ENG110 College of San Mateo Oedipus El Rey Play Analysis






part 1

Your post: choose any 4 questions to answer. Write about 100 words each.

  1. Who do you consider to be Oedipus’ antagonist in this play? What makes you say so?
  2. Who do you consider to be Jocasta’s antagonist in this play? What makes you say so?
  3. How do you interpret the “fate/destiny/the prophecy”? What does it represent or symbolize in this play?
  4. Why do you think Alfaro makes the sexual and emotional relationship between Oedipus and Jocasta so central to his adaptation (as opposed to Sophocles)? What do you think he wanted the audience to understand or see?
  5. Prison as metaphor…for what? What do you think Alfaro is trying to show about prison/mass incarceration, and how does he do this?
  6. Why doesn’t Oedipus believe in God? How does this compare to other characters’ faith, as shown in the play? Why do you think Alfaro is trying to convey about “faith”? What makes you say so?
  7. How do you interpret scene 26, the “resolution” scene with dialogue from the Coro and the final action described in the stage direction there? What do you find significant about it? How do you think it contributes to the message of the play?
  8. What factors led to Oedipus’s tragic ending in this play? What role, if any, does “fate” or “destiny” play in this, and how do you interpret those terms in the context of this play?
  9. Why does Oedipus kill Jocasta? What do you see as the significance of this action? What might it metaphorically represent?
  10. Which scenes in the play were examples of “pathos” for you? Explain.

Your reply:

Respond to the person who posted right before you. Discuss your reactions to their answers and offer you own thoughts. If you are the first person, you are exempt from this part.


A: Passage analysis–everyone must do this. Select a key passage and provide your analysis of it: Instruction on Close Analysis

B: Choose any 2 questions from the list below to answer. Write about 100 words to each.

  1. Examine the motif of sight vs. blindness: what is the significance of these recurring concepts in the play? What point is the author trying to make through his use of this motif?
  2. Pride/arrogance can be 2 sides of the same coin. In the original play, it is often said that Oedipus’s “hubris” [Greek word for arrogance] and his belief that he could outwit the prophecy causes his downfall. How is the pride/arrogance of our Oedipus el rey treated in this play? To what extent is it portrayed in a negative or positive light here? Is it a “tragic flaw” or a redeeming quality? Both?
  3. How do you interpret Tirisius: How does the play portray him and what makes you say so? Is he a “tragic hero”?
  4. How do ideas about family and inheritance impact Oedipus? What does he “inherit”? What does he lack in terms of family? How does this impact him?
  5. The theme of faith/beliefs/religion runs throughout the play: What point does Alfaro seem to be making about it and what makes you say so?
  6. What other themes/motifs/symbols do you see in this play and how do they contribute to the message of the play?

Your reply:

Reply to TWO CLASSMATES POSTS. EVERYONE MUST DO THIS. If you post early and no else has posted here, feel free to reply in yesterday’s discussion thread instead. (I will still give you credit). Wednesday Discussion: Analysis of the play Part 1