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“Critical thinkers” have the dispositions and abilities that lead them to think .. well as beliefs as the end point of a process of critical thinking (Ennis ; Bailin et al. .. tests of critical reading and evaluation and of critiquing an argument. Observational abilities require an understanding of the difference.

Disease imagery and physical forms of corruption is shown by Oedipus Oedipus states Chorus states Tiresias mocks Oedipus by saying Jocasta leaves the stage for the last time saying Tiresias says to the entire court Tiresias reveals the irony between him and Oedipus by posing the question. Jocasta mocks the gods with the question Jocasta returns on stage when Oedipus is distressed and states The stage actions of Jocasta being The chorus state towards the end of the play Messenger poses this question towards the end of the play - challenges the concepts of justice and the nature of the gods.

Creon gives this instruction to Oedipus at the end of the play - symbolises the end of Oedipus' rule and the complete downfall he has had. Dodds describe the play as being Links into a key theme. Dodds says that we All you need to do is read the play, underline every appearance of a knife in Macbeth , and then list them in your essay in the order they appear, right?

Well, not exactly. In the Macbeth example above, think about the different contexts in which knives appear in the play and to what effect.

A Critical Analysis of the Play Oedipus the King by Sophocles

In Macbeth , there are real knives and imagined knives; knives that kill and knives that simply threaten. Categorize and classify your examples to give them some order. Finally, always keep the overall effect in mind. Is the society depicted in good for its citizens? You might be asked to judge a character or group of characters Is Caesar responsible for his own demise? For this kind of essay, there are two important points to keep in mind.

Every literary essay expects you to read and analyze the work, so search for evidence in the text. What do characters in have to say about the government of Oceania? What images does Orwell use that might give you a hint about his attitude toward the government? As in any debate, you also need to make sure that you define all the necessary terms before you begin to argue your case.

You should define your terms right up front, in the first paragraph after your introduction.


  1. SparkNotes: The Oedipus Plays: How to Write Literary Analysis.
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  4. A Concise Literary Analysis for Oedipus the King.
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Second, remember that strong literary essays make contrary and surprising arguments. Try to think outside the box. But can you think of any arguments for the opposite side? Even if your final assertion is that the novel depicts a cruel, repressive, and therefore harmful society, acknowledging and responding to the counterargument will strengthen your overall case. Your introduction sets up the entire essay. A persuasive literary essay immediately establishes its writer as a knowledgeable, authoritative figure. An introduction can vary in length depending on the overall length of the essay, but in a traditional five-paragraph essay it should be no longer than one paragraph.

However long it is, your introduction needs to:. Your introduction should situate the reader and let him or her know what to expect. What book are you discussing? Which characters? What topic will you be addressing? Why is this topic important, and why is your particular position on the topic noteworthy?

Literary essays make unexpected connections and reveal less-than-obvious truths. Beware of the two killer words in literary analysis: interesting and important. You know what? It actually sounds pretty amateurish. Another typical mistake student writers make is extolling the work or author.

Keep your introduction streamlined and to the point. The organization of this middle section of your essay will largely be determined by the argumentative strategy you use, but no matter how you arrange your thoughts, your body paragraphs need to do the following:.

A good topic sentence not only alerts readers to what issue will be discussed in the following paragraph but also gives them a sense of what argument will be made about that issue. Body paragraphs are like bricks: each individual one needs to be strong and sturdy or the entire structure will collapse. Make sure you have really proven your point before moving on to the next one. Good literary essay writers know that each paragraph must be clearly and strongly linked to the material around it. Think of each paragraph as a response to the one that precedes it.

A good conclusion will:. In your introduction, you made a case for why your topic and position are important. You should close your essay with the same sort of gesture. How will that knowledge help them better appreciate or understand the work overall? Your essay has most likely treated a very specific element of the work—a single character, a small set of images, or a particular passage. In your conclusion, try to show how this narrow discussion has wider implications for the work overall. A conclusion should open up your highly specific, focused discussion, but it should do so without drawing a sweeping lesson about life or human nature.

The Oedipus Plays by: Sophocles.

The Power of Fate in the Oedipus Trilogy

Themes Motifs Symbols Key Facts. Writing help How to Write Literary Analysis. Introduction When you read for pleasure, your only goal is enjoyment. Contents 1. Ask questions 2. Collect evidence 3. Construct a thesis 4. Develop and organize arguments 5. Write the introduction 6. Write the body paragraphs 7. Write the conclusion. Take a deep breath and start by asking yourself these questions: What struck you?

Audiences today expect character exploration and development as an essential part of a play or a film. But Aristotle declared that there could be tragedy without character — although not without action. The masks worn by actors in Greek drama give evidence of this distinction. In Oedipus the King , the actor playing Oedipus wore a mask showing him simply as a king, while in Oedipus at Colonus , Oedipus appears in the mask of an old man.

As Sophocles saw him — and as actors portrayed him — Oedipus displayed no personality or individuality beyond his role in the legend. The point of the drama, then, was not to uncover Oedipus' personal motivations but to describe the arc of his fall, so as to witness the power of Fate. In his plays, Shakespeare also created tragedy that revolved around a heroic character who falls from greatness. But Shakespeare's heroes appear fully characterized and their tragedies develop as much from their own conscious intentions as from Fate. Macbeth, for example, pursues his goal of the throne ruthlessly, with murderous ambition.

When the witches' prophecies, upon which he has based his hopes, turn out to be just as misleading as any oracle's pronouncement at Delphi, the audience is more likely to blame Macbeth for his heartless ambition than to bemoan his fate with him.

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In contrast, Sophocles' hero — even with his tragic flaw as Aristotle terms it — maintains the audience's sympathy throughout the drama. The flaw of his character represents less a vicious fault and more a vulnerability, or a blind spot. Oedipus' brilliance, then, is matched by his overconfidence and rashness — a habit of mind that makes him prey to the very fate he wishes to avoid.

Significantly, Oedipus' desperate attempt to escape Fate arises not from ambition or pride, but from an understandable and pious desire to live without committing heinous offenses. Prudently, he decides never to return to the kingdom where the people he believes to be his parents rule. But when an overbearing man on the road nearly runs him down and then cuffs him savagely, Oedipus rashly kills his attacker, who turns out be his father. So, just as he thinks himself free of his fate, Oedipus runs right into it — literally, at a crossroads. In Oedipus the King , Oedipus displays his characteristic brilliance and overconfidence in what he regards as his heroic search for the murderer of Laius.

He pursues the mystery relentlessly, confident that its solution will yield him the same glory he enjoyed when he answered the riddle of the Sphinx. Oedipus' self-assurance that he has taken care of his fate blinds him to it and begins the fall that will end in his literal blindness. Thus he becomes the victim — rather than the conquerer — of Fate. In Antigone , Creon also displays a blind spot.