The Hand of Oedipus: The Network of Body Imagery in OT



This article aims to demonstrate how Sophocles uses the concept of hand (in Greek χείρ, pronounced khēr) and other body parts thematically throughout Oedipus Rex (OT) and how this merges into Oedipus’ investigation of the murder he committed himself. To illustrate the effect of this theme on the original audience’s experience of the drama, I substantiate my study with modern cognitive theories of memory, lexical salience and priming effect. Thus I hope to show how Sophocles consciously plays with the spectator’s mind throughout the performance, in order to make way for a new imagery, hands, within the story of Oedipus.