Sophocles, mainly focused on tragedy rather than any other element of a drama yet he created perfect characters in Oedipus Rex. Perhaps, he wanted to show the world that character is destiny. He has directly challenged the supremacy of immortals(gods)while portraying perfect characters in his play Oedipus Rex, who are puppets in the hands of gods. May be, he wants to show that everyone’s fate is predestined and no one can escape from it. What may be the reason behind it, one thing is clear that he wrote a perfect tragedy in shape of “Oedipus Rex” with the help of right characters, due to which, it is one of the favorite tragedies of Aristotle as evident from his book “Poetics”.
“Art of Characterization” is the most important element for a writer. History clears us that many writers gained fame due to this important literary technique. Chaucer, although was a poet, yet known to many of us due to his realistic character assessment technique. It does not matter whether a writer writes a novel, or drama, he always focuses on characterization. In case of drama, importance of characterization increases because a dramatist cannot directly convey his message to the audience, therefore, he advises them through his characters as suggested in Oedipus Rex. Oedipus Rex is a classical tragedy by Sophocles set in the ancient city of Thebes. The characters of this drama achieve a universal status on account of their real human traits. In drama, the knowledge that some characters posses is very crucial in developing the plot. This is contained by the minor characters. The knowledge is the basic foundation of Oedipus future, either to remain king of Thebes or to be sentenced to death or exile forever. The main theme is that every man is born with a pre-destined future. Now matter how hard you try to change it, the truth (the knowledge)will always comeback. Some of the minor characters have been discussed below. are the chorus, the Corinthian shepherd, the messenger from inside below.
King Laius is father of Oedipus Rex and former king of Thebes but this fact is only disclosed at the end of play. Jo caste is his former wife. He was cursed that his son would kill him and marry his wife. Oedipus Rex, in an encounter, kills him on the way to Thebes.
Oedipus has two daughters, Ismene and Antigone. They leave the palace with Creon when the play ends. Oedipus requests Creon to take care of his children. He also shows dismay at such a sad end, saying her daughters will not find suitable matches due to his cursed life and disgraceful exit. They also appear in other Oedipus plays. Ismene is daughter of Oedipus Rex. In this play, she has minor role but in latter plays of Sophocles, she appears as a major character. She appears at the end of Oedipus the King and to a limited extent in Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone. Ismene’s minor part underscores her sister’s grandeur and courage. Ismene fears helping Antigone bury Polynices but offers to die beside Antigone when Creon sentences her to die. Antigone, however, refuses to allow her sister to be martyred for something she did not have the courage to stand up for.
Polynices is the only son of Oedipus Rex. Thus also his brother. Polynices appears only very briefly in Oedipus at Colonus. He arrives at Colonus seeking his father’s blessing in his battle with his brother, Eteocles, for power in Thebes. Polynices tries to point out the similarity between his own situation and that of Oedipus, but his words seem opportunistic rather than filial, a fact that Oedipus points out.
Haemon is the son of Creon who appears only in Antigone. Haemon is engaged to marry Antigone. Motivated by his love for her, he argues with Creon about the latter’s decision to punish her.
Theseus is the king of Athens in Oedipus at Colonus. A renowned and powerful warrior, Theseus takes pity on Oedipus and defends him against Creon. Theseus is the only one who knows the spot at which Oedipus descended to the underworld—a secret he promises Oedipus he will hold forever. He is well-wisher and supporter of Oedipus Rex. When Creon denies supporting Oedipus Rex in his decisions, Theseus supports Oedipus.
Chorus is a Greece concept to present chorus as character of the play. Chorus served the purpose of singing songs and briefing the audience. Sometimes comically obtuse or fickle, sometimes perceptive, sometimes melodramatic, the Chorus reacts to the events onstage. The Chorus’s reactions can be lessons in how the audience should interpret what it is seeing, or how it should not interpret what it is seeing.
The Priest of Zeus and representative of the people first appears in the prologue of the play. He visits Oedipus to state that the king should find the reason for the plague, as it is his prime duty. As the oracle stated that the disease is caused because of someone’s immorality, the Priest asks Oedipus to find that person. The role of Priest is critical as he fulfills his duty for safety and security of the people.
There are two Corinthian messengers. The first one arrives to inform Oedipus that his father, Polybus has died and that the Corinthians are waiting for Oedipus to lead them. He also revealed that Oedipus is not their real son and that a stranger brought him to the king in the past. This is perhaps the first revelation of irony that reveals how Tiresias has been correct. His role is confined to the point of the revelation of the news and identity of the herdsman. The messenger from Corinth informs Oedipus that King Polybus and Queen Merope of Corinth were not his actual parents. The messenger himself gave Oedipus as a baby to the Corinthian king and queen. He got the baby from a The ban shepherd whom he met in the woods. Oedipus’s ankles were pinned together at the time—in Greek, the name “Oedipus” means “swollenankles.”
In conclusion it can be said that a lock cannot be unlocked without akey that fits into hole. Many literatures form the lock-and-key relationship through their major and minor characters. While major characters lead the story, minor characters add the key elements of the story that would
make the story to have meaningful moments. The minor characters can be the ultimate driving force of the stories, and add intensity to the stories, which attracts the readers. Many people may think that the major characters are the ones that give the morals of the works but writers also use the minor characters to give the messages that they could not express through the major characters to the readers. As a reader finds the role of the minor character in a literature work, one may find that the character is the key that fits into the lock and is indispensable.
Who is the Father of Oedipus Rex?
Laius is father of Oedipus Rex, but this fact was only disclosed at the end of the Play.
Who was the former King of Thebes?
Laius was the former king of Thebes.
Who killed JoCasta?
Oedipus Rex killed JoCasta, who was his mother and wife later on.
Who were the daughters of Oedipus?
Oedipus has two daughters, Ismene and Antigone.
What is the name of Oedipus’ son?
Polynices is the only son of Oedipus Rex.
Who is the son of Creon?
Haemon is the son of Creon who appears only in Antigone.
Who is the king of Athens in Oedipus Rex?
Theseus is the king of Athens in Oedipus at Colonus, a renowned and powerful warrior.