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Oedipus the King (The Theban Plays #1)

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  112,641 Ratings  ·  1,591 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)
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Renato Magalhães Rocha
"Look and learn all citizens of Thebes. This is Oedipus.
He, who read the famous riddle, and we hailed chief of men,
All envied his power, glory, and good fortune.
Now upon his head the sea of disaster crashes down.
Mortality is man’s burden. Keep your eyes fixed on your last day.
Call no man happy until he reaches it, and finds rest from suffering."

I believe that in one way or another, everyone - at least to some extent - has heard of the story of Oedipus and Jocasta. It's one of those tales that'
Nov 21, 2015 Kalliope rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


I have not read Sophocles’ text recently, but listened to
this exceptional audio edition. Powerfully acted out, with an eerie chorus and dramatic music, it has been a superb experience.

I have come back to this play now in a roundabout way. As part of a Seminar on Aesthetics, The Eye that Thinks, imparted in the Prado Museum, we were prompted by our Professor Félix de Azúa to read Oedipus in a Hegelian framework. We had been discussing the contributions of Hegel to Aesthetics
Jun 27, 2012 Hend rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 06, 2011 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
نمايشنامه ى مشهور اديپ شهريار، يكى از بزرگترين تراژدى هاى يونان باستان.
از لحاظ داستان، واقعاً اعجاب انگيزه. داستان ابتدا با معمايى شروع ميشه كه نجات شهر "تِبس" از نابودى به حل اون بسته است، ولى هيچ كس جوابش رو نميدونه. بعد كم كم كه معما حل ميشه، پاسخ وحشتناك و تراژيكش آشكار ميشه و نجات شهر از نابودى، به بهاى بسيار سنگينى حاصل ميشه. اين روش طرح معما و حل مرحله به مرحله ش، بسيار شبيه به داستان هاى جنايى امروزيه، و از خيلى از اين داستان ها به مراتب بهتره.
اما اثر، طبعاً به مقتضاى زمان نگارشش، مشكلات
Sep 17, 2011 Kaion rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: play, essential
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
Aug 16, 2012 Bruce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 01, 2014 Yann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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 (lit
David Gallagher
Mar 20, 2010 David Gallagher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sidharth Vardhan
"Count no man happy till he is dead."

A tragedy always moves around a character - who is virtuous except for one fault. This one fault brings on to him the misfortunes, that would have been otherwise undeserved. With Oedipus, this fault was his hubris. His extreme pride shows several times:

1. his disbelief or mocking of gods (to a Greek writer, not believing in god have looked like hubris.)

2. the reason for which he killed Laius - because the two won't y 've way to each-other.

3. his calling h
Apr 19, 2007 علی rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tragedies, great-ones
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
Jan 08, 2013 Julia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Greek mythology, plays or messed up tales
Recommended to Julia 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
Marty :}
Feb 04, 2016 Marty :} rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I actually like this one better than Antigone, the subject is very disturbing, but I liked the writing a lot.
Nov 16, 2015 Τζο rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Μπορει κανεις,αραγε,να ξεφυγει απο το πεπρωμενο του?Ο Σοφοκλης πιστευει πως οχι,και τουτο μας διδασκει με τον "Οιδιπους Τυραννος".Μια απο τις καλυτερες τραγωδιες,συμφωνα με τους ειδημονες,και μερος του Θηβαικου δραματικου κυκλου.

Κεντρικος μας ηρωας ο Οιδιπους,οπως εχω γραψει σε αυτο το ποστ (λινκ),ειναι ο βασιλιας της Θηβας,κερδισε τον θρονο αλλα και την γυναικα του οταν ελυσε τον γριφο της Σφιγγας και εσωσε την πολη.Η ιστορια μας ξεκιναει οταν την πολη την πνιγει παλι η δυστυχια και η κακοτυχια
Jul 22, 2015 anarki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My knowledge of King Oedipus was merely based on what I’ve read from Freud’s theory. As defined, Oedipus Complex is an unconscious sexual desire of a child for his mother and hate toward his father as the child considers him a rival for his mother’s affection. I thought that the story of Oedipus the King was just about a man killing his own father to sleep with his mother. It was only when I read the play that I learned that it wasn’t Oedipus’s intention to murder his father, let alone copulate ...more
Oct 23, 2014 Yani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teatro, universidad
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
Viji Sarath (Bookish endeavors)
Never have I read of such an accursed life as of Oedipus.. From where to where he takes his life by his own wit and courage.!! A shepherd's child who becomes a king.. Thy story might have made classics,Oedipus.. And you might have married a beautiful princess and begat a courageous line of successors.. But...... Accursed that you are right from birth.. Thy birth marked thy fall.. Impossible it is,to escape the clutches of fate.. No matter how much we mortals try.. There lies your story,in words ...more
Beautiful! incredibly expressive.
Good tragic (exaggeratedly so, but all the better for it!) art works have a sort of effect that I wish i could describe with a good metaphor but I cant seem to come up with one, so I'l try to simply describe them.
I think, living in a pit of mystery as we are, there is nothing more mysterious than human emotions, and sometimes someone so very talented, hardworking, well educated or even very tortured (or any combination of the previous) sits down to make somethin
Oct 09, 2015 Carolina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 01, 2011 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, plays
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
Karl H.
Mar 01, 2011 Karl H. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Alan Smith
Apr 01, 2013 Alan Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Mar 16, 2013 Bayan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 16, 2015 OngoingRain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome. I loved this.
Jalendhari Tabeeb
Be it Oedipus,Voldemort or us humans,we're victim of the same tragic flaw : the belief that we can outsmart fate.Fate isn't written in the palm of our hands or in the position of the stars ; it is with us in the form of our character.

If Voldemort hadn't feared Trawleny's prophecy, he wouldn't have tried to kill Harry and set him on a journey to destroy him.

If Oedipus hadn't feared Apolo's prophecy,he wouldn't have fled from Corinth,murdered Laius or married Jocasta.

It wasn't the prophecy,it was
Jan 18, 2016 Cemre rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kral Oidipus, okuduğum ikinci Sophocles tragedyası oldu. Esasen Yunan komedyaları ve tragedyalarından nedense uzak duruyordum, bu tavırdan Sophocles'in Elektra'sından sonra vazgeçtim. O nedenle bu türde yeni olduğumu söylemem mümkün. Yine de bence Kral Oidipus oldukça başarılı ve tam olarak türünün hakkını verecek ölçüde trajikti.

Bilmeyenler varsa konusundan da kısaca bahsedeyim. Laios Thebai'nin kralı. Bir gün Apollon, Laios ve karısı İokaste'ye Laios'un oğlunun Laios'u öldüreceğinin haberini v
Sarah Marie
Oedipus: The King by Sophocles

3 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 reader o

Carla D.
4.5 stars

Opinião do blog Pepita Mágica:

Toda a gente, ou quase toda a gente, conhece a história de Édipo: mata o pai e casa-se com a mãe (obra da qual deriva o Complexo de Édipo, de Freud, sobre a fase da vida de uma criança quando sente atracção e desejo pelo progenitor do sexo oposto). Mas a maioria dessas pessoas nunca leu a obra e, na minha opinião, nunca se conhece, verdadeiramente, uma história até a termos lido. Eu era uma dessas pessoas, e talvez c
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
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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...

Other Books in the Series

The Theban Plays (3 books)
  • Oedipus at Colonus
  • Antigone

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