How do the lines of the Chorus (1420-1421) demonstrate how the story of Oedipus provides powerful feelings for audiences?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Consider the opening line of the last set of lines the Chorus speaks.  The invocation to this closing is to call the people of Thebes to "behold this Oedipus."  This demonstrates how the story of Oedipus is meant to provide powerful feelings within all those who witness the story. There is enough in it to generate the most intense of feelings because the Chorus believes that intrinsic to this narrative is how the mighty can fall.  Oedipus is described as one whom "all the citizens watched with emulation" only to suffer through a "sea of dire misfortune."  The story of Oedipus is one that the Chorus sees as inherent to all human beings.  In the end, the closing lines demonstrate how human happiness is elusive and the best for which one can strive is one in which individuals avoid "grievous suffering."  In this, the story of Oedipus is meant to stir powerful emotions and feelings in the audience in order to prompt a notion of change and an understanding of the true condition of mankind.  In this, there is a clear grasp of the powerful feelings that bearing witness to the plight of mortality can offer.