say such things, his incessant concern for the well-being of his kingdom......

Words: 494 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Blame Games Essay

...Mike Bozzo Professor Katie Robinson English 102 5 October 2014 The Blame Game The Downfall of Oedipus and Othello Both Othello and Oedipus are dramatic plays of tragic circumstances. Although written at different times and by different types of writers, each play has some of the same elements. Deceit, violence and self-destruction reign throughout. Each features men of great power reduced to nothing. However, the downfall of Oedipus is the work of the gods; the downfall of Othello is self-inflicted. Little is known of Shakespeare’s early life, but by 1592 he was well-established and successful in his vocation.(Folger, xxiii) By the time Othello was first performed, the author was already one of the most popular playwrights of his day and many of his best plays were already behind him.(Folger, xvi) His career spanned about 20 years. (New Folger, xxvi) Othello was composed between 1601 and 1604, with its first performance being in 1604. (Folger, x) The play was very popular and records indicate it remained popular through the seventeenth century. The source of the play was a short story from the Hecatommitchi, a collection of short stories by an Italian named Giovanni Battista Giraldi, published in 1565. (Folger, xi) The specific story is from a section of the collection titled “The Unfaithfulness of Husbands and Wives.”(Folger,xi) The main type of imagery used in Othello is that of animals in action, preying on one another. (Shakespeare’s Imagery, 335) In the......

Words: 1576 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

I Don't Know

...Sophocles' Oedipus is a perfect fit to Aristotle's Ideal Tragic Hero. Oedipus follows all of the rules, with a hamartia, an anagnorisis, and a peripeteia. The audience is introduced to the hamartia, or tragic flaw, of Oedipus early in the play. Oedipus believes he can dodge the oracle given to him at Delphi that he will kill his father and marry his mother. By leaving the city of Corinth and heading to Thebes, Oedipus thinks that he can outsmart the will that the gods have for him. However, the audience knows that one cannot run away from an oracle. The oracle will come true no matter what is done. Therefore, the hamartia of Oedipus is his belief that he can evade his oracle. Oedipus' anagnorisis, recognition, later comes when he is told that it was he who killed the former King Lauis and that he is, in fact, now married to his own mother. The city of Thebes had been searching for King Lauis' murderer in order to drive him out of Thebes to save the city from the plague. With this anagnorisis Oedipus is finally led to his peripeteia, or downfall. First of all, Oedipus is put to shame in front of his entire city because of his incestuous act of marrying his mother. But, more importantly, he realizes that he had not successfully avoided the oracle. In order to try to save himself he blinds himself. If he is not able to see the truth with his own eyes, he should not be able to enjoy the gift of sight. http://personal.monm.edu/ysample/aristotle.htm Oedipus follows ten of the......

Words: 3052 - Pages: 13