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Oedipus the King | Sophocles | Public Domain
Publisher: Public Domain
Subject: Literature
Curriculum: Classic English Literature
Language: English
Classoos code: 13088
Digitization: Live text
Published: 01/01/1901

Oedipus the King

Sophocles

online textbook - Licence for 12 months
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Summary

Oedipus the King, is an Athenian tragedy by Sophocles that was first performed around 429 BC. Originally, to the ancient Greeks, the title was simply Oedipus, as it is referred to by Aristotle in the Poetics. It is thought to have been renamed Oedipus Tyrannus to distinguish it from another of Sophocles' plays, Oedipus at Colonus. In antiquity, the term “tyrant” referred to a ruler with no legitimate claim to rule, but it did not necessarily have a negative connotation. Of Sophocles' three Theban plays that have survived, and that deal with the story of Oedipus, Oedipus Rex was the second to be written. However, in terms of the chronology of events that the plays describe, it comes first, followed by Oedipus at Colonus and then Antigone.