Talk:Oedipus Rex

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Present Tense?[edit]

Shouldn't all the events of the play be stated in present tense rather than past tense? Ex: "Oedipus learns that..." instead of "Oedipus learned that..."

It depends. See this Wiki article: Historical present. Oxcross (talk) 12:07, 26 June 2016 (UTC)

Accusation of Tiresias[edit]

Does Oedipus actually accuse Tiresias of killing King Laius? In lines 393-396 of the Robert Fagles translation, it reads:

OEDIPUS (to Tiresias): You helped hatch the plot, you did the work, yes, short of killing him with your own hands--and given eyes I'd say you did hte killing single-handed.

It seems more appropriate to say that Oedipus accuses Tiresias of conspiring to kill King Laius or something. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.119.11.254 (talk) 04:03, 25 September 2007 (UTC)


Fagles' translation is not in the least faithful to the Greek. Oedipus does accuse Tiresias. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pandaros (talkcontribs) 12:29, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Moved from main page[edit]

It seems a little trivial for an encyclopedia article. Oedipus the King retold in 154 personalised licence plates (Here is a sourced link) http://web.archive.org/web/20041126095113/http://www.physics.upenn.edu/~heiney/jokes/oedipus.html

  • This doesn't seem to be worthy of inclusion. It really doesn't help someone understand the story. I'm inclined to delete it, but it is on the talk page so I will give it some time. Mat334 18:37, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Is the availability of a DVD irrelevant?[edit]

Having visited the Shakespeare on Screen page, I am rethinking how this information should be presented without mentioning the DVD format. Rick Norwood 14:32, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

I think the place for the information about the production out on DVD is a page to parallel Shakespeare on screen, Tragedy on screen. Rick Norwood 00:06, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

Two tragic heros?[edit]

That statement about how incest is Jocasta's punishment for trying to prevent her husband's murder is interesting because then in her struggle and death she too might be seen as a tragic hero. Theshibboleth 09:42, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Oedipus in the Iliad[edit]

Here is what the Samuel Butler translation says, "Mecisteus went once to Thebes after the fall of Oedipus, to attend his funeral, and he beat all the people of Cadmus." That is not quite what the paragraph in this article suggests, but I don't read Greek, so I do not know if the word translated as "fall" only means "fall in battle" or if it can also mean "fall from power". If the latter, then this passage does not conflict with the events in this play, though it does conflict with the events in Oedipus at Colonus. Can someone who reads Greek clear this up? Rick Norwood 15:42, 4 December 2005 (UTC)


Hearing no response, I'm moving this to the article. Rick Norwood 14:16, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Oedipus Rex[edit]

I was under the impression that Oedipus Rex was the most common name for the play. Should(n't) the article be there? —Vivacissamamente 11:41, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Both titles are popular. I don't think it matters which one is used. - Ravenous 20:02, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Technically "Oedipus the King" is more appropriate in English than "Oedipus Rex". "Oedipus Rex" is the Latin title, which is commonly used but ungood; the play is, after all, written not in Latin but in Greek, so "Oedipus Rex" is no more appropriate in English than "Oedipus der Koenig" or "Oedipus le Roi" would be.

The Greek title, incidentally, is "Oedipus Tyrannus", or more correctly "Oidipos Tyrannos". "King" is the best rendition of "Tyrannus", even though "Tyrannus" actually means a certain kind of king, namely one who obtained his throne in an extraordinary or extra-constitutional way rather than by regular succession, and even though the usual Greek word for king is Basileus. So "Oedipus the King" is better than "Oedipus Rex".

Actually "King Oedipus" would be the best rendering in English, but there would be no sense in using it here because it's not a common rendering. Tom129.93.16.177 (talk) 23:56, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

For a more thorough explanation of this problem, see the section below (on this page) entitled "Oedipus Rex" with quotation marks. That section, plus the above post from Tom, should explain everything. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 129.93.16.177 (talk) 00:01, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

sources incorrect[edit]

<quote>Often missed by those reading the play is that the famous prophecy regarding Oedipus's fate has changed. Whereas Oedipus is told that he will murder his father and wed his mother (ln 752-57), his parents were only told that their son would murder his father (ln 676-78). It is because Jocasta tried to thwart fate and murder her own son that the penalty of incest was added to the prophecy; the sin belongs to her and not to Oedipus.</quote>

The lines refernced, according to wikisource are incorrect

Often Missed?[edit]

The article says 'often missed is the prophecy about Oedipus' blah blah blah. Often missed? Its basically telling us that most of the readers miss the major part of the entire story. Has been changed...

"Oedipus Rex"[edit]

Sophocles' play is very often referred to by the name "Oedipus Rex." This is a relic from a time when Latin was the lingua franca of the literary world, and it makes no sense at all for use in English: Sophocles wrote in ancient Greek, and "rex" means king in neither English nor Greek. Therefore, an English-speaking person's referring to Oedipus the King as "Oedipus Rex" would be like a Greek-speaking person's referring to Attack of the Clones as "L'attaque des clones."

I removed this from the article for now. We probably could make this point in the article, however - I'd like to avoid the "no sense at all" type of comments and star wars references in making it. - Ravenous 20:21, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm just passing through, but I'll comment. Oedipus Tyrannus was the name that Sir George Young (1837-1930) gave the play in his translation. According to the edition I'm reading from, it's truer to the transcribed Greek tyrannos, though the edition is still published with a big Oedipus Rex on the cover. On an unrelated note, the second messenger relates the news of Jocasta's death and Oedipus rendering himself blind, not the chorus. I'm going to be bold and change this second detail. 68.228.27.186 02:15, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
My copy of Penguin Classics The Theban Plays (first published 1947) goes for King Oedipus - just how many names for this play are there? Timrollpickering 12:14, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
The thing is that, because, as someone pointed out above, Latin was used in literary criticism for a long time, especially in the Classics, this play was known as Oedipus Rex for over a century. Many people know it by that name, even if they haven't read it yet. I know that I did. The title is correctly translated as "Oedipus the King" or, even better, "King Oedipus." But the article ought to mention the alternative title, if only to remove any confusion from readers who are looking for the play under that title. I think that the title of this article ought to be more helpful in this regard. It should read Oedipus the King (Oedipus Rex). I tried to change it but I guess I don't know how. If anyone wants to, they ought to try. The first line of the article is helpful, giving the alternative title, but I think it should be in the actual title of the article, to be more helpful to readers not that familiar with this masterpiece. 66.108.105.21 16:51, 7 December 2006 (UTC) Allen Roth
I don't think we should change the title, I do however recommend changing the "Oedipus Rex" page to redirect to this instead of the Opera, and perhaps adding a paragraph about the title controversy (just not the "makes no sense at all" one from above). - Ravenous 21:12, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Acually Aristotle did'ent state that the Oedipus Rex is the best play, or something like that. He only use it, as a rolemodel and as the tragedy, which have the perfect combination of the different kind of trait, which all the other tragedy have in common

Analysis[edit]

It seems that this section is original research and should be deleted. --In Defense of the Artist 05:05, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

The section was tagged as {{unreferenced}} on Dec 1 2006; no references have been supplied since then, and the interpretations seemed idiosyncratic. I deleted the section. --Akhilleus (talk) 05:15, 2 February 2007

Agree, this analysis section is a bit dopey....

Page move[edit]

This article should be moved to Oedipus Rex. "Oedipus Rex" is by far the most commonly used and recognized title, as shown by a simple Google search. I will proceed with the move if there is no significant protest. --DLandTALK 05:49, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

I think a request at WP:RM might be a better method. I don't think the Google searches are as straightforward as they might seem at first glance. --Akhilleus (talk) 05:52, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
I hope that I don't sound anarchical by saying this, but the WP:RM process is traditionally bypassed in cases of uncontroversial moves (unless an admin is needed to move over a redirect, etc.). I would have moved the article already, but I wanted to run it by the article's more regular editors. Note that the strongest argument made on the talk page in favor of keeping the current title is "I don't think it matters which title is used." --DLandTALK 13:47, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
I wouldn't say Oedipus Rex is "by far" the most common. Both are in the hundreds of thousands of results on google, and a chunk of the Oedipus Rex results are for derivitive works, films etc. If you include the keyword "Sophocles" in the search to help narrow it down to just this play, Oedipus Rex just barely edges out Oedipus the King with 8% more results. While I think that either title would be fine, I think it's probably futile to change it. They are both very common names for it, and someone is bound to come along and change it back in a month or two. I do recommend that Oedipus Rex be redirected to this instead of the opera though. - Ravenous 15:45, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Ravenous; the Google searches don't tell us that one name is overwhelmingly more popular. That's why I recommended going to WP:RM, although I'd be prefectly happy if the page stayed here. --Akhilleus (talk) 16:22, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

I see this article still hasn't been moved to 'Oedipus Rex' from 'Odeipus the King.' Was there a WP:RM decision to keep the Odeipus the King title? IMO, 'Odeipus Rex' is the best name to use. —Christopher Mann McKaytalk 17:06, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't think anyone bothered to take any action. I don't really see why any action is needed; Oedipus the King is a very common title for this play in English, and it will become more so. Fewer people know Latin these days, and it's hard to see why we should use a Latin title for a Greek tragedy anyway... --Akhilleus (talk) 17:10, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

While I agree that Oedipus Rex is how the English-speaking world knows the play, shouldn't there be some uniformity amongst Greek tragedy articles? I.e., most of the Greek tragedies (e.g., Prometheus Bound) go by their English title, yes? Specialists might be comfortable with Prometheus Lyomenos, but most would only recognize Prometheus Unbound. I haven't familiarized myself with the ins and outs of rerouting, but I'm sure a search for Prometheus Unbound could be directed to an article more accurately titled Prometheus Lyomenos. Maybe that's the way to go? If we want authenticity then it should be Oedipus Tyrannus. Yes, I know that's a Latinized rendering of Oidipous Tyrannos: but come on. There are limits. Ifnkovhg 00:26, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Well why not redirect it to the original Greek script then? No; the title is Prometheus Unbound in English. What this article's title should be is still in dispute, I suppose. Adam Bishop 00:56, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Merge Prophecy and Fate sections?[edit]

They're kind of two sides of the same coin, aren't they? plus, the secondary scholarship is light. A healthy dose of E.R. Dodd's "On Misunderstanding the Oedipus Rex" (that might be a paraphrase -- I'll find it) is needed here to address the modern prejudice that Oedipus was just a puppet thrust into events beyond his control. In myth, oracles exist to come true. In that sense they, like fate, merely predict the final outcome -- neither oracles nor fate force the final outcome. Ifnkovhg 05:18, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Since this page isn't getting the 24/7 monitoring it deserves, I'm going to introduce my rewrite of a single oracles/fate section. The Rush Rehm quotation provided, while accurate, does not really address the free will question that plagues modern readers. The articles only a stub-class, I figure. How much harm can I do? Why do I feel I will regret that question?Ifnkovhg 06:28, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Have merged them, added a couple more ferences, edited down the quotes. Seems much more coherent now, and I don't think there are any wild bits of analysis that still lack citation. --Orias (talk) 15:29, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Did Oedipus really do it?[edit]

Do we really need this section? Ahl's idea is interesting, but it's definitely not an idea that many scholars agree with, and the article really ought to concentrate on widely held interpretations. --Akhilleus (talk) 05:56, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

I'll submit to the will of the collective; I just thought that, since the idea has been kicking around since Voltaire and given the theory's outlandishness, it might deserve a mention. Particularly since (when I came upon it) the article was looking pretty slight, content-wise.Ifnkovhg 05:12, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Oh, well, if Voltaire said something about it, then perhaps the idea's more significant than I thought. If it becomes a small section in a more richly-developed article (it looks like you're adding more sections), then I don't see a problem with it. --Akhilleus (talk) 14:40, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

What about the scars on his ankles, though? Could that be coincidence? Perhaps Sophocles put that in there to insure that Oedipus' parentage would not be in question. There is one scene where the spepherd asks him something like, "Haven't you ever wondered where those marks on your ankles came from?"

And then all of a sudden a light seems to go on in Iocaste's head, and she's like, "No, don't ask!"

SwedishConqueror 01:32, 11 October 2007 (UTC)SwedishConqueror

I removed this short paragraph that was under the title "Oedipus did do it?" 69.40.251.72 02:31, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
"Although the claims in the paragraph above are true, if they plot was meant to be that he had killed his father and married his mother than that is the plot. It is obviously what Sophocles wanted to happen in his play therefore that it what shoiuld happen. Also although the info the speculations stated above are reasonable, there is a chance that there was a survivor that Oedipus had not known about. Also, maybe the attnedent had been so traumatized that he was confused as to what really happen. In the translation of the play, it states that the attendant left the court because he was so traumatized. Maybe he too knew about Oedipus being given away at birth and realized the prophecy had come true thus leaving the court. Thus leading to Jocasta's and the"

Please see my "Oedipus or Oedipais?" section in the Oedipus entry. It should explain the perceived plot holes re: Oedipus' scarred ankles' escaping anyone's notice. 75.81.184.120 06:40, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

I wrote the previous comment, but forgot to sign in. Sorry. Ifnkovhg 06:41, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

How does any of this cast doubt on Oedipus' incest? You can question the patricide all you want (although I have reservations about whether it should be in this article) but it's pretty clear that Jocasta is still Oedipus' mother. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 199.89.180.65 (talk) 08:22, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Who moved my cheese?[edit]

I don't want to get into a thing, but somebody removed the fate section, and I'm not sure why. It's a major theme in the play and should be dealt with. I'm giving you people pearls, here ;) Ifnkovhg 06:41, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

The section was removed in this edit [1], because the editor who removed it felt the section violated the no original research policy. I think the section is worth keeping, but it should make more explicit reference to scholarship on the topic--more recent stuff than E.R. Dodds, too. --Akhilleus (talk) 16:09, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

i myself have a copy of oedipus rex in my hand. its was printed by prestwick house literary touchstone classics. it is an unabridged version, on the back it says item no. 200564, the cover is a bronze colored actor's mask, with a yellowing light shining through the eye sockets. im not sure what else i need to say about the information regarding the specific book. let you all know im not making this up. A single man is left to venture ahead in case of groups of bandits. oedipus is obviously not a bandit, and he continues to look forward. he is not a warrior and does not choose to face him, implied in the fact he didn't engage oedipus. this point is raised in an article about the story by socrates. my point has hopefully put enough doubt on this point to make it excluded from the article. i am aware that there is a call of the information, but it belongs on a discussion of oedipus himself, not the story which doesn't actually bring up that conflict in all translations. ill get the quote later. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.115.7.220 (talk) 23:26, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Further Reading-Ramfos[edit]

Hello. I am suggesting the following book as Further Reading on the Oedipus the King page: Ramfos, Stelios. Fate and Ambiguity in Oedipus the King. Boston: Somerset Hall Press, 2006. ISBN 0972466193. Disclosure: I am the publisher of this book. To avoid overstepping conflict of interest guidelines, I am bringing this up on the talk page. I believe this book adds to the scholarly discussion of this topic. Stelios Ramfos is a prominent modern Greek philosopher. More info about this book and other books by Ramfos is available on Amazon.com. Look up Stelios Ramofs (alternative spelling Ramphos). I'll avoid further marketing language here. ;) Thank you for your consideration. Summer612 (talk) 18:04, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

The Sphinx a Character?[edit]

The character list includes the Sphinx... why? I am removing this. --Orias (talk) 15:29, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

And Laius? He's Dead! --Orias (talk) 15:32, 15 February 2009 (UTC)


Why not an "adaptations" section[edit]

I think there should be a section on film and operatic adaptations, rather than a "see also" section, and it ought to include a reference to the film version directed by Saville and starring Christopher Plummer and Orson Welles. Indeed, whoever listed Laius as a character (see above) was probably thinking of that version, in which the killing of Laius appears as a flashback.

There might also be a section on notable translations. Tom129.93.16.177 (talk) 23:37, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

conditional/unconditional oracles.[edit]

This is a big can of worms, but what the hell.

I know there is scholarship that defends the position (endorsed in the article) that Laius' oracle is unconditional and Oedipus' oracle is conditional. But there are also arguments to the contrary: Laius' oracle is conditional (and therefore avoidable), but Oedipus' oracle is absolute (and unavoidable). The second argument, I think, finds more support in the text:

Laius' oracle was: hôs auton hexoi moira pros paidos thanein/ hostis genoit' emou te kakeinou para. "[He was told] how the fate would take him to die by a child, whosoever would be born by me and him."

It seems to me that, reworded, the above is a future more vivid condition: If a child is born from you and him, the fate will take him to die by the child. This fits nicely with the fact that, in all versions of the myth, he is warned against having children before Jocasta's pregnancy. [2]

Oedipus' oracle was: eipe gar me Loxias pote/ chrênai migênai mêtri têmautou to te/ patrôion haima chersi tais emais helein. "For Loxias once told me that it was fated that I marry my mother and take my father's blood with my hands."

This oracle has no conditional force at all. The infinitive chrênai "to be fated, necessary" suggests the opposite. In this light, Laius comes off worse for siring a child when he was told not to, and Oedipus is made more pitiable for suffering his inevitable fate. His own actions ironically hasten this fate.

I'm not going to edit, but I thought I would bring it to your attention. Ifnkovhg (talk) 02:49, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

To make it into the article, your argument (which I find quite plausible) needs to be cited to a secondary source. Indeed, the article ought to be a summary of the major positions taken in scholarship on the OT, rather than a sketch of the "right" interpretation of the work. --Akhilleus (talk) 03:36, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

I decided to incorporate the stuff I talked about. I'll add references tomorrow. Bedtime. Ifnkovhg (talk) 05:46, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Texts & editions[edit]

While I see a nice long list of translations, might someone work up information about editions of the Greek text (including those on-line)? It would be nice to have a short bit on the mss history of the play, e.g., how well known is the original text? ABS (talk) 00:28, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

blinding[edit]

Do you see any symbolism in the way in which Oedipus blinds himself? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.191.115.68 (talk) 16:47, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Yeat's Translation of O.T.[edit]

I've done a lot of work on Yeat's translation of O.T. and his isn't really a translation, but an adaptation of Richard Jebb's text. Yeat's didn't have Greek, or at least he claimed to have forgotten all of his Greek. He did get a scholar to help him with some parts of the play, but by and large it was a reworking of Jebb's text. The 1957 Guthrie film used Yeats' text.

Does Yeats really count as a translation if Jebb's text is his primary source rather than the play proper?

And then does the 1957 film need to be said that it too is working from the original by using Yeats' text? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pandaros (talkcontribs) 11:53, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

Photo reversed?[edit]

The Ingres portrait, and the one at Oedipus complex, while different paintings, are sufficiently similar as to make it obvious that one of the photos is reversed. I have no idea which, though. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 05:17, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

Anachronistic reference to Theban plays[edit]

The Theban plays consist of three plays according to 20th and 21st designation which was unknown to Sophocles: Oedipus the King (also called Oedipus Tyrannus or by its Latin title Oedipus Rex), Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone. All three plays concern the fate of Thebes during and after the reign of King Oedipus. They have often been published under a single cover. Sophocles, however, wrote the three plays for separate festival competitions, many years apart. Not only are the Theban plays not a true trilogy (three plays presented as a continuous narrative) but they are not even an intentional series and contain some inconsistencies among them. He also wrote other plays having to do with Thebes, such as the Epigoni, of which only fragments have survived. FelixRosch (talk) 16:12, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Move to Oedipus Rex (redux)[edit]

Having rarely heard the title given as anything other than Oedipus Rex, I decided to check Google ngrams for English-language occurrences. Looks like Oedipus Rex is about twice as common as Oedipus the King, and the latter's popularity might have been inflated by the number of books in which the phrase appears just once, in order to explain the Latin title, or in the text of the play, where the Latin title wouldn't be used even if the play itself is called by its Latin name. In other words, it's possible that most of the entries for "Oedipus the King" occur within publications under the title Oedipus Rex, although the reverse is probably not true to any significant extent. In works published from the 1960's to the 1980's, Oedipus Rex is even more ubiquitous, so I think it's safe to say that this is how the great majority of English speakers know the play today. I also checked Œdipus Rex and Œdipus the King, but neither produced a significant number of entries.

Given that Oedipus Rex remains the most common title in English by a wide margin (how wide depends on the extent to which "Oedipus the King" also appears in publications titled Oedipus Rex), should this article be moved to that title? Wikipedia policy has a clear preference for the "most common name" in English-language articles (the original language of the play isn't a factor in this policy). Titles may vary from that policy if there's a good reason, but I don't think the fact that many other Greek plays are known by translated titles is a good enough reason; the consistency with which the titles of plays in foreign languages are translated seems much less important than the fact that the play is usually known as Oedipus Rex in English. I also note that there may be a very good reason why the title isn't usually translated: the phrase "[name of king] Rex" is/was sufficiently familiar in the English speaking world for most people to know what it means, even today, which wouldn't be the case with many other plays with Greek or Latin titles (excluding those consisting solely of the names of mythological figures). P Aculeius (talk) 13:12, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

I agree that it should be moved to Oedipus Rex. DagSkaal (talk) 04:22, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
As we seem to have consensus, I've made some edits to the article to reflect the common name. However, as a page move is blocked by the redirect page, I'll post this at "Requested Moves". P Aculeius (talk) 15:12, 31 October 2016 (UTC)

Picture/Lead sentence[edit]

A little discussion seems warranted here as the current infobox picture has been replaced twice in the last 24 hours, and the discussion of the title in the lead sentence revised.

The current picture was added to the infobox in 2009, at which time the article had no illustrations at all (there had been a nice picture beginning in 2006, but it was removed in an act of vandalism and never restored; when I discovered that yesterday I placed it later in the article, where there weren't a lot of pictures). The picture depicts a classic portrayal of the title character by an actor, which seems like a very suitable illustration for a play. Yesterday, the image was replaced by a painting of the mythological characters occurring in the play; today by an Attic vase painting, with some objections to the original picture given in the edit summary: that the picture was old, that it was posed, that contemporary actors aren't made up like that anymore, and that it was Dutch.

None of these seem like particularly good objections to the picture that's headed the article for the last eight years. I think we can ignore the notion that being a from Dutch production of Oedipus somehow makes it a bad choice for English Wikipedia. That it's an old picture, or that it's posed, don't seem particularly relevant either, considering that one of the key points of an article such as this is that the play is timeless, and has resonated with audiences across the ages. That current practices in costume and make-up differ from those of a century ago seems slightly relevant, but I'm not aware of any guideline that says that portrayals of dramatic roles by actors need to depict current or even recent production standards. Surely insisting that the picture be replaced because it doesn't match the way plays are currently produced would require us to judge the value of historic interpretations of drama, and risk violating NPoV; we don't try to replace pictures of Shakespeare being performed in Renaissance dress with actors in lounge suits. But if the argument is that a "more modern" portrayal is preferable to one from a century ago, then I fail to see how a Renaissance painting or an Attic vase painting are an improvement on an actor dressed as Oedipus.

Visually, the actor portraying the anguish of Oedipus in the final scenes of the play is striking in a way that a thumbnail of a large painting, or a thumbnail photo of a vase painting, are not. In the latter cases, the figures are small and difficult to identify without clicking on the pictures for more information. They can both be good illustrations for an article like this, but they don't make better infobox pictures than a portrait of an actor made up as Oedipus. I would say that the picture used from 2009 to 2017 should be retained, both because it's a perfectly good representation of the play (even if more recent productions use different costuming and makeup), and because it's a better choice than a large painting of multiple figures from mythology (not even a depiction of the play being performed) in thumbnail size, or a picture of a Greek vase on which the same figures are portrayed. It's also been a stable illustration in this article for a very long time, which is not unworthy of consideration.

With respect to the lead sentence, the play is referred to by three titles today: Oedipus Rex is the most usual title in English; Oedipus Tyrannus is found as an alternative in many cases; and the play is sometimes referred to as Oedipus the King. It's not necessary to eliminate one of them because having three is too lengthy; this can be easily stated in one sentence. It's also unnecessary to state that one of the titles was "the original" (or to distinguish in the lead between "Oedipus" and "Oedipus Tyrannus" since the play is hardly ever referred to simply as "Oedipus" in English, due to the ambiguity of that title), and the emphasis on "original" here seems to be to suggest that one of the alternative titles should be preferred over the most common name, which violates NPoV. Oedipus Rex is the most familiar title in English, and has been for a very long time; that's why it's the article title and the first one given in the lead. The lead says nothing about this being in any way "better" than Oedipus Tyrannus (the distinction between Oedipus and Oedipus Tyrannus is discussed in the body of the article). It's not our place as Wikipedians to imply that one of these alternatives is preferable to the other, which is what "original" seems to do when added to this sentence. P Aculeius (talk) 14:50, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

In good faith, P Aculeius, you misrepresent what I said, the words I used, and the point that I made. I object to that. It is improper to misrepresent a fellow editor. To be clear: I do not object to anything for being Dutch, that would be offensive of me if I did as you indicate. You also misrepresent my few words in other places in your verbose comment. I object to those instances as well. It is a fallacious straw man argument to put words into the mouth of another and then argue against such a position as if that were a person’s true position. I’m not going to attempt to argue against a fallacy, I’m only going to point it out. According to academic sources the original title of this play was probably simply “Oedipus” — that is what the sources say, and those sources use the word “original”. And the original one-word title is used in important academic works published in this century. It is a disservice to wikipedia not to include a title that is not only considered original, but is also in current use. Oxcross (talk) 16:00, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
Apologies if I misread your intent, but your edit summary, which I was recalling from memory, was "better image, contemporary with Sophocles, significant historic image (rm posed non-performance photo posing in a Dutch performance style jarringly out of date and unreal", in which it appears that you're objecting to it being being a "Dutch performance style", which doesn't seem any more relevant than it would if it were an "American performance style" or a "British performance style". As for its being "jarringly out of date" this seems to be your judgment that only a contemporary style would be appropriately representative of an ancient Greek tragedy; why? Were the theatrical devices of the late 19th century less worthy representatives of Sophocles' intent than today's makeup and costumes are? As for its being "unreal", we're talking about a costumed stage drama; if realism is the criterion, then it's far more "real" than an actual performance in Sophocles' time would have been, since his actors would probably have been wearing masks.
But more importantly, even if the illustration is clearly from an older style of theatre, it's perfectly recognizable as an actor playing an anguished character; an image that clearly evokes the emotional power of the scene far better than a static vase painting or a renaissance painting, neither of which depict the play at all, and both of which are just as "posed" and "non-performance" as the image you want to replace. Not to mention that the images are much smaller since they both depict mythological scenes, rather than just a representation of Oedipus himself.
I'm not arguing that the original title wasn't simply Oedipus. I'm saying that the discussion of what Sophocles called it or might have called it at different periods of his career and why it's usually called Oedipus Rex, Oedipus Tyrannus, or Oedipus the King today doesn't belong in the lead sentence. It's discussed in the body of the article in as much detail as necessary (and if you think more is necessary, go ahead and add it). But again, your own words were, "the king is old and stale and not needed -- too many titles." At the risk of being "verbose" again, it's a common English title, and it was only just a few months ago that the article itself was moved from that title. The play isn't generally referred to as just Oedipus today, because there are other plays to which that title could apply; without context it's ambiguous.
A detailed discussion of the origin and history of the title belongs in the body of the article, not in the lead. If you replace a common title that the play is known by in English with one that it's generally not known by, and designate that as the "original" title, then the lead appears to suggest a preference for one of the titles over the other, as if you're saying, "the real title is...", which isn't the case. Wikipedia doesn't decide whether Oedipus Rex is a better or worse title than Oedipus Tyrannus or whether both should be jettisoned in favour of the "original" title. This isn't a matter of content; the fact that Sophocles didn't distinguish it from other plays when he wrote it is perfectly appropriate in the body of the article. It's a matter of emphasis, and that's the problem with placing the word "originally" in the lead sentence, where there's no room for detailed disussion. It appears to take sides, which is what Wikipedia isn't supposed to do. P Aculeius (talk) 17:34, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

Again, P Aculeius, you are ascribing to me ideas I don’t hold. I have already pointed out a specific instance, you have apologized, but yet you carry on in the same fallacious manner of ascribing to me ideas I don’t agree with. I assume you act in good faith, but you should try not to do this. Oxcross (talk) 15:39, 8 March 2017 (UTC)

If you don't wish to be misinterpreted, then perhaps you should find a way to express your ideas clearly instead of accusing me of being unfair to you. Apart from the edit summaries quoted above, all you've said about the two topics of discussion here is that before Sophocles wrote Oedipus at Colonus, Oedipus Rex was simply called Oedipus, and that you consider it a "disservice to wikipedia not to include" it because that title is in current use.
But as previously stated, the original title is already mentioned and explained in the very same paragraph. And I think it's inaccurate to say that "the original one-word title is used in important academic works published in this century" or that it is "in common use". What might possibly be the case is that contemporary writers first identify the play as Oedipus Rex, Oedipus Tyrannus, or Oedipus the King, and then subsequently refer to it as Oedipus, since the subject has already been identified by a less ambiguous title. After all, Aeschylus, Euripides, Achaeus, Nichomachus, Xenocles, Caesar, Seneca, Dryden, and Voltaire all wrote plays simply titled Oedipus, and even if you first identify the play as "Sophocles' Oedipus," there's still ambiguity, since you could be referring to Oedipus at Colonus. But in this case, it's still not necessary to change the lead sentence to exclude a title that is used today and include one that is not, solely because it's possible to refer to the play as Oedipus for short, after first identifying which Oedipus you mean. P Aculeius (talk) 14:01, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

I am not all concerned that you’re being unfair to me, I don’t think you have been. I may object to a fallacious argument, but people use them all the time, and I think the best thing for any editor is to be tolerant, and to understand that that kind of thing may not be right and proper, or constructive, but those people may be acting with the best of intentions, and may not even be aware. When you suggest that I have accused you of being unfair to me, that is not true. I never said said such a thing. The Straw Man Fallacy, P Aculeius, seems to be the only string in your banjo. The problem with the repeated use of a fallacy is that it trashes discussions. Oxcross (talk) 17:37, 10 March 2017 (UTC)

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