One of the oldest tragedies that has survived throughout history is Oedipus Rex. The tragedy of this story is the fact that Oedipus’s mother, Jocasta, and Oedipus himself both tried to avoid two tragic prophecies and yet the prophecies still came true. While looking at the structure of this tragedy we can often see this problem in real life. We often feel that we are in a good place in life, stable and fortunate, yet when something comes along that threatens to that we do anything to stop it. In the act of trying to stop the road block we end up creating an even more devastating one.
“Apollo caused all this dismay but it was I alone, not, he who struck my eyes. What good are they when there is nothing sweet to see?/I could not disagree.” We see that Oedipus finally has realized what he has done to the fullest extent and while he may still be mourning he owns up to what he has done. People often don’t own up to what they have done and yet those around them do. The people who view the tragedy from the outside often feel sympathy for those experiencing the tragedy, seeing as life isn’t easy.
There are two different roles in a tragedy those who are observing it and those who are experiencing it. While everyone does at one point or another experience tragedy, they often forget what it feels like. The tragedy Oedipus Rex and many others help the audience remember what it feels like to be on both sides of tragedy and it creates a catharsis for the audience as well.