What is the impact of the point of view in Oedipus Rex by Sophocles?

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Technically, point of view is a term used to describe the perspective of a narrator in fiction or non-dramatic poetry. Because Oedipus Rex by Sophocles is a play, there is no narrator and thus there cannot be a "point of view" in the traditional use of the literary term. Sometimes in analyzing drama literary critics will use the term "viewpoint character" for a protagonist who provides a normative perspective. In Sophocles' plays, we can sometimes argue that the chorus provides us with a sort of normative viewpoint or reaction to the unfolding events. The final comments of the chorus make us understand how we should think about the events of the play:


Therefore, it is necessary to call no man blessed
as we await the final day, until he has reached
the limit of life and suffered nothing grievous.

greckah | Student

Oedipus, belongs to the House of Thebes, the son of Laius and Jocasta. He was the one who married his own mother and killed his own father as declared by the oracle of Delphi. Because of him, there emerged, in psychology, 'oedipus and electra complex' wherein in the child get jealous of their parent on the opposite sex. Having the play of Sophocles, it was written in first person point of view. But, in Edith Hamilton's, the story of Oedipus was narrated in Third person omniscient (a point of view narrated by a character outside the story yet cud give a direct characterization).

Either way point of view gives a big impact in every story. Because of this, readers will understand and imagine more the things being said by the narrator. But, i would prefer the story in first person....

This is a story that revolves around the main character who experiences misfortunes after revelations well in fact at first, he is victorious. Oedipus might have influenced the readers to exhibit selfless love and responsibility for his every action. Since he blinded himself as a punishment for killing his father-so as Jocasta for marrying her own son.

Oedipus really proved the readers how to be a great ruler and a great man.