Oedipus the King by Sophocles

Oedipus the King
by Sophocles

Oedipus unknowingly fulfills the prophecy of killing his father and marrying his mother.

I think most people know the story of Oedipus in some capacity. Whether they’ve read it, seen the play, or acquired a general understanding of an Oedipus complex at some point. I read it in school, but only had a vague memory of the details until I re-read it. And as required English class reading material, I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to.

The play is short, with a rather small cast of characters and essentially only one setting and scene. But it captures a lot.

Oedipus, a successful and beloved king, seeks to cure his kingdom of their plague, and in doing so unveils a prophecy that was thought to have been avoided. In finding out who he truly is, the lives of himself and his wife are deeply altered as small things are revealed that gradually tie together, and their happiness becomes tragedy. I like the way everything unfolded, that the fates everyone thought they dodged were fulfilled, and the slow realizations as each character pieced things together. Maybe ignorance truly is bliss.