This study guide will help you analyze the play Oedipus the King (also known as Oedipus Rex) by Sophocles. You can also find a summary of the text, detailed characterizations, as well as inspiration for interpreting it and putting it into perspective.
Presentation of the text
Title: Oedipus the King (around 429 BC)
Sophocles (497/496-406/405 BC) is one of the most famous Greek playwrights. He wrote mainly tragedies, although only seven of his plays have survived to this day. His most notable works are a series of plays set in Thebes: Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone.
Oedipus the King (or Oedipus Rex) was the second of the Theban plays to be written, after Antigone, although it chronologically takes place earlier. The tragedy presents the fate of the King Oedipus, as he tries to uncover the murder of King Laius and therefore save his city from a plague, unaware that he is actually the one he is looking for.
The quotes for the English translation used in this study guide are taken from the 2004 translation by Ian Johnston.
Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide: