Oedipus the King Essay | How Sophocles Evokes Catharsis in Oedipus Rex

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How Sophocles Evokes Catharsis in Oedipus Rex

Summary: Discusses Oedipus the King, by Sophocles. Explains how the work meets Aristotle's definition of a tragedy. Examines how the work evokes catharsis through character development.
In Oedipus the King Sophocles gives us a tragedy in which one man discovers that "man is but a limited and contingent creature, subject to sudden disrupting forces. Success is not finally to be measured by fame or material prosperity. Human greatness consists ultimately in nobly accepting the responsibility of being what we are..." In his Poetics, Aristotle defined the ingredients necessary for a good tragedy, and he based his formula on what he considered to be the perfect tragedy, Sophocles's Oedipus the King. A good tragedy will evoke pity and fear in its audience, causing the audience to experience a feeling of catharsis. Catharsis, in Greek, means "purgation" or "purification." It is a release of emotion. Sophocles uses character development in Oedipus, Creon, and Jocasta to develop the tragic pattern and to ultimately induce catharsis.

In the tragedy, Oedipus the King, Sophocles...

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This section contains 1,541 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Student Essay on How Sophocles Evokes Catharsis in Oedipus Rex
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