Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles, illustrates certain elements of tragedy while it portrays qualities of loyalty, compassion, and bravery. Throughout the tragedy, Oedipus encounters many situations where he demonstrates these qualities that mankind today has yet to improve on. Although Oedipus is a good noble man, he suffers the tragic fate that he is destined to bare.
As Oedipus first appears in the play, he stands before his people (the Thebans) and sees them in despair. Compassionately, Oedipus speaks to a priest to seek out an answer for the Thebans" misery. Then, the priest replies and speaks of the plagues that are causing the Thebans" suffering. Answering his people, Oedipus, shows his first sign of compassion through his words:.
Oedipus. Poor children! You may be sure I know / All that you longed for in you coming here. / I know that you are deathly sick; and yet, / Sick as you are, not one is as sick as I. / Each of you suffers in himself alone / His anguish, not another's; but my spirit / Groans for the city for myself, for you. (Sophocles 116).
Soon Kreon returns from Delphi baring information about the plagues. Kreon relays the message that Apollo has sent him to tell Oedipus, "by exile or death, blood for blood. It was / Murder that brought the plague-wind on the city (Sophocles 116). Next, Oedipus .
vows to discover the identity of the murderer of Laios in order to lift up the evil that is plaguing his country. It is from his compassion that Oedipus makes this vow; sympathy for the Thebans lives and well being is the deciding factor for Oedipus" choices.
From Oedipus" compassion, he is able to demonstrate his loyalty to the Thebans. Oedipus is loyal to his word and to his people. When the Kreon returns with the information about the plague on Thebes, Oedipus displays his loyalty to his people by making the vow to discover the killer of Laios. As the play ends, Oedipus discovers the truth about him and the tragic fate that he has to suffer.