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Oedipus Rex

AUTHOR: Sophocles


GENRE: drama/tragedy


1. Oedipus: saves Thebes from Sphinx & is rewarded w/ marriage to queen; doesn't know his true identity; kills father; marries mother

2. Jocasta: queen of Thebes; sends infant son to be killed to avoid prophecy; tries to protect Oedipus from truth; commits suicide; both mother & wife to Oedipus

3. Creon: both uncle & brother-in-law to Oedipus; becomes king after Oedipus' demise

4. Teiresias: blind prophet who sees the truth; warns Oedipus

5. Lauis: former king of Thebes; killed in "road rage" incident; killed by son

6. Polybus & Merope: king & queen of Corinth; adopt baby Oedipus


1. themes: 1) no one can hide from the truth
2)no one can escape his/her fate

2. dramatic irony: only we & Teiresias know Oedipus's true identity

3. external conflict: a)Oedipus & Creon b) Oedipus & Teiresias

4. secondary characters: a) shepherd who saves baby Oedipus & witnesses Lauis' murder
b)messenger who takes baby Oedipus to Polybus & Merope