The Oedipus Plays (SparkNotes Literature Guide)

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The Oedipus Plays

Antigone, Oedipus Rex, and Oedipus at Colonus


Smarter Better Faster

The Oedipus Play

  • Featuring explanations of key Themes, Motifs, and Symbols including:
Graves and Tombs The Priority of Unwritten Law

Suicide Oedipus’s Swollen Foot

Seeing and Blindness Antigone’s Entombment

  • And detailed analysis of these important characters:




Created by Harvard students for students everywhere, SparkNotes give you just what you need to succeed in school.

Each SparkNote contains:

  • Complete Plot Summary and Analysis
  • Key Facts about the Work
  • Analysis of Major Characters
  • Themes, Motifs, and Symbols
  • Explanation of Important Quotations
  • Author’s Historical Context
  • Suggested Essay Topics
  • 25-Question Review Quiz

Join millions of students at where you’ll find over 1000 study guides on history, poetry, philosophy, mathematics, physics, and chemistry. Post questions, get help from other students, and browse the most recent additions to the SparkNotes collection.

Spark Publishing’s Literature Guides are celebrating their 5th Anniversary! To celebrate this, we’re giving out TOP 50 a revamp by adding some exciting new features.

There will be sixteen pages devoted to writing a literary essay including:

  • Glossary of literary terms,
  • Step by step tutoring on how to write a literary essay
  • Feature on how not to plagiarized.

Each book will also include an A+ Essay; an actual literary essay written about the Spark-ed book, to show students how an essay should be written.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781411403604
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 6/11/2007
  • Series: SparkNotes Literature Guide Series
  • Edition description: Updated
  • Pages: 88
  • Sales rank: 522,606
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Context 1
Greek Theater 1
Antigone 2
Oedipus the King 2
Oedipus at Colonus 3
Plot Overview 5
Antigone 5
Oedipus the King 6
Oedipus at Colonus 8
Character List 11
Analysis of Major Characters 15
Oedipus 15
Antigone 16
Creon 17
The Chorus 18
Themes, Motifs & Symbols 21
The Power of Unwritten Law 21
The Willingness to Ignore the Truth 21
The Limits of Free Will 22
Suicide 23
Sight and Blindness 23
Graves and Tombs 24
Oedipus's Swollen Foot 24
The Three-Way Crossroads 24
Antigone's Entombment 25
Summary & Analysis 27
Lines 1-416 27
Lines 417-700 30
Lines 701-1090 33
Lines 1091-1470 35
Oedipus the King
Lines 1-337 37
Lines 338-706 39
Lines 707-1007 41
Lines 1008-1310 43
Lines 1311-1684 45
Oedipus at Colonus
Lines 1-576 48
Lines 577-1192 50
Lines 1193-1645 52
Lines 1646-2001 54
Important Quotations Explained 57
Key Facts 63
Study Questions & Essay Topics 67
Study Questions 67
Suggested Essay Topics 70
Review & Resources 71
Quiz 71
Suggestions for Further Reading 76
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Customer Reviews

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( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 9, 2009

    Crazy play, totally worth it

    The theme of tragedy is at its most poetic in this play. What actually happens is seriously messed and I would probably off myself too but really, it was wonderful and compelling. It broke my heart and made me question why bad things happen to people who don't deserve it.

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