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Oedipus the King was written by Sophocles in 425 B.C. This play was one of the greatest tragedies of all time. Oedipus's downfall is due to both fate and freewill. Yes, it was fate that Oedipus was to kill his father and marry and have children with his mother, but it was his freewill that led him to this fate. His arrogant, aggressive and stubborn personality pushed him right down a path that complied directly with his pre-ordained fate. Thebes had been struck by a plague. The people were very sick and when they went to the priest to help, he told them that only the king could save the city. So, they all turned to Oedipus for their salvation. Oedipus then has Creon his brother-in-law go to speak with the oracle of Delphi. When Creon returned he told Oedipus that the reason for the curse that had fallen on Thebes was because the person who killed Liaus was still living in the city.He told him that Oedipus must get that person out of Thebes and take his revenge out on him. Creon goes on to finish what the oracle has told him and starts to get to the point in the story where he is about to say that Oedipus is the murderer, when Oedipus completely loses his temper and starts screaming that Creon is a traitor and is committing treason and he wants him exiled and put to death. His wife comes in and puts a stop to this, considering that Creon is her brother. This is just the first of many instances where Oedipus' arrogant and aggressive personality inhibit him from putting a stop to or trying to do anything to fight the prophecies that he keeps being told from coming true. After this confrontation with Creon he decides...
pages: 3 (words: 799)
comments: 1
added: 04/29/2011
The authoritative presence in Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound was Fate. Some might argue that it was Zeus, but in fact it was very much Fate that had control, which Prometheus himself knew. Zeus, like his father, Chronos, knew his fate of demise and tried to save himself. It is apparent that despite Fate's inevitability, many Greek heroes chose to fight it rather than give up. Fate predicted in Oedipus the King that Oedipus would kill his father and marry his mother, but both he and his parents fought to prevent this from happening. Teiresias, the blind prophet, told Oedipus that he would not want to know the truth in the end, and tries to withhold the vital information he knows. Teiresias also warned Pentheus in The Bacchae to heed Dionysus's new religion and not to anger him for this new god will be great in the future, but his advice falls on deaf ears. Zeus tried to battle Fate by demanding that he gets things his way. His father, Chronos was told that one of his children would bring about his end. He tried to avoid this prophesied defeat by swallowing his children when they were born. However, Rhea, his wife, asked for help from Gaia, her mother, to bear a child in secret. This child was Zeus. After the Titans overthrew Chronos, Zeus overthrew the Titans with the help of the Hundred-Handers. The Titans had overthrown Chronos despite his preventative measures. Zeus's demanding character helped him get what he wanted in being the divine ruler of all the gods. When he wanted Io, she came to him for fear of displeasing the supreme divinity. When he heard of Prometheus's knowledge of Zeus's downfall, he sent Hermes to inquire of Prometheus's knowledge of how this would happen. Prometheus said, "So shall at last the...
pages: 6 (words: 1590)
comments: 0
added: 12/25/2011
In Oedipus the King and King Lear, both main characters, as well as some minor characters, experience not only physical blindness, but mental blindness as well. King Lear, Gloucester, and Oedipus are "blind to the truth" in the beginning of the plays, and then experience some form of catharsis, the spiritual purging of emotions. In the end of the plays, all the blind characters gain the ability to "see". In King Lear, Lear is mentally blind. Before he divides his kingdom, Lear asks his three daughters to profess their love for him, "Tell me, my daughters / …which of you shall we say doth love us most" (Shakespeare. I.1.52-56). This is one of Lear's downfalls, his overweening pride, or hubris, he wants to put on a show and have his daughters boost his ego in front of an audience. Lear's two oldest daughters, Goneril and Regan fill his head with false praises, pulling the blindfold over Lear's eyes; when Cordelia professes her love for him, "I cannot heave / My heart into my mouth. / I love your Majesty / According to my bond; no more nor less" (Shakespeare. I.1.101-102), Lear is oblivious that Cordelia's love is true and honest; he is blind. Lear disowns Cordelia, and when his friend, Kent, tries to convince Lear that he was wrong to disown his most caring and loving daughter, Lear, once again unable to see the truth, banishes Kent as well. Lear's physiological blindness is his ultimate downfall. Once Lear has realized his mistake in Act III, "Filial ingratitude! /…O Regan, Goneril! / Your old kind father, whose frank heart gave all! / O, that way madness lies. Let me shun that; / No more of that" (Shakespeare. III. 4. 17-24), it is too late. When Lear realizes what his children have done...
pages: 5 (words: 1314)
comments: 1
added: 11/05/2011
The plays Hamlet and Oedipus the King are very similar in some ways and different in others. However, the similarities between the two seem to be more prominent. The main similarities between the two fall under the categories of incest, murder, suicide, and the displacement of blame. They are both very similar in that they both have incest. However in Oedipus the King, the incest is more generally known. The whole community realizes that Oedipus killed his father and slept with his mother. In Hamlet, the incest is only regarded as disgusting by Hamlet. The rest of the community accepts their marriage as normal. Murder is the motivation behind the character's actions in both plays. In Oedipus the King, the play begins because the community is supposed to find and surrender the former King Lauis's murderer to the gods to stop the plague. In Hamlet, the plot begins with the appearance of the ghost of former King Hamlet who reveals his brother murdered him. This is the main motivation of Hamlet's actions throughout the rest of the play. It is not until the end of the play that his father's death is actually avenged. However in Hamlet there are many murders that occur throughout the play. In Oedipus there is only one murder that becomes the focus of the play. In Hamlet, the king's murder causes other murders to take place in indirect ways. Because Claudius killed King Hamlet, young Hamlet must avenge his father's death. In doing so, he takes his anger out on other people and kills Polonius and is ultimately but indirectly responsible for some of the other murders in the play....
pages: 1 (words: 275)
comments: 1
added: 08/11/2011
Oedipus Sophocles is perhaps one of the greatest tragedians ever. Sophocles said that a man should never consider himself fortunate unless he can look back on his life and remember that life without pain. For Oedipus Rex, looking back is impossible to do without pain. This pain stems from his prideful life. Oedipus is aware that he alone is responsible for his actions. Oedipus freely chooses to pursue and accept his own life's destruction. Even though fate victimizes Oedipus, he is a tragic figure since his own heroic qualities, his loyalty to Thebes, and his fidelity to the truth ruin him. Oedipus' pride, strung from his own heroic qualities, is one factor that ruined him. A hero prizes above all else his honor and the excellence of his life. When his honor is at stake, all other considerations become irrelevant. The hero valued strength and skill, courage and determination, for these attributes enabled the person who possessed them to achieve glory and honor, both in his lifetime and after he died (Rosenburg 38). Oedipus was certainly a hero who was exceptionally intelligent though one can argue that killing four men at Phokis single-handedly more than qualified him as a physical force of reckoning. He obviously knew his heroic status when he greeted the supplicating citizens of Thebes before the palace doors saying, I would not have you speak through messengers, and therefore I have come myself to hear you - I, Oedipus, who bear the famous name(Sophocles 1088). Oedipus is guilty of Hubris- that is, that he is too sure of himself, too confident in his own powers [and] a little undermindful of the gods (Brooks 573). Oedipus, a hero of superior intelligence, also displays this uncompromising attitude in his fealty to Thebes. Oedipus' loyalty to Thebes is another factor that...
pages: 4 (words: 928)
comments: 0
added: 12/30/2011
Background to Oedipus the King In ancient Athens, plays were performed at the Festival of Dionysus (Bacchus), and were performed competitively; three playwrights would present four different plays each (a trilogy of tragedies and one satyr play, or comedy), and then a panel of judges would determine the winner. As part of a religious festival, plays were not merely entertainment, but served to heighten the religious mood. Tragedies centered on worthy protagonists: great men whose fall could be a lesson to audiences. These tragedies were always based on stories the audiences already knew, relying on presentation, eloquence, and acting rather than surprise to captivate. A good modern comparison might be a religious pageant such as a Passion Play at Easter. A key device in such plays is dramatic irony ­ the audience knows the outcome of the story, but the character does not, making his statements or choices ironic and dramatic in the eyes of the viewers. Plays were performed in open-air amphitheaters that could seat up to 17,000 people. There may have been scenery; a skene was a temporary building that served as a backdrop, and pinakes were movable painted panels. Actors were always men, and they wore elaborate robes and painted masks that presented the characters' most typical facial expression. Plays were expensive to put on, and so were produced by wealthy members of society much the way they are today. The Oedipus myth goes back as far as Homer and beyond, and sources vary about plot details. The play that Sophocles presents is merely the very end of a long story, and some plot background must be provided to make the story understandable for modern audiences. The real myth begins a few generations before Oedipus was born. The city of Thebes was founded by a man named Cadmus, who slew...
pages: 30 (words: 8111)
comments: 0
added: 02/11/2012
The play Oedipus the King by Sophocles is a good example of a classic tragedy as defined by Aristotle. He defined a tragic hero as a man not preeminently virous and just, whose misfortune, however, is brought upon him not by vice or depravity, but by some error in judgment…the change in the heroes misfortune must not be from misery to happiness, but on the contrary, from happiness to misery". He further expanded this definition by giving an outline of the classic tragic hero basing this on Sophocles' Oedipus Rex. Aristotle felt that a good tragedy should have a hero who is superior to the average man in some way, yet tragically flawed in another, and whose destiny turns out not to be ultimately his to control. Sophocles' characterization of Oedipus suggests that he is a tragic hero according to Aristotle's notion as stated in his book the poetics. Oedipus was superior not only because of his standing in life i.e. as a king, but he was also of superior intellect. He possesses the superiority of mind and body that characterize the heroes of ancient Grecian society for example Odysseus. He continued to show this characteristics during the play, and it can be seen clearly right from the beginning when the priest says "…Thebes long since to thee her safety owed, when from the sphinx delivered thy grateful people saw thee, not by man, but by the gods instructed, save the land…"(249). Here, he is praised by the priest for delivering his people out of the hands of the sphinx. Oedipus had outwitted the sphinx that had plundered Thebes for many years, by solving the riddle that no other man could unravel. This shows that his intellectual prowess was unmatched by anyone else in the society. Thus, the people of Thebes...
pages: 3 (words: 624)
comments: 0
added: 12/31/2011
man unwittingly moving ever closer to the unhappy fate he is struggling mightily to avoid. Fate in Oedipus Rex Do you think that fate controls the lives of everyday people, or do you think someone's actions control their lives? In the play, Oedipus Rex, fate played an important role in the lives of the characters. . In order to avoid their predestined fate, the main characters took every precaution to avoid their predetermined destinies. The queen, Iocasta, and her son, Oedipus, both tried to escape what Teriresias, the oracle, told them, however, it would eventually come back to haunt them. [Fate controlled the lives of the characters in this play...] NEW THESIS When queen Iocasta found that she and king Laius were to have child, she went to consult an oracle for guidance. However, Teriresias had a devastating prophecy that their first born son would kill the king his father, and marry his mother. In order to prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled, the king upon the birth of his son pierced the baby's feet with an iron pin to prevent the baby from using his feet. The king ordered a shepherd to abandon the child in the mountains, to be left to die. [The shepherd, in spite of his order from the king, gave the baby, instead, to one of his friends, a herdsman from Corinth. The herdsman gave the baby to his master, the king of Corinth. It was with this family that Oedipus grew up not knowing his real family or the fate that awaited him.] AVOID SUMMARY!!! As Oedipus became a young man, he went to consult the same oracle that his biological mother queen Iocasta did. Teriresias the oracle told Oedipus the same prophecy that he had previously revealed to queen Iocasta, his mother. Oedipus, in order to escape his...
pages: 10 (words: 2586)
comments: 0
added: 01/14/2012
The downfall of a hero follows from his very nature. In Sophocles play, Oedipus the King, the playwright focuses on a man named Oedipus, the king of Thebes, who is trying to discover the truth about his past. When he was born, his parents learned from an oracle that their child would someday be the cause of their death. Believing the oracle, they abandoned their infant son with the intention of killing him. However, without their knowledge he is rescued and raised by another couple. After many years, Oedipus visits a different oracle and is informed that one day he will kill his father and sleep with his mother. He flees his home for fear that he is a danger to his parents safety. The frightened Oedipus travels to Thebes, but on the journey he becomes engaged in a quarrel. He kills King Laios and Laios' men not realizing that the king is his biological father. Af ter reaching Thebes he becomes the new king by solving a riddle and lifting a plaque from the city. Oedipus quickly marries a woman named Iocaste, the queen, and together they have four children. In Thebes the murder of the old King Laios remains unknown, a plaque is again placed upon the city by the gods. Oedipus, being the new leader of Thebes, pledges to discover the identity of the murderer so he can end the disaster. In his searching, Oedipus discovers that he is the murderer of the king and eventually discovers that Iocaste is really his own mother. In a Greek tragedy the hero is a character amply capable of choices, capable, too of accepting the consequences. Whether Oedipus' sufferings are due to a flaw of character or to an error of judgement, we discover that his downfall results from acts for which he himself is responsible. Oedipus is responsible for his own downfall. Through anger he lost control of his actions. On his way to...
pages: 4 (words: 859)
comments: 0
added: 02/19/2012
For most people, with differing religious backgrounds and beliefs, the words “homosexual” and “Christian” do not mesh. The church body as a whole does not recognize homosexuality as being consistent with Scripture, and leaders within the church provide extensive evidence as to why they have come to this conclusion. The Bible is used as their main source for refuting the gay lifestyle, and many Christians would argue that homosexuality is aiding the breakdown of the family structure in our society. While the evidence against homosexuality seems biblically based and compelling at first glance, a closer examination of the biblical context shows something somewhat different. People must also take into account the recent advances in scientific research regarding homosexuality, and question whether or not sexual orientation is truly a choice. Fortunately, many denominations are taking an active stand in support of gay and lesbian rights. There are churches headed by gay ministers; and in some places, same-sex unions are being provided as well. Perhaps in time, more churches will follow their example. In order to model what Jesus taught in the Bible, we are called to love God above all, but also to love our neighbors as well. Whether or not an agreement concerning the sinfulness and morality of homosexuality is made, there must be a recognition that we all share a common humanity and can learn and grow by building each other up – no matter what sex, nationality, age, religion, or sexual orientation a person might be. he major arguments against homosexuality are based on verses found within the Bible. Each of these verses should be reviewed and discussed. The story of the destruction of Sodom in Genesis 19:1-25 is referred to frequently. God had sent two angels to the city of Sodom and they took shelter in the home...
pages: 12 (words: 3026)
comments: 3
added: 03/16/2011
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