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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Rex of Oedipus Translations?
My prior exposure to Oedipus Rex goes back to my school days, which is about half way back to the period when the play was written (or so it feels). That was in some English teacher (you-shouldn't-enjoy-what-you-read-in-my-class) approved translation. And I recall we spent more time with Antigone.

Mulroy attempts to translate the play into a verse form the...
Published on April 4, 2011 by Ursiform

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3.0 out of 5 stars The book was amazing compared to the movie
I thought this book was good but not really good. I'm glad I read it but I wouldn't want to read it again. It was interesting and it made me want to keep reading it, but some things about the book I didn't agree with because they were just too drawn out and it made things hard to understand. It got confusing. To me the incest was the main thing that was confusing. If not...
Published on November 8, 2002 by Katie


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Rex of Oedipus Translations?, April 4, 2011
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My prior exposure to Oedipus Rex goes back to my school days, which is about half way back to the period when the play was written (or so it feels). That was in some English teacher (you-shouldn't-enjoy-what-you-read-in-my-class) approved translation. And I recall we spent more time with Antigone.

Mulroy attempts to translate the play into a verse form the evokes how the Greeks would have experienced it on stage. It seems to me that he largely succeeds; his translation seems quite stageable. One challenge is that Greek audiences would have had a cultural context for interpreting the play that we lack. Fortunately, the translator provides a concise but excellent introduction that prepares the modern reader to understand the play.

The play itself tells, at times elliptically, the story everyone sort of knows. Oedipus is prophesied to kill his father the king, so he is sent off to die. Instead he ends up adopted by another king. When he learns of the prophesy he flees to avoid killing his "father". He ends up in his real homeland and kills his real father, then marries his mother. The play covers his learning the truth. It would be a shorter play if he was a little quicker on the uptake.

Although I understand its historical significance, I have trouble warming up to ancient Greek literature. It tends to be limited by the constraints of prophesies and way the gods are believed to direct the action. I recommend this translation of an important piece of literature. But I consider reading it to be more for self-eduction than for entertainment. At least it elevates the work above the I-want-you-to-suffer versions sometimes inflicted on students.

If you are looking for a few laughs on this subject, consider: Oedipus Rex
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oedipus - A Story of A Twisted Life, November 8, 2002
By 
Nick Shaw (Evansville, IN) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Oedipus Rex (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
"Oedipus" is an excellent story of ironic occurrences. Irony is a main theme in the book. "Oedipus" is a story about a boy that is entangled in a situation of incest and hubris, and later on in his life, as a man, he learns of the mistakes that he has made and retaliates strongly. It is a well written story, giving great detail in each line and each statement. My thoughts on the book is that it was a little disturbing thinking about how his life had to have been and how he dealt with his problems. Overall, I think that "Oedipus" is a great book and should be read by a mature audience.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When Fate Meets Free Will, November 1, 2004
By 
This review is from: Oedipus Rex (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
Oedipus Rex by Sophocles was a very good reading because of the way that the author is able to throw the reader for a curve ball. Sophocles was very good at making the reader unsure of what was going to happen. Every couple of scenes the author is able to make the reader say to himself/herself, "Wow I didn't see that one coming!" It is writing like this that makes an author like Sophocles go down in the history books for all time.

I believe that Sophocles' purpose in writing this story is to get the reader to wonder whether we as humans have free will to choose or if we are just puppets in the hands of fate. I believe that Sophocles tries to convey this question throughout the entire play not just in specific scenes and it all comes out in the end. The reason why I say that this is the theme is because if you look at what the oracle said to Laius he said that their son, Oedipus, would kill him and marry his wife. In order to try and prevent such a drastic ending they sent their son away in hopes that he would be killed. It came about however that when Oedipus was older he heard this prophecy and not wanting to kill his adopted father ran away. On his journey he met five men that looked wealthy so Oedipus needing some supplies killed all the men but one and stole their stuff. Oedipus decides that he wishes to go to Thebes and live in that land. There was a great famine in the land of Thebes however and the only way to stop it was to answer a riddle given by the great sphinx. Oedipus was the one to solve this riddle so in honor of his achievements he was to become king and marry the queen whose husband had died. It just so happens that the man that Oedipus killed was Lauis his father and the prophecy also came true that he would marry his mother. This raises the question of did Lauis and his wife really have a choice as to what Oedipus would do or was fate just giving them a chance to think that they had gotten off safe and that the prophecy would not come true.

This reading of Oedipus Rex has made an impression on me personally. One of the things that I have learned through this reading is that I should not just believe what I hear on Sunday morning about free will. I learned that these things are better to investigate on your own rather than just take it by faith in other people's beliefs. In a way that is what Lauis and Jocasta did. They took a chance and tried to alter fate by sending Oedipus away. They later found out that trying to mess with fate would not work. That is another lesson that I learned from this reading. If the gods or God is determined to have something to do then he will bring out predestination and overpass free will. That is exactly what the gods did in Oedipus Rex they said the prophecy and Laius tried to prevent his disastrous end and the gods saw that they had to do something in order for their will to be accomplished. In the end the gods had the supreme reign over what was to happen and nothing that Laius did could stop the god's will.

Though one could go on and on for a long time about the many life lessons and the main point of Sophocles' writing this play it is time to bring this entire thing to a close. A brief review of my opinion on Sophocles' purpose for writing is to get the reader to question whether he and the people around him have free will or are they just puppets in the hands of the puppeteer. The main life principal that you can get from this reading is that in the end when all hell breaks loose on earth it is not the humans will that will make a difference. The decision on life and death then rests on the hands of God and the only thing you can do is become part of his kingdom.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oedipus Wrecks, November 4, 2004
This review is from: Oedipus Rex (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
Sophocles' Oedipus Rex was a part of a trilogy of plays he wrote around one family. This play was the middle of the three, and it revolved around one man, Oedipus, the king of Thebes. Oedipus had a prophecy that said he would marry his mother after he killed his father, so after he was born to Laius, king of Thebes, and Jocasta, his queen, he was abandoned in the countryside to die with a spike through his ankles. But he was found by a farmer, and given to a ruling family in Corinth. After he got to be of age, and heard the prophecy, he ran away to avoid the curse, hoping that by getting away from his family, he could keep from bringing them harm. He traveled until he got to the "place where three roads meet", where he crossed paths with a party of travelers. There was a scuffle, and he killed them all, save one, including an older man. He continued on until he met up with the Sphinx, a creature who had been terrorizing Thebes for some time. He defeated it by answering its riddle, and the people of Thebes were so glad that they made him king, since there old king had just recently been reported to have been killed by a band of robbers. All is well, and he rules there until everything starts dying. Come to find out that it is because Apollo is cursing the city-state because of Oedipus' unknown sin of killing his father, who was the old man at the crossing, and sleeping with his mother. Tiresias, a blind prophet, reveals the truth to Oedipus, who doesn't want to hear it. The play revolves mostly around the pride of Oedipus, who refuses to listen to any of his advisors, his wife/mother Jocasta, or his brother-in-law/uncle Creon. In the end, once all is revealed, Jocasta kills herself, and this agony causes Oedipus to stab out his eyes. The play ends with Oedipus leaving the city-state with Creon in power.

Sophocles' main purpose in writing this play was to address two main issues. The first was the issue of hubris, or pride, and how it can cloud your view of things. This can be shown by the actions of Oedipus, who was counseled by not only Creon and Jocasta, but also by Tiresias, the blind seer. Tiresias tries to warn Oedipus that the reason for all the trouble in Thebes is his own sin, but Oedipus ignores him, and brashly proclaims that the man who killed Laius must be killed. Tiresias even comments on the irony of his being blind but able to see the truth, but Oedipus' ignorance of it though he has his sight. Oedipus' sin and inability to bring himself to listen to those who are more knowledgeable than he are what bring him to even accusing his own brother-in-law of trying to take the throne from. He becomes paranoid and distrustful, and is eventually driven to the brink of insanity. He becomes desperate to find the truth of what is really happening, even though he begins to realize that the truth will destroy him, and maybe all those around him as well.

While I read this play, another, perhaps more subtle twist that Sophocles threw in there became apparent to me. Throughout the play, both Jocasta and Oedipus are shown to be trying to escape their fate, their destiny, by their own human actions and endeavors. But in the end, they find that all their attempts, all their efforts to change their future, were in vain. The prophecy that was given at Oedipus' birth comes true, and there is nothing that they can do to stop it. I thought that this was an interesting commentary by Sophocles on our role as humans compared to fate. It seems that Sophocles felt that no matter what we do, our destiny is set in place, and is unchangeable, no matter what course of action we take. I'm not sure if I agree with that, but it seemed to be a sentiment that he felt needed to be conveyed to his original audience, the Greeks. He obviously felt that the gods they worshipped were in control of fate and destiny, totally, and that humans should just resign themselves to whatever was to happen to them.

Personally, I enjoyed reading this play. It was a good storyline, with several good points, and even could be found to spark some interesting discussions questioning fate. I found myself growing because of this book, not physically, but spiritually, because I was forced to question: are we in control? Does our fate rest in our own hands? Or are we controlled by some cosmic, impersonal force that doesn't care about us? As a Christian, I found this question very interesting, and I would recommend everyone who reads this book to consider it as I did.
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4.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BUT A LIL CONFUSING, November 3, 2004
By 
Sprayz (Churchton, MD USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Oedipus Rex (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
When I read Oedipus it appealed to me for a few reasons. One of these reasons is the fact that it was an ancient play. I never really realized that there were plays that long ago. It's amazing that even in those days people could come up with great play ideas. I really like this play because its plot is great. But the language is little difficult to understand

I think Sophocles' main point in writing this play is to bring across the ideas of fate or freewill. The Greeks often battled between the ideas of the gods (fate) and man (freewill). This is shown in Oedipus Rex by the fact that even when Jocasta "got rid of" Oedipus, it came back to haunt her.

This was also shown when Oedipus ran from Corinth. He heard of the prophecy and he assumed that the King and Queen of Corinth were his real parents. But we all know what happens when you assume........ You're sometimes wrong. This showed fate by him running from Corinth and killing his real father and marrying his mother. But it also showed freewill in the fact that he made the choice to leave Corinth. He decided to run from his problems.

Which brings me to my next point. I think Sophocles, maybe not on purpose but none the less brought out the lesson of running from your problems. It was first shown when Jocasta "got rid of" Oedipus. It was then shown again when the old man made the choice (or maybe it was fate...) to give Oedipus to the King and Queen of Corinth. And finally it was shown Oedipus ran from Corinth. He heard the prophecy and ran his butt off.

A few things I've learned from Oedipus Rex are these. One thing I've learned is that life has a kooky way of tricking you. Things can change in the blink of an eye. Oedipus' life shattered in a matter of hours. His whole life was a lie. His parents didn't want him. He killed his own father. And worst of all he married his mother.

Another thing I learned is to not run from my problems. If we run from the things we've said and done they will come back and get us. But when they come back it will be a thousand times worse. We may think we're doing the right thing by running but it's probably not what's right. When Oedipus ran he dug himself in a really deep hole.

Well over all Oedipus Rex is a good play. I love the plot, the twists, turns and irony of the whole play. But a downside to it is the scripting. It is awfully hard to understand. Another small fault is the fact that the beginning is a little slow. But if you enjoy a good Greek tragedy then you will love Oedipus Rex.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Oedipus Rex- Greek Theatre, November 2, 2004
This review is from: Oedipus Rex (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
I didn't love Oedipus Rex; I thought the book was all right I understood what the content was. I thought the story line was interesting but I didn't really like the book in general. If you like Greek theater you would love this book and the way it is/was written.

The main point of Sophocles righting "Oedipus Rex" was to show the confliction between Fate and Choice. The big question is did he have a choice in what he was meant to do could he have changed his path? Or was it already predestined to happen. The book gives the feel that Fate was against him and that fate already was ultimately who won between the battle of Choice and Fate.

Did Oedipus really want to marry his mother? Did Oedipus really want to kill his father? Could he have known that he killed his father on his way to Thebes? All of these answers are no he couldn't have because he didn't know whom his real biological father been until it was too late. He lived his life in ignorance he found out the truth.

The thing I have learned most of all from Oedipus Rex was about how much control of our lives we have and how our outlook can make things appear. How things can change so fast. Oedipus was the king of all things of Thebes's people looked up to him and thought of him as a god. But at the end of the story he was brought to the lowest form a blind beggar. It brought me to question about how many choices in our lives do we really have or if it is all fate or designed with out it having anything to do with us. Do we really make our own choices? Our out look if we are naïve if we really see things that our there. If we can read in between the lines. The blind seer saw things and saw the future and what happened he was very wise and he was very involved even though he was blind and was unable to see. Oedipus finally saw the truth and blinded himself because he couldn't take the truth. Giving into the irony factor.

So Oedipus Rex is a great read if you like Greek Theater, Drama and Suspense. The life lessons taught in this book are knowledge able and relate able even to this date. It was written in ancient times and still applies today. If you don't like ancient writing I suggest you not read it or else you will end up being very frustrated and not understanding the main idea for the book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pinklovers Drama Critque for Oedipus Rex, November 1, 2004
This review is from: Oedipus Rex (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
The play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles makes for an interesting read. If you like twisted plots and interesting dialogue you will love reading this play. It was hard to read in the sense of not being in modern dialogue and being very drawn out. In other words, the story had a lot of extra words that were put in there as space fillers. Sophocles continued to state the same thing over and over so that his point would really be stressed on the readers/ viewers. It was good that he did this in some parts, but other parts did not need to be drawn out as much, you really got the idea the first time around.

Sophocles main points in writing this play were as follows. First, one of his top main points was to get people thinking about the idea of fate or free choice. We make our own decisions and try to cheat out fate, but our fate always ends up the same. No matter what Oedipus did, he could not escape his fate of killing his father and marrying his mother.

The second point Sophocles made was that you have to open your eyes to really see what is going on around you. You could be physically blind but be wise, therefore you see. Or, you could be emotionally blind but have your physical sight, and yet, have no clue what is going on around you. You have to really open your eyes and expand your understanding of everything, so that you won't be mentally blind.

Lastly, the third point of Oedipus Rex was to not be prideful. Oedipus was full of pride and this led him to believe that he outwitted fate. Since he believed this so much he could not wait to find the murderer and clear his conscience. Pride-fullness is a very bad quality to have and is something that would ruin your life forever. Look at what it did to Oedipus, he lost his wife, Jocasta, and he became blinded, but at the same time, was able to see.

Evidence to support the points of Sophocles; I can bring up the facts that Oedipus did in fact, full fill the prophecy of killing his father and marrying his mother even though he tried to escape his fate. Also, the blind seer Tiresius, was wiser and could spiritually see more than Oedipus. In the play, Oedipus made it such a big deal that Tiresius was blind and that he could not see, but in the end, he realized that it was himself who was blind. And pride is what made Oedipus seek the answer and that is what ended up destroying him in the end.

I have personally learned that you can't escape fate and that you should always be open to everything. These are life lessons that anyone who reads Oedipus Rex can experience and learn from. Sophocles not only wrote this play for the Dionysian Festival, but he wrote this and many of his other plays so that people may learn from them. So that people can see what pride does to you, before it actually happens.

In conclusion, Oedipus Rex had an attention-grabbing plot, an unexpected ending, and was all and all an acceptable book. If you don't like that kind of book, you should read it anyways; it is an excellent life lesson book for any person.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There's No Escape!, May 2, 2002
By 
This review is from: Oedipus Rex (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
"Woe! Woe! It is all plain, indeed! O Light, This be the last time I shall gaze on thee, Who am revealed to have been born of those Of whom I ought not-to have wedded whom I ought not-and slain whom I might not slay!" Page 42, Oedipus discovers the truth. How sad, indeed, to find out that one has fulfilled such a God forsaken prophecy. Would it have been better if Oedipus had never been born? Would the prophecy have been fulfilled had Oedipus' parents not given him away?
That's one of the many questions left up to the imagination. But the stand that Sophocles chose was the stand on destiny. Destiny can not be changed or avoided. That's the impression I'm left with after reading this book. The prophet told the King and the Queen that their son was going to kill his father, the King, and marry his mother, the Queen. In light of this information, the King and Queen decided to do away with this Evil child.
Through the irony of destiny, this child makes his way back to the city of Thebae. If only to fulfill this prophecy. And the Queen, the mother! How horrific a deed for a mother. None other so disgraceful, so distasteful. Her deeds were justified. Suicide! There was no other way.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for something entertaining. Not many books capture my attention, none as much as this one, I assure you. Oedipus Rex is a tragedy of riddles. A riddle to discover oneself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A classic book about screenwriting before there was screenwriting..., July 23, 2014
By 
Eric Edson (Calabasas, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Oedipus Rex (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
"Oedipus Rex" is considered one of the greatest of the classic Greek tragedies. Although its first performance was a few years back, in 429 B.C., it is such a masterpiece of dramatic construction that it can still serve as a blueprint for modern day screenwriters to follow. It could be called the world’s first genuine screenplay – because all of the necessary beats, acts, plot turns and character development can be found here. The playwright uses irony and other literary tools throughout the story to heighten the impact of these intensely dramatic events. “Oedipus Rex” ranks as a towering example of exceptional Western drama. It contains an emphasis on how the central character’s own inner flaw of hubris contributes to this tragic hero’s downfall, so the theme in “Oedipus Rex” is “pride goeth before a fall.” This is a dramatic work that still holds many lessons for writers today.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The book was amazing compared to the movie, November 8, 2002
This review is from: Oedipus Rex (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
I thought this book was good but not really good. I'm glad I read it but I wouldn't want to read it again. It was interesting and it made me want to keep reading it, but some things about the book I didn't agree with because they were just too drawn out and it made things hard to understand. It got confusing. To me the incest was the main thing that was confusing. If not the only thing. But once I kept talking it over I understood and figured it out. I did like the suspense in the book concerning Oedipus and him knowing the truth about things. And the irony of the book was great because i liked knowing things without the characters knowing them as well. It was good choice to read in senior english. Although, I have to say the movie was HORRIBLE!
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Oedipus Rex (Dover Thrift Editions)
Oedipus Rex (Dover Thrift Editions) by Sophocles (Paperback - June 1, 1991)
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