What's the main features of the characters in the play, The Oedipus?

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The play gives classic tragic archetypes.  According to Northrop Frye Theory of Archetypes:

Oedipus is the Alazon, an imposter who sees himself greater than he really is, he who is self-deceived, full of hubris.

Jocasta is a Sub Alazon, a romantic ploy who intensifies the mood; she is the Supplient who provides vision of unmitigated suffering and helplessness.  A foil for Oedipus

Tieresias is the Eiron, a self-deprecator, who sees himself as less than he really is.  He is a nemesis, a soothsayer and agent of the gods.  Also a foil for Oedipus.  He is the archetypal blind prophet who ironically sees the truth.

readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The basic point of Oedipus is whether the prophecy that was issued regarding Oedipus will take place. The prophecy stated that Oedipus would marry his mother and kill his father. Oedipus' parents knew about this and in order to avert the prophecy, they exposed him as a child (to die). But as the story goes he was saved. When Oedipus finally heard about this prophecy, he decided to leave his home town and move to Thebes, lest he kill his father and marry his mother. Little did Oedipus know that he actually moved to his real hometown. To make a long story short, he did kill his father and marry his mother in Thebes.

Read the study guide:
The Oedipus Trilogy

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