What is the narrative structure of Oedipus Rex? Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

You should also take into account, when considering the structure of Oedipus, that it was a classical Greek Tragedy.  Aristotle, in his work Poetics, is credited with defining this specific dramatic form. He wrote:

A tragedy is the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself; in appropriate and pleasurable language;... in a dramatic rather than narrative form; with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish a catharsis of these emotions.

So, by definition, the structure of a Tragedy was meant to incite an audience to "pity and fear" in order to have a cathartic moment of release instigated by the fall of the tragic hero.

The fall is key to the successful narrative structure of the play, because, by definition, it must inspire pity and fear in the audience.  Oedipus is generally considered one of the most "perfect" tragic heroes.  The pity is inspired by Oedipus' true and unrelenting desire to find the person...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 627 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team