Oedipus the King Essay

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In this essay, educator and critic Green discusses symbolism in Oedipus Rex and offers her interpretation of the play's climactic scene.

In the fall 1992 issue of The Explicator, Bernhard Frank presented an unusual interpretation of the dramatic climax of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex In the scene, reported by the Second Messenger, Oedipus, horrified by the truth and distraught by his discovery that Jocasta has hanged herself, first lowers his queen/mother/wife to the ground and then plunges the long pins of her robe's brooches into his eyes. Professor Frank suggests that Jocasta's rope is an umbilical cord, that here we have a "role reversal," in which Jocasta becomes "the dead infant Oedipus should have been, if the tragedy was to have been averted." Then, in "another stage of the role reversal," he blinds himself. He is not castrating himself a Freudian theory that Frank rightly rejects but in...

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This section contains 867 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Oedipus the King Study Guide
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