Sorry to disappoint anyone, but I didn’t write a poem about Oedipus. Some guy named Sophocles beat me to the punch, and I think telling the story once is probably one time too many.
Unfortunately, this will be my third time reading through the delectable soap opera that is Oedipus Tyrannus. Or Oedipus Rex. It is a play of many names, all of which are titles I’ve read, but I think I could have lived my whole life without studying the plot line once, much less three times in the past three years.
The plot of the play runs something like this: there’s a disease knocking off people in Thebes, and the king, Oedipus, wants to find out why. Turns out the city is cursed because the murderer of the old king still lives, and within the city. After a long series of speeches and revelations, we discover that Oedipus was fated at birth to kill his father and marry his mother. As preposterous as this prediction sounds, it turns out to be true—his father was the former king of Thebes and his mother is now his wife. Awkward. Disgusted to the extreme by these events, Oedipus’s wife/mum, who had tried to get rid of this son at birth only to have him come back to town when he grew up, hangs herself. Oedipus gouged his eyes out with straight pins. Yay.
Oh well. It’s still a better love story than Twilight. And a lot shorter.
I’ve had to read and examine this play three times for three separate classes. As much as I am an advocate for the study of classical literature and the intricacies of Greek theater, there’s only so much a body can take of this sickening stuff. The greatest benefit I’ve reaped from such reading is that it puts college interpersonal drama in perspective. No matter what happens in my life, things could be a lot worse. A lot worse. All I have to contend with is juggling a harrowing schedule, what with this week’s performances and all. At least I’m not awkwardly married to my son.
People complain about the debauchery in modern television programs. Modern TV can’t hold a candle to the Greeks.