Abstract

While few in number, scenes that feature Oedipus reveal an internal trajectory that misleads audience expectation concerning the scene in which he grieves for the deaths of his sons. The inaugural scene in which Oedipus curses his sons signals the epic to be a reification of the myth and creates anticipation for the conflict. Where the character of Oedipus is read through previous iterations, most especially Euripides’s Phoenissae, the expectation of his grief distorts interpretation of his curse. Statius, however, incorporates a Senecan influence, whereby Oedipus will be pleased with the deaths of his sons, which misleads reader expectation for his reaction.

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