Adaptations

Sophocles' play Oedipus the King is not only one of the classics of theater literature, but also one of the most important works of world literature. The many adaptations of the Oedipus story speak for this. 

Particularly worth mentioning at this point are the interpretation of the Oedipus drama in 20th century European literature. Among others, Max Frisch adopts the incest theme in his work Homo Faber (1957), as his protagonist sleeps with his own daughter. The blinding, which Sophocles characterizes by gouging out the eyes, also occurs in Frisch, although only in hinted form.

The Czech writer Milan Kundera takes up the guilt motif in the novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being and gives it a political spin. His work is set at the time of the "Prague Spring" during the suppression of the reform efforts and asks about the responsibility of the communist elite for the victims of the dictatorship. The lack of awareness of wrongdoing on the part of those responsible is measured by Kundera in Oedipus' admission of guilt. Although Oedipus was indeed ignorant, he brings his guilt to light directly against himself and takes responsibility accordingly. For the communist rulers, however, the...

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