POST AT LEAST ONE / EDIT AT LEAST ONE Sites like __**www.sparknotes.com**__ can be very useful study tools. (Please add others to the wiki.) When a student has taken the time to carefully read the text, such sites can provide provocative insights into class discussions or personal reading. Of course, when students only read on-line summaries, such sites are a hindrance.

In this task, I ask that you use these sites in the manner they were intended...as a way to help you explore the text in greater depth.
  1. Go to Sparknotes (feel free to post other sites) and browse the summaries and analysis they provide.
  2. Copy and paste interesting points of analysis, making sure to site (either by creating a hyperlink to the original or copying the url address)
  3. MOST IMPORTANTLY, comment on the passage that you've taken, adding your own insights to it. You might provide further textual support; disagree with the assertion; or find some other way to expand upon the idea. The point, then, is to use someone else's idea to clarify your own thinking.

I recommend that you use Word to create your excerpt and comment, then copy and paste your work to this page when you are finished. We can't edit pages at the same time, so the cut and paste process speeds up the posting.

The leader of the [[javascript:ScrollingPopup('http://www.sparknotes.com/drama/oedipus/terms/char_10.html', '30a60efde8', '500', '500')|Chorus]] asks Oedipus to calm down, but Tiresias only taunts Oedipus further, saying that the king does not even know who his parents are. This statement both infuriates and intrigues Oedipus, who asks for the truth of his parentage. Tiresias answers only in riddles, saying that the murderer of Laius will turn out to be both brother and father to his children, both son and husband to his mother (http://www.sparknotes.com/drama/oedipus/section6.rhtml). This passage symbolizes to me the struggle that Oedipus has to deal with in his tormented life. Here it shows that Tiresias has the power to see the tuth in the furtre and this is why it is a turning point in the story because for the whole time Oedupis believed that he only had the power to see the truth, but here its revealed that he isnt and he feels vulnerable for the whole time.
-Clay Parker
hello there clay, i completely agree with ur comments on this passage. keep up the good work!
-ryan

I don't think Oedipus ever claims that he has the power to see the truth. In fact, he calls on Tiresias and essentially begs for his help:
"O Tiresias, master of all the mysteries of our life,
....
You, my lord,
are the one shield, the one saviour we can find.
...
So I beg you, grudge us nothing now, no voice
....
We are in your hands." (Lines 340-359)"
Oedipus only feels vulnerable because he is being called a murderer and later of marrying his mother. - Choon

While I appreciate the solidarity, I won't give credit for `'`I agree`' comments. Work to be specific. Add to the person's idea with further textual support or dare to disagree and respectfully challenge...



Oedipus represents all that an Athenian audience—or indeed any audience—could desire in a citizen or a leader. In his first speech, which he delivers to an old priest whose suffering he seeks to alleviate, he continually voices his concern for the health and well-being of his people.---- Oedipus is the perfect ruler, contrasting with the worst ruler and nation could want. This dramatic irony of Oedipus being the reason why the people are so upset but at the same time being the reason why they still have hope is put into the play to make it more entertaining to the reader/audiance.
-Ryan Sweeney http://www.sparknotes.com/drama/oedipus/section5.rhtml


Relating to Ryan's post above^^:
The use of dramatic irony has another purpose however, not just to be entertaining, but also to show the struggle that an individual can have with fate, since the audience represents the future of Oedipus (they know the end of the story). Therefore his opening speech shows him in a dramatically ironic position, but the continued use of this technique also presents the role of fate for the greeks in their tragedy.
- Yuval Jacob

Tiresias is blind but can see the truth; Oedipus has his sight but cannot. Oedipus claims that he longs to know the truth; Tiresias says that seeing the truth only brings one pain. In addition to this unspoken irony, the conversation between Tiresias and Oedipus is filled with references to sight and eyes. As Oedipus grows angrier, he taunts Tiresias for his blindness, confusing physical sight and insight, or knowledge. Tiresias matches Oedipus insult for insult, mocking Oedipus for his eyesight and for the brilliance that once allowed him to solve the riddle of the Sphinx—neither quality is now helping Oedipus to see the truth.
From: SparkNotes: The Oedipus Plays: Oedipus the King, lines 338-706 www.sparknotes.com

I think this is a very interesting point, because it contrasts physical sight with “insight and knowledge.” Oedipus was always very smart and knowledgeable, the only one to solve the riddle of the Sphinx, but yet his ignorance to the truth throughout the book is almost unbearable. It takes Oedipus a long time to realize the truth and it is only when somebody else explains it to him. It’s ironic that the man, Tiresias, who explains the truth, to Oedipus, is physically blind, but yet he can see it all. Oedipus on the other hand has perfect eyesight but he is blind and unable to see the crimes that he has committed. It’s an interesting twist that makes the reader wonder which is more important: eyesight or insight? Also, in the end of the play Oedipus puts out his eyes after discovering the truth. This adds to the irony because he finally sees the truth, but at the same time he has become physically blind.
*~Beka Schonschack~*

I don't think that Oedipus took such a long time to realize the truth. When Jocasta tells Oedipus about the prophecy he immediately realises that it is quite possible it was him "Strange, hearing you just now ... my mind wandered my thoughts racing back and forth" (801-802). Granted he argues with Tiresias, however, Tiresias had no proof and only leveled baseless accusations. It does lend some insight into the Greek mind that Tiresias' word is trusted so deeply, yet Oedipus is entirely within his right to dispute the claims without any evidence. As for the rest of the play, Oedipus is merely trying to dissuade himself from the truth, inside he probably knows it is true. - Choon

In the introduction to the "Three Thebian Plays" the author talks about how Dramtic irony was a large part of the Greek theater, in the case of Oedipous the king dramtic irony played a large role in the relationship between the audience and the play, characters. this is due to the fact that the story of Oedipous the king was not invented by Sophocles, what Sophocles did was meerly to continue the story by bringing in these bits of Dramatic Irony, "here i am myself-you all know me, the world knows my fame:
i am Oedipous" lines 6-9
this ofcourse is double sided, for one every one knows Oedipous saved thebes from the sphinx, and on the other side the Audience, the greek gods and the Prophits know he will end up distroying thebes and every one will know his name but for a different reason. one can actually say that by knowing what will happen before it will acctually happen, Sophocoles is turning the audience into gods. (niv)

Sophocles took the widely known tale of Oedipus and wrote a play around it showing the true irony of the tale. As the play progresses Oedipus is trying to figure out who is to blame for the fall of his city, the irony of this is he is the one to blame for the destruction of Thebes. The play itself is ironic because the audience watching the play already knows that Oedipus is to blame but they watch anyway to see Oedipus realize the truth. Oedipus is blind to the truth which also makes the fact that he gauges his eyes out in the end so ironic as well. This is the brilliance of the play because every little detail is so ironic. http://pd.sparknotes.com/drama/oedipus/section1.html<span style="font-family: Calibri">. – Nate Hamilton

"Though the Chorus is fascinated with the amount of physical pain Oedipus must be in after performing such an act, Oedipus makes no mention of physical pain." I found this analysis on http://www.sparknotes.com/drama/oedipus/section9.rhtml. This piece of analysis points out an interesting fact. Namely that despite the Chorus, which represents the opinion of the general public, liking Oedipus receiving pain, Oedipus himself does not give out any cries of pain. Thus one wonders how/why the Chorus enjoys Oedipus' receiving of pain, as without any audible signs of pain, it is hard to fathom that Oedipus was receiving pain. It would seem, in my opinion, more likely that the pain Oedipus is suffering is a form of enlightenment that allows him to pay for all the sins he committed in his cursed life. -Sandeep R.

Regarding Beka's post, I'd like to say that in this play it seems as if the truth can only be seen to those who cannot see at all, as Tiresias who is blind sees the truth while Oedipus who also becomes blind at the end sees the truth at the end. It's also interesting to note that Oedipus who could see the answer/truth during the sphinx period but later failed to see the truth within oneself, shows that sometimes its more difficult to find the truth in oneself or in one's environment, than in a larger radius as the closer the mystery is related to you, the more it seems unlikely that the mystery could be related to you. - Sandeep R.