Sample Essay Outlines

The three plays known as The Oedipus Trilogy can be studied separately or together, depending on the goals and ambitions of the class. Using the following outlines, develop and write papers on one, two or all three of the plays.

  • Topic #1
    Loyalty to family members is a major theme in The Oedipus Trilogy. Discuss the importance of kinship.

    I. Thesis Statement: The obligations of kinship are a major theme throughout these plays. The characters honor the demands of kinship above everything else, with no concern about the repercussions.
    A. Antigone is willing to give her life to bury her brother properly.
    B. Antigone follows her father into exile as his companion and his guide.

    II. Loyalty to kinship has varying results.
    A. Antigone is sentenced to death by Creon, her uncle, who angers the gods.
    B. Antigone is honored and loved by her father, and she earns his gratitude.

    III. Conclusion: Kinship obligations were life and death matters for the Greeks.
    A. Antigone hastens her death sentence by committing suicide. Haemon, her would-be groom, finds her body and kills himself so that they can be reunited in the kingdom of the dead.
    1. Haemon’s father must bear the burden of knowing that he is responsible for the deaths of two young people.
    2. Creon’s queen, Haemon’s mother, kills herself when she hears that her son is dead. Her blood also stains Creon’s hands.
    B. Antigone and Ismene are faithful to their obligations to their father, but their brothers ignore him in exile.
    1. The brothers are punished with their father’s curse, which they fulfill by killing each other in battle.
    C. The gods reward Oedipus for his suffering. Although he committed crimes against his parents, he acted unknowingly. He took good care of his children, asking Creon to watch the girls when he was banished. The gods weighed his good deeds against his crimes and found that he fulfilled his kinship obligations when they weren’t hidden from him by fate.


(The entire section is 897 words.)