The Oedipus Plays were written by Sophocles and were first performed around 429 BCE. This guide includes detailed discussions of the plays Antigone, Oedipus the King, and Oedipus at Colonus. Sophocles’s cycle of plays explores themes associated with the tragic conflict arising from a paradox in human nature: a desire for freedom and power coupled with an awareness of fate (or the will of the gods). Throughout the plays, clear vision serves as a metaphor for insight into the human condition, although that insight is oftentimes limited.


See a complete list of the characters in The Oedipus Plays and in-depth analyses of Oedipus, Jocasta, Antigone, Creon, and more.

Literary Devices

Here's where you'll find analysis of the major themes, motifs, and symbols in The Oedipus Plays.

Questions & Answers

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Get ready to ace your The Oedipus Plays paper with our suggested essay topics, helpful mini essays, and a sample A+ student essay.

Further Study

Go further in your study of The Oedipus Plays with background information about Sophocles and suggestions for further reading.