Oedipus Rex Questions and Answers
by Sophocles

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How does Oedipus Rex follow the unities ? Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

Oedipus Rex follows the unities as derived by French classical dramatists from Aristotle's Poetics. First, we have unity of time. The action of the play takes place over the course of a single day. Then we have the unity of place. Oedipus Rex takes place in the royal palace of Thebes. Finally, we have unity of action in that there are no subplots.

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There are three such unities: the unity of time, the unity of place, and the unity of action. The unity of time means that everything takes place within a space of twenty-four hours or fewer. From the time that Oedipus greets the priest and suppliants who have come with prayerful offerings to the palace of Thebes to the time Oedipus learns the truth about his own parentage, blinds himself, and is exiled, everything takes place within this limited time frame. The unity of place means that there is just one setting for the entire text. In this case, it is the steps outside the palace. Here, Oedipus greets the suppliants, here he receives news from the oracle, and so on. Note that Oedipus does not go to the oracle himself but sends Creon. Oedipus has Teiresias, the blind prophet, brought here to him for questioning. No time is lost in travel and no distractions are created by having the main character traverse these distances. Of course, some events -- especially the violent ones (

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