Sophocles Oedipus The King: An Archetypal Hero

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In Sophocles’, Oedipus The King the number 3 appears several times throughout the play. Laios was killed where three roads met. Oedipus was damned three times, “..damned in birth,damned in marriage, and damned in the blood he shed with his own hand.” Clues to unraveling the mystery were brought by three outsiders. The number three represents completeness, closure, unity, awareness, and spiritual awareness. This means that Oedipus is an archetypal hero. The play follows a literary pattern involved with transformation and recovery. It was very transparent in the quest, the initiation, and the sacrifice, Oedipus is transformed from the leader of the city to cause its downfall. Although the three stages were separate events they were all intertwined in some way. Before the opening of the story Oedipus goes on the “quest” known as the first stage. Oedipus is to kill his father and marry his mother, to avoid his fate he leaves his family and the only home he had ever known. Oedipus travels to Thebes where there is a bunch of disturbance, the men of the city are being consumed by a sphinx. A riddle needs to be solved which Oedipus completes and saves the city.…show more content…
Oedipus is in denial about it but he then separates himself and self - examines, even when he is told to keep from seeking out the truth by his wife/ mother, Jocasta, he continues to do so when he realizes he needs to be responsible. He realizes he killed his father, which he didn’t know Laius was his father and married his mother, which he didn’t know was his mother which caused the plague. When Oedipus realizes these things had happened which he was unaware of it cause Jocasta to kill herself. Oedipus thinks this is his fault and bans himself from the city so he doesn't have to see what he has

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