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Oedipus the King - Tragic Justice of Fate Oedipus the King is one of the most famous and influential of Sophocles plays On the surface of this drama there is without a doubt a tone of disillusionment Dramatic irony is a much-used literary device in this play and its unusual structure serves as an explanation for its enduring popularity Oedipus is portrayed as a character of social conscience whose tragedy stresses the vulnerability of human beings whose suffering is brought on by a combination of human and divine actions The central theme is the incest of Oedipus with his mother and then the killing of his father Depending on how one reads the intricacies and vagueness of Athenian culture and the authors questionable character Sophocles in this play about King Oedipus is viewed as either virtuous or immoral The most common interpretation of Sophocles Oedipus the King maintain that the incestuous conduct that takes place between Oedipus and his mother and the murderous act he commits against his father are viewed morally Consequently the notion is given that Oedipus commits a sin by sleeping with his mother and killing his father and is punished because of it Others will argue that this sort of moral interpretation is in fact wrong as further research into the translation of the play reveals a rationalization of an entirely different perspective In his individual analysis of Oedipus the King DW Myatt articulates in his introduction that The essence of this particular Greek tragedy lies in the realm of the gods with the relationship between individuals their communities and the gods The incest in particular is merely an interesting incident which occurs to a particular mortal and whose importance lies in the realm of prophecy - in what prophecy says about the will of the gods and the fate of mortals paragraph 3 On Oedipus morality Myatt offers this interpretation The tragedy lies in the fact that Oedipus
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