Oedipus Rex Questions and Answers
by Sophocles

Oedipus Rex book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Provide examples and evidence of Marxism, existentialism, feminism, and Freudian pscychoanalysis in the Oedipus plays.

Expert Answers info

ac12 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write148 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Science, and History

One of Marx's profoundest insights concerned the way in which inequalities among different classes led to strife; he also claimed that this strife would be the undoing of the ruling classes. One might say that the character of Oedipus illustrates this; he is desperate for power and is willing to subjugate anyone he needs to in order to get it. However, this is very much part of his tragic flaw; perhaps if he weren't so keen to rule, the tragic events would never have unfolded.

In terms of feminism, we might argue that the tragic events could also have been avoided had Jocasta, Oedipus' mother/wife, been allowed a say at any point. Her husband decided unilaterally to send the baby away in order to avoid the prophecy. Oedipus (unknowingly) killed his father and married Jocasta; Jocasta had no say in this matter either.

In term of psychoanalysis, the Oedipus plays led Sigmund Freud to name a complex after him : the Oedipus complex. Freud believed that humans were controlled by drives and...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 610 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

englishprof1564 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write135 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Michael Stultz, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookM.A. from Aquinas American School (Madrid, Spain)


calendarEducator since 2009

write1,817 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial