Abraham's Reviews > Oedipus Rex

Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
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's review
Nov 06, 10

it was amazing
bookshelves: plays, greco-roman
Read in November, 2010

"That's why they call it a classic." I've read a handful of Ancient Greek plays before this but none of them really grabbed at me, like this one did. Who knows? I guess that trite little phrase up above sums it all, but there's something very allusive that makes this a classic and makes me love it so much. I will say that Oedipus reminds me so much of other tragic figures, from Shakespeare. Othello in particular. As I read the introduction to my edition, translated by Robert Fagles, introduced by Bernard Knox, I kept expecting Shakespeare to come up. And he did: Mr. Knox chose Macbeth. And I have to say I love how Oedipus, in a way, is his own downfall. Everyone, from the shepherds to his wife, to the blind man and even Creon (to a point), tries to hold him back from seeing the truth -- but he wants to see, has to know. And the truth is terrible, to a Freud-follower and otherwise. And while some actions in Greek drama seem strange and overblown in the light of today (Medea may have overdone it), I can see many of us, Freudians and otherwise, gouging out our eyes if ever we found ourselves in Oedipus's shoes.

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