Still Misunderstanding the Oedipus Tyrannos


  • Luke Howard Judkins


In modern literary analysis of Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannos, many scholars apply theories upon the play without noting or including textual scholarship or authorial intention into their criticism, resulting in anachronism and misinterpretation of the Greek tragedy. In providing criticism of the Oedipus that displays importance for historical contexts, I assert each scholar’s duty to ensure the proper continuation of the Oedipus in literary criticism so that this valuable work of art may live on respectably. Despite critics such as E.R. Dodds, who have reminded scholars of our intended focus on the tragedy, many scholars still loosely apply modern ideological theories, misinterpreting the play and ignoring key elements and conventions that compose the intentions of the tragedy. Using Aristotelian support in my argument, I provide readers and viewers of the Oedipus Tyrannos with a perspective that will consider Sophocles’ intentions for the tragedy within the context of the fifth century B.C., so we can limit misinterpretations and anachronisms in modern criticism as we encounter this work of art.