Oedipus Rex or Oedipus the King

What was the social and political context of the play in its time? What sociocultural relevance does the play have in 2012?

Oedipus Rex

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Ancient Greek audiences would already know the background, and in fact the entirety, of the Oedipus story. Therefore what makes this particular play so great is its ability to present this material in an evocative and powerful manner, in order to nullify the reality that most of the audience already knew its contents. Modern audiences might recognize the name Oedipus from Sigmund Freud's famous "Oedipus Complex" - particularly his theory that young boys lust after their mothers and see their fathers as competition for their mothers' favors. This theory springs from Jocasta's comment that killing your father and marrying your mother are the kinds of things men often dream of (981). Freud's theory has been hotly debated and, indeed, is currently dismissed by most classical scholars – though the fact that the issue remains the subject of much psychological debate is proof that the Oedipus story continues to be powerful even thousands of years after the advent of Sophocles' play. I think that also today the theme of blindness as a metaphor for refusing to see the truth is important.