Just as Oedipus" actions made a vast impact on his own character throughout the play, they also influenced most, if not all, of the other characters. The plague terrorizing Corinth, Laios" and Jocasta's death, and the demise of the sphinx were all caused by Oedipus" actions and decisions. Not to mention how his children were affected.
The ironic thing about this play is that many of Oedipus" choices were intended to prevent suffering and were intended to protect those he cared about. Just about all of them backfired, though, and caused even more anguish. From the beginning, Oedipus knew what his fate was and spent most of the play struggling to escape it. For example, when he tells Jocasta of his decision to leave Corinth, Oedipus says "As, that I should lie with my own mother, breed And that I should be my father's murderer. I heard all this and fled." Nonetheless, Oedipus still commits both of these horrible crimes. The ultimate irony and one of the most tragic aspects of the play, however, comes from the fact that it was his unrelenting quest for the truth and for self-discovery that lead to his eventual downfall.
The tragic vision of Oedipus Rex is increased by the fact that for all of Oedipus" actions he is never the lone sufferer. Whether it be his birth parents, his children or even the villagers; all of them shared in his suffering. If Jocasta hadn't committed suicide towards the end of the play this dramatic piece wouldn't be nearly as tragic. Another scene I believe added to the tragic vision of the play was when Oedipus talked to his daughters after he had blinded himself. "And I weep for you - having no strength to see you - I weep for you when I think of the bitterness that men will visit upon you all your lives." This quote goes to show that Oedipus realizes the pain and suffering that his actions have caused within his own children. .
Northrup Fry says that tragic heroes are like inevitable conductors that are likely to be struck by lightning, and while sometimes conductors can be useful instruments, other times they can be victims of the lightning.