REBUS: SYMMETRY–WORK OF
1 REBUS: SYMMETRY IN A WORK OF ART (E.g., Oedipus)
In the case of Oedipus’ rebus, we can think at first of the explicit rebus, the rebus, the question the Sphinx puts to Oedipus. (About the man, in pictures). This rebus is solved by Oedipus. He will become the king and not a dead man (unlike other men before him, who could not guess the solution). Oedipus will be (in this case), victorous, and the Sphinx dies. But, - as we know – essentially – Oedipus is the real loser. This rebus is important. But it is only a prelude: the "game" between Sphinx and Oedipus is a micro-variation before the great game of Fate. In the continuation of this real "game"/ quasi-struggle, the oracle appears, from the birth of Oedipus, along every basic stage of his life, (very much like as in the former Sphinx-rebus.) Every oraculum has all the properities of rebus. Oedipus, the self, the man, the king and mainly a cripple, beggar is at the heart of this "puzzle"/ "mystery". His fate, all career, and his name (Oedipus: gummy-legged, swollen-legged) equally hint at these oracles.
The rebus-es are symmetrical, however different look on the surface, and the multiply symmetries in the structure of the play (of the work of art). E.g.: the parallels/repetitions of the several oracles; the repetition/parallels of the meaning and visual figure of rebus, embodied. (The "Sphinx"- figure is the picture of rebus.). The "Oedipus-complex" is not only an drama-poetical and psychological point. This is a figure of the man’s Fate, and the (figuratively) point of symmetries, too.
2 REBUS: SYMMETRY OF ELEMENTS
In the myth and in the play (works of art) Oedipus rebus is multiplied. (Rebus of Sphinx; the figure of Sphinx, oracles, all Oedipus-fate etc.). These several rebuses are elements/ motifs of the work of art, but at the same time every single one includes the totality of the work, too. This totality is also an advantageous, secret way, "voyage" in time and in space (stages of life, Thebes, Colonus, etc.) The line of this way is hidden, itself is "rebus", too. There is a via, or rather a labyrinth. Similar to the line of Theseus, or other variations of it. There are basically important some symetrically points: the entrance and the way out; the possible of aberration or finding his way out. Both in a literal sense and figuratively as well.
This symmetrical alternative (unavoidable choice) is the question of
life or death. At the same time it is paralell with the double-possibility
of other rebuses. This dichotomy is the same in all rebus (riddle,
enigma, mistery etc.): whether the hero/heroine can find the solution
(key, way out) or not. The question and answer, the task and solution,
guessing could be by word, phrase, picture, diagram. The common essence
is in the ancient figures (circle, square, serpent, several kinds of crosses,
3 REBUS: SYMMETRY, INTERPRETATION - HEURISTICS
The quoted figures, - as a "holy geometry" - are some special interpretation,
too. As the work of art solves the universal rebus (mistery etc.), other
kinds of the interpretations as in plays from reading to performance and
analysis are essentialy "interpretations of interpretations".
These hypothetical, symmetrical characteristics in the elements and
total work of art; and in several ancient signs and cods, and their interpretations
share the common basic problems of Heuristics. The "rebus" is an
example, maybe means, of demonstration.
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Fontana, David (1953) The Secret Language of Symbols, Duncan Baird Publishers.
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