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Oedipus Rex – Part One

Tragedy is a drama between a hero and metaphysical forces. Through a tragic flaw in their character they make a fatal mistake from which they never recover. They are destroyed, they are crushed. The hero is always someone of authority, of power. Part of the fear in watching their fall is that if they can fall, we all can fall. The mistake is suffered by many. When one falls, many fall. Oedipus is the first murder mystery. He is both the protagonist and the antagonist. He is the murder, the detective, the judge, the jury and the executioner. He wants the truth; he does not want the truth. He rejects the truth when he first learns of it and then slowly accepts it, until he has to make the final decision to mete out justice. He killed his father the king and married his mother and had children with her. He has broken natural law. Aristotle said that Oedipus Rex is the highest form of tragedy because it is so well constructed and so intelligently designed. The fact that it is sill produced on modern stages is testament to its durability, to its timeliness. It was first performed n 427 BC!

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