Oedipus – the King Synthesis of 2 Articles
Genevieve SimmonsWorld Literature 1123Professor MaitiJune 10, 2016Oedipus the King Synthesis        Have you ever known someone who fate was so determined to make suffer such as that of Oedipus? At some point in life you have probably heard the phrase that someone has an “Oedipus complex.” If you were not sure where that came from, it originated from the ancient Greek tragedy, Oedipus the King by Sophocles. The articles “The Comments on Oedipus the King” and “The Two Dramas, the Two Conflicts” both discuss the play by Sophocles. While one article is more opinionated and biased, the second article is more of an analysis of the play and neutral.The first article consists of a group of high school seniors in English class writing about their opinions and answering questions given to them by their teacher on the Greek tragedy. In “The Comments on Oedipus the King” the authors all have different stances on how they feel about the play. Three of the authors enjoyed reading and learning about Oedipus. Rebecca Conard had a short narrative on her thoughts. She enjoyed the cruelty and the intricacy of the plot. In John Breedlove’s comments, he gives up some interesting thoughts about his personal belief about history. He states that he “considered the Greeks as a more or less barbarous race” and that he would “look up some more (Greek plays) to read. (375). Because the story was so intriguing to him he enjoyed the play and found the plot to not be so different from tragedies in modern times. The last student who stated outright that she enjoyed the Greek tragedies read in class was Marion Hodgin. She had similar thoughts to John Breedlove that the Greeks were a “removed people” and had existed so long ago that the work should not have grabbed her attention. She found that she could relate to the characters as if they were written during her school years. While some enjoy Oedipus, not all do. The other two authors, or students, had confused feelings about the work seeing as they both enjoyed but disliked the play. Frances Perry had the longest comment within the article. His reasons for enjoying the play were more thoroughly explained than his reasons for disliking it. He found the writing to be relatable to today’s society and that it did not have an “ancient musty flavor” as he had expected. His reasons for disliking were shortly explained; such as “too gripping and vivid” when Jocasta killed herself and Oedipus blinded himself. But also that he felt that the dialogue was forced (376).  The last student whose comments were included in the article is John Wills. His comments were hard to decipher and were scattered. He included excerpts from the tragedies to try to describe his feelings over the work but found them to be lacking the correct turn of phrase. He enjoyed a few “one-liners” said by the chorus but felt that he lacked the feeling he got when reading a book he enjoyed. It is because of this lack of feeling that the audience or teacher can infer his lack of enthusiasm in the play. Even though all of the students had varying opinions, they all agreed that the quality writing of Sophocles allows the play to still be relevant to society today.

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