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The Oedipus Plays of Sophocles – Philosophical Perspectives - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Oedipus Plays of Sophocles: Philosophical Perspectives

Paul Woodruff


Among ancient Greek plays, the Oedipus plays of Sophocles have been especially interesting to philosophers. Much of the action in each play centers on the oscillation of the main character between self-deception and self-discovery. Other important themes of the plays include destiny, responsibility, aging, and death. Oedipus Tyrannus brings out the interplay between character and fate as Oedipus seeks a malefactor who turns out to be himself. Oedipus at Colonus shows the same man, now in old age, approaching the death for which he has been destined, struggling for self-acceptance and serenity ... More

Keywords: Sophocles, Oedipus, tyrant, self-knowledge, aging, death, oracles, character, fate, serenity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780190669447
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190669447.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Paul Woodruff, editor
Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin