Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Oedipus the King (The 100 Greatest Books Ever Written)” as Want to Read:
Oedipus the King (The 100 Greatest Books Ever Written)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Oedipus the King (The Theban Plays #1)

by
3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  94,826 ratings  ·  1,260 reviews
The great masterpiece on which Aristotle based his aesthetic theory of drama in the Poetics and from which Freud derived the Oedipus complex. King Oedipus puts out a sentence on the unknown murderer of his father Laius. By a gradual unfolding of incidents, Oedipus learns that he was the assassin and that Jocasta, his wife, is also his mother.
Leather Bound, The 100 Greatest Books Ever Written, 159 pages
Published 1980 by The Easton Press (first published -429)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Oedipus the King, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Oedipus the King

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Hend
Oedipus of Sophocles is a great work of art written by a great poet,this play symbolizes for the human misery and despair...
the torments of the human soul,the innocence and guilt,Wisdom Out of Suffering and Fate that determines many things no matter how we struggle to change it....
Oedipus hears about his dreadful fate from the Delphic oracle and flees from Corinth. But instead of fleeing from his fate he runs into it...

Oedipus a passionate heart,who ask questions and take risks,has all the quali
...more
Kaion
What's interesting about fate, and what's different from our world and Oedipus's, is that "fate" doesn't really exist in our world. No real oracles go around telling you you're going to sleep with your mother. Instead, it's a philosophical device. On one side you've got "free will" (traditional very Western, very American even with the idea of the individual going forward), and on the other side you've got your fatalists (see my mom and her Vietnamese cosmology [is that the word? Whatever, I’m g ...more
Cheryl
I'd say "spoiler alert" but it seems ridiculous . . .

I've taught this play for years, and I think this year I finally decided what makes this play great. My students never feel sympathy for Macbeth, but they do for Oedipus, and that always used to bother me. They whine in their teenage attitudinal voices, "But he didn't know that was his father." I always respond, "So it's ok to KILL PEOPLE if they're not your father?!"

In identifying with Oedipus, they forget the nature of the atrocities he co
...more
Bruce
We all know the story that this play tells; it has been part of the cultural heritage that most of us have known for as long as we can remember, and many of us have read it any number of times. Each reading brings new insights, new questions, and rather than tell the story once again, I prefer to dwell on the thoughts and questions that this reading brought to my mind.

Wherein lies the Evil in this play? In the prophecy and, apparently, the determinism of the gods that Oedipus will kill his fathe
...more
Yann


Il est un être à deux pieds, trois pieds, quatre pieds sur la terre, mais une seule voix: il est seul à changer de nature parmi les êtres qui vont sur la terre, dans l'air, dans les vagues: lorsque prenant appui sur le plus de pieds il chemine, c'est alors que la rapidité de son corps est la moindre.
(Anthologie Palatine, XIV, 64)


Juste une petite relecture rapide d'Œdipe (prononcé édipe) Roi de Sophocle avant d'en traduire plusieurs passage, histoire de bien avoir l'histoire en tête.

Œdipe (litt
...more
David Gallagher
As a student in a Greek high school I was more or less forced to read this, translate it from the ancient Greek text for my exams to "prove" I deserved to go to the next educational level (where we did Homer), do assignments on it, listen to my professors as they spoke of its "meaning" and ask myself why Sophocles wrote it to begin with. And I HATED the damn thing. I hated Oedipus just as much as I hated Sophocles.

However, when I left high school, I realized that people - not only in Greece, bu
...more
علی
Tragedy is the end of the big famous fight between the free human being and the Gods, where Gods (fate) always win. Odipus is a big winner who loose to the Gods.
اودیپوس شاه، مشهورترین تراژدی سوفوکلس، در باره ی ستیز اودیپوس با تقدیر خویش است. اودیپوس که برخلاف همه ی دیگران، تقدیر خویش را می داند، هر چه از آن بیشتر می گریزد، در چنبر آن گرفتارتر می شود.
سه گانه ی سوفوکلس (ادیپوس شاه، ادیپوس در کولونوس، انتیگونه) را ابتدا محمد سعیدی به فارسی برگردانده که در اواسط دهه ی سی شمسی توسط بنگاه ترجمه و نشر
...more
James
And I thought Hamlet had an odd family. Oedipus' tragic case is that of curiosity killed the cat, or is it of inescapable fate, or something else that my feeble mind can't discover. Sophocles, so many centuries after the theaters in Athens became silent, still begs reading and interpretation, because he was a writer of great power, who here crafted a story of such power that Freud, being both purposely controversial and self-serving, named it one of the three greatest literary works of all time. ...more
TheBookofJules
Jan 08, 2013 TheBookofJules rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Greek mythology, plays or messed up tales
Recommended to TheBookofJules by: Life
Free will does not exist.

At least, according to Sophocles it doesn't. Take Oedipus Rex as a perfect example, he hears an oracle predicting his future, a future so horrible that he cannot bear the thought of it. So he packs his bags and leaves his father and mother for fear of killing one and sleeping with the other. However, his fate follows him and he ends up doing exactly as predicted.

The real kicker here is that it's almost as if the gods are playing a joke on Oedipus. First they tell his bi
...more
Carolina
Este livro é o CSI da Antiguidade Clássica.
Sim, eu tinha mesmo de começar a review com esta piadinha preciosa da minha prof. de Cultura Clássica. Não é preciso agradecer.
Das tragédias que tenho lido até agora, esta foi sem dúvida a melhor. Apesar de já estar farta de saber a história e o seu final, uma vez começada a leitura é quase impossível parar. Gostei imenso de não existirem "tempos mortos" nesta tragédia: cada episódio traz sempre mais informação útil para desvendar o mistério - que não é
...more
Carmen
I don't know, how can one give Sophocles a rating? Although it is a classic and one of the pillars of the Western literary canon, I took off a star because it was too sad! I know that makes me a sap but poor King Oedipus, my goodness! Was he too proud? Too confident of his accomplishments? Or maybe that he had the gall to believe that one could escape his fate? And why that fate? Aristotle was certainly correct in referring to Sophocles as having mastered Tragedy. And the Chorus: "Oh, generation ...more
Lazy Seagull
Of course, it may be the Greco-Roman mythology geek in me speaking, or perhaps the Latin student, but...I actually really liked this play! It came as a pleasant surprise, too; I thought it was going to be another play where I would have to grind my teeth and look past paragraphs upon paragraphs of angsty repartee while hating the main character(s).

Sophocles is brilliant. Loved this one, and I look forward to reading the other two. I'd already read plenty of versions (watered-down) of the Oedipus
...more
Bayan
My professor in the university once said,"I've been teaching this play in the drama course for more than 3 years, and every time I think I'm done with it, it teaches me something new. Perhaps when it stops amazing me, I will stop teaching it."
I think this is what great literature is about- never grows old nor stops teaching. The play doesn't only make us question the role of god(s),fate, and destiny and whether it's fair to be controlled by external powers. It also makes us question who we are
...more
Yani
No tengo nada nuevo que decir sobre esta obra (para colmo, tengo poca experiencia con estos textos) y contar mucho le quitaría toda la gracia, así que seré muy breve.

Existe una creencia general (experimenté, lo admito) sobre Edipo Rey como sucede con toda esta clase de historias y la mayoría conoce la versión corta. Esta última es inevitablemente trágica e incluso lleva a pensar cosas como "¡pobre tipo, qué mala suerte...!" (yo lo hice la primera vez que escuché la historia, por ejemplo). Aho
...more
Amir Atef
رواية أوديب ملكاً هي أعظم مأساه كتبت وتم تأديتها على المسرح في التاريخ ، كتبت عام 474 قبل الميلاد، حبكة متقنة وحوار أكثر من رائع، كانت وستظل نموذجا هاما في فن المأساه، حوار يفوق الوصف، شخصية أوديب لسوفوكليس ليست مجرد عمل فني كبير لشاعر عظيم ، وليست كذلك شخصية كلاسيكية تمثل العصر الذي نشأت فيه فقط، إنما هي تعبر عن طموح الإنسان وتحديه للآلهة واختراقه المناطق المحظورة.
.
أحداثها حيكت بريشة كاتب متميز لا يضاهيه أحد ـ وإن كنت أحب يوربيديس ـ لكن كلامي هذا للإنصاف، أحداث مشوقة بدءا بالنبوءة ثم الالقاء في
...more
Shivam Chaturvedi
Sophocles just wanted to put up his hands and say,

"All right then boys and girls, no need to huff and puff around so much. Ain't nothing gonna happen that isn't pre-destined anyway. So we might as well ...

Okay, hang on - hang on! Did I hear someone say something about Free Will? Hah! Where do you get all these fancy ideas from, you numbwit! Might as well try your hand at stand up. No, seriously!

Damn it, It's just all one big loop man, nobody gets out of it - no matter what you do, what choices
...more
Snafu Warrior
Odavno sam obećao sebi da ću nakon završetka prvog ispitnog roka sesti i napisati neke malecne recenzije za sva ova velika dela koja smo obrađivali. Naravno, delimično pod uticajem tih predavanja, a i sekundarne literature, sa druge strane, ostaje mi da prihvatim od toga sve što meni lično odgovara i što sam zagovaram. Krećem sa Edipom, zbog mnogo čega - ova drama iz više razloga predstavlja kulminaciju antičke tragedije, po Aristotelovim rečima je najbolji predstavnik, a i ono što je od svih os ...more
Karl H.
First, let me clear something up. Oedipus is one of the classics of Western Literature as a tragedy, not as a murder mystery, a genre that wouldn't yet be invented for more than a thousand years. The questions Oedipus asks us are not questions of motive and guilt. Oedipus is not a detective. We know who did it, the audience would've known who did it, almost everyone in the play who Oedipus questions knows what's up. It's not really a mystery to anyone besides Oedipus and the chorus. There's only ...more
Beth
4.5 stars

"Count no man happy 'til he dies, free of pain at last."

Oedipus the King is sad but brutal, a very dark but moving tale that we think we all know -- but actually reading it, especially the raw emotion that is encapsulated in those last few pages, is crushing. This is the true definition of Greek tragedy, so any criticism I could heap on it seems very twenty-first century and almost inapplicable. However, I did take a star off because it measures my personal enjoyment -- the latter half
...more
Jorge Gómez
Personalmente, admiro a esta obra, tal vez no sea una de mis favoritas, pero luego de 2500 años transcurridos desde que fue escrita sigue pareciendo una obra que no está desadaptada al tiempo, cuyos recursos literarios no son obsoletos ni aburridos, no es lenta, inocente, ni peca de los vicios de los años transcurridos, eso ya de por si es un gran merito.

Por otro lado, muchos conocíamos la historia antes de leerla, pero, la forma en que esta historia es develada, pero sobretodo, la impresionante
...more
Alan Smith
To the ancient Greeks, the word "Tragedy" didn't just mean something with a sad ending. To them, the word referred to a play with a certain defined structure and theme - about a happy person who, because of a single tragic flaw, becomes the victim of the gods. The format was invented for a specific purpose called "catharsis" - the idea was that you went to the theater, watched the play, and gained an emotional release that made your own petty issues fade into insignificance.

"Oedipus Rex" is perh
...more
Wael Mahmoud
I read the English version translated by Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald, First of all we must differentiate between the historical importance of the work and the artistic value of it, As long as i read it translated i can't judge the Prose - about the translation it was ok but not remarkable.

Oedipus became a major figure in literature and art world, Many artist and writers create modern versions of this tragedy which some were much better the original play, And here i must say that i didn't
...more
Mont'ster
You *think* you know the story but unless you've read it, you don't know the whole story. We read this in a high school lit class right around the time that I was "discovering" Greek and Roman mythology for the first time. This is no formulaic Thursday night TV drama. This is NOT "we have a mugging and a body" - this is a REAL mystery and you have to remember that the Greeks pretty much invented plot twists and the story can keep your attention *despite the fact* that you've "already heard it". ...more
Patricia
Das mit den Augen war fies.
sabisteb
Ödipus, jeder hat schon mal von ihm gehört. Der Ödipus Komplex, der Thomas Mann „Der Erwählte“, waren meine ersten Kontakte zu diesem Stoff. Nun wollte ich mir die ursprüngliche Vorlage des Mythos näher betrachten und war… überrascht.

Vorab, es ist eine Trilogie, die Thebanische Trilogie

Antigone
König Ödipus
Ödipus auf Kolonos

Mir ist ein wenig schleierhaft, warum man diese Trilogie, anders als die Orestie, in ihre drei Bestandteile zerrupft und nicht in einem Band verlegt.

Ja, das ist eine griechisc
...more
Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}
Michael Sheen (Masters of Sex) did a brilliant job in voicing the title role of Oedipus in what I found to be an 'easier' to understand translation by Duncan Steen for the full cast audio.

I'm glad I've finally read the famous, fabulously sensational story of incest and patricide about the man who kills his father and marries his mother, after encountering Freud's derivative Oedipus Complex in psychology class a decade ago.

Sophocles showcases the limitations of prophecy in stating the destinatio
...more
Kylie
The sunken city. I loved this tragic play ever since I read it the first time in high school, then twice more in college.
Eduard
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ahmad Sharabiani
قسمتی از نمایشنامه
.همسرایان: می‌خواهیم حقیقت هیاهویی را که تا به امروز بر سر زبانهاست بدانیم
..ادیپوس: وای بر من
.همسرایان: آرام باش تمنا می‌کنم
..ادیپوس: بسیار ناهنجار است. باری می‌گویم. من نارواترین بیداد را بر خود هموار کردم. من ستمی ناسزاوار بر خود هموار کردم. خدا می‌داند که اختیاری در کار نبود
.همسرایان: در چه کاری؟
..ادیپوس: در ازدواجی ننگین به خاطر شرم نادانسته به زناشویی رسوایی دست زدم
.همسرایان: می‌گویند مادرت در این پیوند ننگین همسر تو بود
..ادیپوس: بیاد آوردن آن در حکم مرگ من است. تازه این د
...more
Sarah Marie
Oedipus: The King by Sophocles

3.25 stars

This review will contain spoilers.


I’m not really sure how to go about explaining Oedipus because explaining gives away the whole story. If you don’t care about spoilers and want to hear an explanation of this play better than I could give I suggest this video. This video is where I first heard of Oedipus: The King and I was definitely intrigued. I was also excited to see that this was going to be a part of the SYNC summer audiobook program. I’m not a reade

...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Be system cannot be yours for just 1 9 Sep 08, 2014 03:25AM  
Crash Course Lite...: Oedipus Rex 1 8 Feb 22, 2014 08:35PM  
Crash Course Literature 2 1 19 Feb 13, 2014 02:29PM  
Orange B 2014: Oedipus 29 25 Sep 13, 2013 08:57AM  
  • Prometheus Bound
  • Bacchae
  • Clouds
  • Greek Tragedies, Vol. 1: Aeschylus: Agamemnon, Prometheus Bound; Sophocles: Oedipus the King, Antigone; Euripides: Hippolytus
  • Phèdre
  • The Recognition of 'Sakuntala: A Play in Seven Acts
1002
Sophocles (Greek: Σοφοκλής; German editions: Sophokles, Russian: Софокл) was an ancient Greek tragedy playwright. Not many things are known about his life other than that he was wealthy, well educated and wrote about one hundred and twenty three plays (of which few are extant). One of his best known plays is 'Oedipus the King' (Oedipus Rex).
More about Sophocles...
Antigone The Oedipus Cycle: Oedipus Rex / Oedipus at Colonus / Antigone Antigone / Oedipus the King / Electra Oedipus at Colonus Electra

Share This Book

“To throw away an honest friend is, as it were, to throw your life away” 194 likes
“Fear? What has a man to do with fear? Chance rules our lives, and the future is all unknown. Best live as we may, from day to day.” 98 likes
More quotes…