Discuss the meaning of power and powerlessness as it applies to Oedipus.

1) Is Oedipus a helpless victim of fate, or were there ever times when he could have acted to prevent his
downfall? Was Oedipus made to do what the oracle had prophesied, or is he responsible for his own destiny?
2) Discuss the meaning of power and powerlessness as it applies to Oedipus. Consider the following questions: What is his blindness symbolic of? Is he powerless by his blindness, or is his newfound blindness a
powerful means for him to finally understand his own fate? Which Oedipus is more powerful: the one who
didnt know his fate (at the beginning of the play), or the one who now knows (by the end of the play)? 3) In
what sense may Oedipus be regarded as a better, though less fortunate, man at the end of the play? What has
he gained from his experience? 4) In many works of literature a character has a misconception of himself or his
world. Destroying or perpetuating this illusion contributes to a central theme of the work. Which characters in
Oedipus Rex could be examined through this lens? Discuss what the characters illusion is and how it differs
from reality, and then explain how the destruction or perpetuation of the illusion contributes to the meaning of
the work.

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