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Greek tragedians wrote their plays keeping to the 'three unities' propounded by Aristotle in his 'Poetics'. The three unities are the unities of time, place and action. Thus Greek tragedy had a single plot centred around the tragic hero; and the main action of the play took place in a single day and in and around the same place. As such, Sophocles' play 'Oedipus' is about the fate of one individual - Oedipus. However, the fate of one individual affects the fate of almost everyone else in the play. For instance, the prophecy concerning Oedipus caused his parents to abandon him leading to a chain of events that resulted in Oedipus killing his father and marrying his mother. As the play begins, the audience is made to realize that Thebes is being punished by Apollo because it was harbouring an 'unclean" being - Oedipus. Thus all Thebans are affected by Oedipus' actions. As the truth about Oedipus' birth becomes revealed, his wife commits suicide, Oedipus blinds himself and his children's lives are affected and end in tragedy. Thus the fate of one individual affects the fate of almost every individual connected directly or indirectly with him.
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