This is an essential overview of this influential Greek drama, enabling students to confidently read the play in depth and understand its unique cultural status. Described as the Mona Lisa literature and the world's first detective story, Sophocles' "Oedipus the King" is a major text from the ancient Greek world and an iconic work of world literature. Aristotle's favourite play, lauded by him as the exemplary Athenian tragedy, "Oedipus the King" has retained its power both on and off the stage. Before Freud's famous interpretation of the play - an appropriation, some might say - Holderlin and Nietzsche recognised its unique qualities. Its literary worth is undiminished, philosophers revel in its probing into issues of freedom and necessity and Lacan has ensured its vital significance for post-Freudian psychoanalysis. This "Reader's Guide" begins with "Oedipus" as a figure from Greek mythology before focusing on fifth-century Athenian tragedy and the meaning of the drama as it develops scene by scene on the stage. The book covers the afterlife of the play in depth and provides a comprehensive guide to further reading for students. "Continuum Reader's Guides" are clear, concise and accessible introductions to key texts in literature and philosophy. Each book explores the themes, context, criticism and influence of key works, providing a practical introduction to close reading, guiding students towards a thorough understanding of the text. They provide an essential, up-to-date resource, ideal for undergraduate students.