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Antigone and Oedipus Characters

Aristotle (631) described the tragedy as,

the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself; in language with pleasurable accessories, each kind brought in separately in the parts of the work; in a dramatic, not in a narrative form; with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions.

Central to the accomplishment of these goals is some sort of dramatic, life-changing discovery, succeeded by action, which in turn dictates the fate of individuals. In the case of two of the most compelling characters of the great dramatist Sophocles, Antigone and Oedipus, dramatic and life-changing discoveries led this father and daughter to exercise free will in making ultimately disastrous choices. Father and daughter share in the same fate because of their voluntary choices and the consequences of those choices.

Sophocles' Oedipus the King is the first play in the Theban trilogy. The moment of recognition or discovery occurs when Oedipus learns from a reluctant shepherd that he was a small baby left to die on the hillside who was given by the shepherd to an old man. As Oedipus exclaims, "O God - all come true, all burst to light! O light - now let me look my last upon you! I stand revealed at last - cursed in my birth, cursed in marriage, cursed in the lives I cut down with these hands" (Sophocles 232). This is the moment when Oedipus can no longer escape the realization that the man he killed on the road was his natural father, that his wife is actually his mother, and that his children are his siblings. He cannot escape the knowledge that his voluntary and freely chosen actions have set into motion a chain of events which will result in the destruction of his house (Hornblower and Spawforth, 499).

Antigone opens with the title character stating "how many briefs our father Oedipus handed down" (Sophocles 59)! In this play, Antigo...

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Antigone and Oedipus Characters. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 12:05, March 31, 2020, from