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In this view, Oedipus's only wrong action was attempting to thwart fate, which only caused him false hope. Thus, this interpretation of the story suggests that fate is supreme, cannot be changed, and is the guiding rule of humans' life. In fact, this view even goes as far as to imply that humans do not have free will -- all is at the mercy of fate.
But James Gould points out that if Oedipus is a tragic hero than he must have a tragic flaw. McHugh agrees with that statement, suggesting that the story does suggest that Oedipus does not have free will and is controlled by fate, but that he also has a tragic flaw that ends up getting him into trouble For McHugh, that flaw is pride. She argues that Oedipus has the same inflated opinion of himself that afflicted other tragic heroes. McHugh describes this pride by…… [Read More]
Oedipus: A King of Multiple Archetypal Meanings, as well as Multiple Tragedies
"hat walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and on three legs in the evening?" In answering the question to the Sphinx's riddle with the word 'man,' "Oedipus the King" of Sophocles seals his fate. He will marry the widowed queen of Thebes, having unwittingly dispensed with his father during a roadside brawl. Perhaps because the answer to this riddle so perfectly embodies Oedipus' own struggle, this character's answer has a special poignancy for the reader or viewer of the play. Oedipus began his life crawling on all fours as one of the lowest of babes, retrieved by a shepherd shortly after being abandoned at birth. In the noontime of his life, he was raised high as a king, standing on two legs. Then, after being exposed as a parricide and of having engaged…… [Read More]
Both men suffer, and both men have to continue living with that suffering, while losing the people they care about the most. That tragedy is even more apparent in Dove's work, with the misunderstanding about Augustus and what he managed to do in the plantation house. His fate seems more tragic, somehow, because he is being commended for something that he did not do, and is being treated as a hero when in fact he is nothing of the sort. He will have to live up to that reputation in the slave community and it is clear that he will not be able to continue that pretense for very long.
In conclusion, both of these plays use the central theme of incest for different purposes. Dove uses it to illustrate the enduring images of slavery, relationships between blacks and whites and how they were skewed, and how slaves were abused…… [Read More]
Sophocles writes, "Tiresias: That's your truth? Now hear mine: honor the curse your own mouth spoke. From this day on, don't speak to me or to your people here. You are the plague. You poison your own land" (Sophocles, 2004, p. 47). Each of these men has positive qualities, but their tragic flaw outweighs these qualities, and leads to pity and their downfall in the end. In addition, their tragic ends have tragic consequences on those around them, which is another element these two works have in common.
It is interesting to see the similarities in the plotting of these dramas as well. Essentially, they follow the tragic character from a turning point in their lives to the culmination of their problems and how they choose to face them. Their families and loved ones are left behind to sort out their lives without them, while they take the "easy" way…… [Read More]
In this sense, the time and setting of these two plays are less significant because each of the two addresses universal questions of fate, destiny, free will, and the meaning of life, which are as current today as they were over 2000 years ago, when Oedipus Rex was written, for instance.
The arker Face of the Earth reflects many of the themes and plot elements that also occur in the ancient Greek play by Sophocles entitled Oedipus Rex. In both cases, although the protagonists are faced with challenges by the powerful forces of destiny, their fate is direct consequence of their choice regarding the exercise of free will. Both Augustus and Oedipus are victims of their own bloody choices. Because their actions are no longer controlled by rational thought, they exercise their free will poorly hence they must accept the consequences of their actions and suffer the painful fate that…… [Read More]
The Better King: Oedipus or Creon?
"Oedipus Rex," a play by Sophocles, details the life of Oedipus as the tragic king of Thebes. Oedipus, whose greatest flaw was his obsession to control and know his Fate, experienced suffering in the most extreme manner: his insistence to control his Fate has led him to murder his father, take his own mother as his wife, and eventually blinded himself as an act of penance from his sins and faults.
Despite these explicit displays of weakness, Oedipus demonstrates far better leadership skills than Creon, his friend who had taken over Thebes after the event of his tragic downfall and descent towards madness and blindness. While still the leader of Thebes, Oedipus displayed a fair sense of justice, which became more pronounced when he dealt with the case of Laius's murder. His insistence to seek all means possible to track down the…… [Read More]
Analysis of "Oedipus the King"
"Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18, NIV)
Pride is a destructive force that has been recognized as such since the beginning of recorded time. People are subject to it because, as generally selfish creatures, humans put themselves above others. Of course, as a person matures he or she will usually lose much of this me first attitude, at least publicly, but it remains in part because it is difficult to completely deny self. This undeniable fact, that pride does indeed precede, a fall is evidenced by many ancient writings one of the most profound and remembered being the story of Oedipus. He was a king who could not let a simple matter end, and the result was that he lost almost all that had been given to him. The story can easily be analyzed based on the Fitzgerald…… [Read More]
11- 3). The Chorus' summations are necessary for continuity in the play, answering any questions or expounding upon certain thoughts or themes. The Chorus has the last word in the play, leaving a lasting impression with the audience, which includes a message of desolation to all. The Chorus says, "Let none / Presume on his good fortune until he find / Life, at his death, a memory without pain" (Exodus. 298-300). These are examples of how the Chorus reinforces what the audience may already be thinking. The Chorus connects certain aspects of the play and emphasizes Sophocles' themes.
The resolution of the play is harsh. This, of course, makes the play a tragedy but the extent of the pain Oedipus suffers is monumental. e can say he was headstrong and perhaps deserved something for his arrogance but the circumstances are so bizarre it is no wonder the man took out…… [Read More]
Although he fled from the humble people whom he thought were his parents, after he heard of his destiny, it was to no avail.
Thus, the play "Oedipus the King" suggests that even if one acts morally, the individual still will fulfill his or her destiny, because that is the nature of fate. Creon says to Oedipus at the play's beginning, "now the god's command is plain: / Punish his takers-off, whoe'er they be." Because of the suffering that was his unavoidable destiny, Oedipus must punish himself. He mutilates himself and ostracizes himself from Thebes, according to his own proclamation.
Job, like Oedipus, is not a witting criminal at the beginning of the Biblical book he bears his name. Job is prosperous and respected, like Oedipus, and a man who "was blameless and upright, one who feared God, and turned away from evil." (1:1) but fate moves against Job, as…… [Read More]
Oedipus is at once a King of courage and judicial propriety, and also one in whom there is a tendency toward pride. Underlying it all, however, lays a great and secret blemish that awaits his discovery. It is through this secret mark - a birthmark of sorts - that fate, or the fates will eventually lead him to his downfall. It will be his character traits of courage, honesty and integrity, however, in combination with an ego and pride that are more closely related hubris that will actually bring about his inevitable acts of self-destruction via free will. In many ways, Oedipus was created as a perfect specimen through whom Sophocles could effectively deliver one of the most dramatic of ancient Greek tragedies.
ith generous measures of irony Sophocles provides tantalizing situations intended to hold the attention of the audience that knows the secret blemish of Oedipus long before he…… [Read More]
Oedipus is one of the most famous names in Greek mythology. His name has become both a psychological complex as well as a familiar joke. His story has come to be a synonym as well for the capriciousness of fate. But a truer picture of the character of Oedipus suggests that, rather than being an unwitting victim, Oedipus a clear hand in his own demise. Despite its reputation, Sophocles' play "Oedipus the King" is a tragedy of character rather than of an innocent condemned by fate. Oedipus' tragic flaw his confidence and his arrogance that he understands what is happening to himself and his city. Of course, Oedipus really understands nothing.
The play begins by Oedipus, king of Thebes talking to his "children" or citizens, bemoaning the fact that Thebes is now under a plague. (ines 1-5, source from iterature and Ourselves) The priest tells Oedipus, "Now we pray to…… [Read More]
e learn that women are very dependent on the men in their lives for social standing.
Creon is more sympathetic than Oedipus. hile he is very straightforward, he does not express the same opinions for Oedipus that Oedipus does to him. hen Oedipus does not hear the answer he wants, he becomes arrogant and then tells Creon he is not a good friend. He even goes on to accuse him of being "evil incarnate" (II.111). Creon actually tries to change Oedipus' mind while Oedipus is nothing but a man on a mission and no one should get in his way. Creon does not change his position throughout the entire play and from this, we can gather that Creon is more stable than Oedipus.
Antigone acts as she does because she firmly believes in her cause. She is a hero because she refuses to change her position. She acts the way…… [Read More]
When debating the question if Oedipus is fortune's fool, a pure victim of fate, or responsible for his own density, a reader might be tempted to pose his or her instinctive argument in favor of fate. Firstly, in terms of plot structure, Oedipus actively resists the destiny foretold to him by the Oracle of Delphi. Like a good son, Oedipus tears himself away from the bosom of the adoptive family he calls home, namely the shepherd and his wife he has come to call a father and a mother, to avoid killing his father and marrying his mother. Yet despite this active resistance, the future King of Thebes ends up marrying his biological mother and killing his father without knowing he was doing such a thing.
Also, secondly, the plague that afflicts the city of Thebes is brought on by Oedipus' actions, yet the king condemns the man…… [Read More]
According to the traditional interpretations of classical drama, Oedipus the King was brought down by the gods or fate because of his pride, egoism and arrogance, which the ancient Greeks called hybris (hubris). His father King Laius left him exposed to the elements on a mountainside when he was three days old because he believed the prophecy that his son would murder him then marry his mother, so he imagined that he was saving his own family line from disgrace. Yet when he met his son on the road to Delphi many years later, he and his chariot driver were treated him in a very rude and contemptuous manner, so Oedipus killed them, without even knowing who Laius was. Neither man was willing to give way on the road, and would not tolerate the insults of the other, so the old prophecy was fulfilled. Oedipus goes on to become…… [Read More]
Thus, Oedipus' reference to his cursed birth at what is very nearly the end of the play refers back to the very opening lines of the Argument by repeating the image of the prophesied birth, but this time the characters are seeing that image with the same clarity as the audience.
The cursed nature of Oedipus' marriage is highlighted by Jocasta's death, because after learning the truth about her and Oedipus' relationship, she goes "straight to her marriage-bed" and hangs herself there after lamenting "o'er the marriage-bed / here, fate-abhorred, a double brood she bare" (Sophocles 103). The repeated references to the marriage-bed included in the account of Jocasta's death fits within the plays larger focus on the conflation of familial roles, because the bed itself marks a physical location of this conflation; this bed is likely where Oedipus was conceived in the first place, and it marks the spot…… [Read More]
Oedipus the King by Sophocles. Specifically, it will explain how the suffering brought upon others by Oedipus contributes to the tragic vision of the work as a whole. Oedipus is the classic tragic hero, as he not only adversely affects his own life, he is the instrument of suffering for many of the other characters surrounding him in the play. His tragic flaw, or hamartia, is a fatal mistake that flows from a hero's character, and this tragic flaw continually affects those around him, and ultimately leads to his downfall, and the tragic ending of this play. Tragedy surrounds everything that Oedipus does, and ultimately no one in the play can survive when Oedipus touches their lives.
Oedipus' tragic flaw is his rashness. He does not think things through before he acts on his rash impetuousness, and this continually affects those around him. From the moment he slays the traveler…… [Read More]
Oedipus Exemplifies or Refutes Aristotle's Definition of a Tragic Hero
Aristotle's, the Greek philosopher definition of a tragic hero and tragedy has been influential since he set these definitions down in The Poetics. These definitions were viewed as important during the Renaissance, when scores of writers shaped their writings on the works of the ancient Rome and Greece. Aristotle asserted that tragedies follow the descent of a tragic hero or a central character, from a noble and high position to a low one. A tragic hero posse some tragic flaws, which cause his, fall from fortune, or turnaround of fortune, and to some point, the tragic hero realizes that his own mistakes have caused the turnaround of his fortune. Aristotle also noted that the tragic fall of a hero or a central character in a play stirs up fear to the audience or the reader given that the audience sympathizes…… [Read More]
Oedipus and how his intelligence, sight and blindness lead to his family's ruin.
Oedipus the King" is a tragic play where Oedipus discovers that he killed his father as prophesized by the gods and married his own mother from who he has two daughters. The story of Oedipus is well-known to because of Oedipus's image as a perfect Athenian. He is described as a self-confident, intelligent, and strong willed individual. It is these characteristics that lead to him finding out about his tragic discovery. Oedipus became the ruler of Thebes by answering the riddle of Sphinx. Sophocles used the riddle of the sphinx as a way of interpreting the three phases of Oedipus' life to highlight his tragedy. The Sphinx said that whoever answers the following riddle correctly "What is it that walks on 4 feet and 2 feet and 3 feet and has only one voice, when it…… [Read More]
Myth of the Tragic King -- Sophocles' construction of Oedipus the Tragic King vs. Michael of Puzo's The Godfather
The central theme of the Oedipus myth in ancient Grecian society was that the truly tragic king could not escape his fate, despite his best efforts to do so. ith hubris in his heart, the tragic king attempts to avoid what the oracle forecasts, and only fulfills his fate in terrible circumstances as a result of his hubris. However, in modern, American society the idea of uncontrollable fate has somewhat fallen out of fashion. Americans are inclined to look at hubris, or ambition beyond the sphere of one's circumstances with favor. Thus, partly because of the influence of Freud and partly because of the influence of the belief that anyone can succeed in America, the myth of the tragic king, embodied in Oedipus has been rewritten, although it remains a part…… [Read More]
The fact that most men sublimate this feeling, and instead identify with their father to obtain the maternal figure in the form of another woman, is the reason the Oedipus myth was generated in the first place.
Freud's theory was popular not only 'on the couch' but in literary theory. Ernest Jones suggested that it is the reason Hamlet cannot bring himself to kill his uncle: "Now comes the father's death and the mother's second marriage. The long 'repressed' desire to take his father's place in his mother's affection is stimulated to unconscious activity by the sight of some one usurping this place exactly as he himself had once longed to do… the two recent events, the father's death and the mother's second marriage . . . represented ideas which in Hamlet's unconscious fantasy had for many years been closely associated" (Jones 98-99).
Regardless of the merit of Freud's theory,…… [Read More]
He wanted a little bit more and that desire ruined his life.
Oedipus learns that anyone can be wrong -- despite what he or she might think. He thought he knew everything and he thought he journey would make him happier. He had to learn the hard way the even the king can be wrong. Oedipus does not think the truth would hurt him. Oedipus learns a powerful lesson about fate and how human nature ties into it. Robert Fagles writes that Oedipus "recognizes that the "prophecies given to his father . . . were true" (Fagles 143) and nothing he could have done would have stopped those prophecies from coming true. Oedipus' achievement is the "discovery of the truth, and that discovery is the most thoroughgoing and dreadful catastrophe the stage has ever presented" (150). Oedipus learns from his arrogance. He knows that he can be wrong and painfully…… [Read More]
Oedipus also chose not to ask questions regarding his past, although this might be ascribed to the fact that he did not know to ask in the first place. It was his choice to leave his adopted family to escape the prophesy that he knows about. The adopted family however choose even at this point not to inform Oedipus of the true nature of his fate.
Another choice that Oedipus makes is to kill Laius at the crossroads, regardless of the fact that the prophesy is very specific regarding where the murder will take place. When he marries the wife of the dead king, it also does not occur to him that this is remarkably parallel to the prophesy. One might therefore argue that Oedipus might have been deliberately blind to the truth of his actions in order to further his own good fortune. On the other hand, ophocles' aim…… [Read More]
What is ironic about the ending of the play?
Oedipus, it was prophesied when he was a baby, would kill his father and marry his mother. So he was cobbled by his feet and exposed as an infant. The commoner charged with exposing the prince, however, was childless and took pity upon the babe, and reared the child himself. Oedipus as a young man learned by the same prophesy that he would become a patricide and enter into an incestuous marriage with his mother. So he fled what he thought were his true parents, home, and birth.
Had Oedipus not tried to flee his fate, he would never have met his father the King in the road and killed him in an argument. Had the future king of Thebes not tried to flee his fate he would never have married his mother, as he would never have met the…… [Read More]
Oedipus: Self-Made Disaster
In Sophocles' play, Oedipus Rex, Oedipus takes fate into his own hands and demonstrates the power of the human will. Oedipus illustrates how we may not always be in control of our destinies, regardless of our efforts. The play is ironic in this sense because Oedipus already had the best "fate" any man in his position could hope for with a beautiful loving wife and a community that praised him. Some argue that Oedipus was fated to fulfill the prophecy but the truth is that his very actions destroyed the life he had. Oedipus was strong-willed obsessive and arrogant to the point of making huge mistakes. He failed himself and those around him because he thought he knew best.
In the beginning of the play, Oedipus has the best of intentions. In other words he does not set out to destroy his life. He simply wants to…… [Read More]
Sophocles' Oedipus the King
Look up and/or reflect on the meaning of:
Tragedy: A tragedy is any event which causes great suffering and stress, such as the death of a loved one or a natural disaster. In the context of Greek literature, tragedy was the most popular form of theatre, with storytellers relying on the rhetorical technique of tragic irony to create emotionally resonant tales of lost love and territorial conquest.
Philosophy: The overall study of the human condition, reality, metaphysics, and other pursuits of higher intelligence.
Psychology: The scientific study of the human mind, including cognitive function, perception, attention, emotion and behavior.
Logic: The fundamental application of reasoning to the pursuit of problem solving, a function which only the human mind is known to hold the capacity to perform.
Ethics: The branch of philosophy which postulates certain standards which should be used to guide proper human conduct.
Mathematics: The…… [Read More]
This is a major departure from the Creon seen in Oedipus Rex and reflects his changed role. In addition, he sees changing one's mind as a weakness, "womanish," an undesireable trait in a king. Once he's made a decision he feels he must stick by it even if he suspects it might have been incorrect.
The first decision Creon makes that affects this play is that he will give Etocles a state funeral, but that Polynices' body is to be left out in the open, unsanctified, and left for the animals to eat. This is a terrible fate for a Greek, who must have certain rites performed to move on to the next life. Creon sided with Etocles, but both brothers broke the agreement.
Antigone is outraged that Etocles is to be ushered in to the next life proplerly but not Polynices. She takes a stand and decides to perform…… [Read More]
For Oedipus to be considered successful, then, he would have had to challenge his own fate and succeed, rather than enact it entirely according to what was set out for him. In Hamlet, on the other hand, the enemy is tangible and human in the form of Hamlet's uncle, and thus Hamlet is able to confront and vanquish him. Thus, Oedipus represents a kind of ignorant struggle against the ideological forces which control anyone in society, a struggle that can never succeed so long as those forces remain indistinct and ephemeral. Hamlet, on the other hand, demonstrates a pointed struggle against some of the very same tendencies, but in this case, they are identified, named, and thus exists the potential for overcoming them.
Though written in wildly different historical contexts, Sophocles Oedipus Rex and illiam Shakespeare's Hamlet actually have a lot to say about each other, because the titular characters…… [Read More]
Tragedy in the Oedipus Trilogy
Sophocles is considered to be one of the greatest Greek dramatists, and remains among the most renowned playwrights even today. The Greek tragedy is one of the most influential genres of literary and theatrical history on the modern drama and theatre. The theatre of ancient Greece was inspired by the worship of Dionysus, and the performance of plays was considered to be a religious experience for both the actors and the audience. ecause of this, the intensity of the Greek theatre was very strong, and the degree to which the plays were taken seriously as a means of influencing and interpreting life was also very high. According to Aristotle, the philosopher credited with creating the definition of a tragedy, "Tragedy, then, is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament,…… [Read More]
He kills his father as he flees his home and marries his mother after solving the riddle of the Sphinx. His end is inevitable, but Sophocles clearly shows the role negative character traits play in Oedipus' tragedy, while Hamlet's supposedly negative traits of doubt are not necessarily evil.
Thus Hamlet could be classified as a kind of nascent anti-hero, a man who mourns "the time is out of joint/oh cursed spite/that ever I was born to put it right," and never succeeds in 'putting it right' because society offers him only one, ineffective mechanism for pursuing a brutal type of justice (1.5). The failure of heroism to 'put things right' is manifested starkly in Waiting for Godot, where the heroes famously wait for the final 'solution' of the arrival of the presumably heroic Godot, who never comes. These characters are not so much heroes or even anti-heroes -- rather they…… [Read More]
His failure at both appears to perpetuate each other: his failure as provider translates to his failure as business and family man, and indeed to his failure as American success. In this way, the American Dream is representative of ultimate success. By failing at this, Willy represents the doubts and fears of many Americans; he fails in all the ways feared by society.
Oedipus' failure occurs on a much larger scale. His success relates to his status as the person of highest importance in society. He however reacts differently from Willy, who first lies to himself and then crumbles under the pressure of the increasingly obvious truth. As the truth becomes increasingly obvious for Oedipus, he still refuses to turn away from his search. When all is finally revealed, Oedipus displays his true character by taking responsibility for his actions. Although the king can hardly be blamed for what happened,…… [Read More]
Nevertheless, it was his curiosity that made him popular and it would only make sense that it would be his downfall as well. This very human aspect of the king allows us to relate to him and a persona level.
The final tragic move in the play occurs as Oedipus chooses to leave his Thebes. His attempt to rid the city of contamination is brave. He realizes his failure and how he was remarkably shortsighted. Truth was nothing but trouble and for all he wanted to see, there was nothing but destruction for every aspect of his life. Oedipus does not lose his sense of fairness in the tragedy and still behaves responsibly. By the end of the drama, he is ready to accept what he has coming or what he thinks he deserves. He accepts responsibility Laios' murder and the condition of Thebes and her people. He tells Creon…… [Read More]
Fate in Literature
Stories whether they are presented in film, printed or orally spoken all share important commonalities. One of the important shared elements amongst stories that have been around for hundreds maybe even thousands of years in literature is the role of fate within the stories. Fate in literature can be broadly defined as the power, influence or will of a superior or supernatural force that stages and predetermines events in the voyage of a the main character in the story (Princeton.edu).
A classic example of this is the tragedy written by Sophocles, the infamous tale of Oedipus Rex a king who desperately seeks to outrun, challenge and contradict fate, but is unable to because the supernatural forces above him (The Gods), have predetermined and staged inevitable events in his life. Fate is a very interesting topic to explore as it relates to stories because it challenges the notion…… [Read More]
Their prophecies completely shape the life of Oedipus. It was the oracle who informed Oedipus that he will kill his father and marry his mother. This prophecy led him to abandon Corinth for fear of killing his father and marrying his mother. When he left Corinth he came across a man who he did not know was Laius and killed him. He married his wife Jocasta and towards the end of the play finds out that the prophecy of the oracle did come true. Laius and Jocasta were his biological parents. Laius was killed by his son, Oedipus and according to the prophecy of the oracle; Oedipus marries his mother, Jocasta. Regardless of whatever actions either of the parties took, fate could not be escaped. The oracles warned them about the future and they took steps then led them to the fulfillment of the prophecy. Both Oedipus and Jocasta were…… [Read More]
Hamlet decides to play at being mad in ways that seem calculated. This is evidenced in his verbal dueling with Polonius, the courtier of the play who in contrast to the blind prophet of the Greek tragedy is truly a foolish old man, rather than merely seeming so. But even Polonius admits that Hamlet's madness seems to have a verbal sense to it -- although the reason for Hamlet pretending to be mad vacillates. At first Hamlet accepts the ghost's words, then tests those words, and then uses purgatory as an excuse not to kill Claudius while the king is praying after the staged play "The Mousetrap."
Hamlet's brilliance lies mainly in his acceptance of his fate with a clear head and his recognition of moral ambiguity. Finally, he says to Horatio, in the fifth and last act of the play, to let be, and the readiness is all --…… [Read More]
King Claudius says this about the title character of "Hamlet." He says this to Laertes, to explain why he has not physically punished Hamlet yet, for the killing of Laertes' father Polonius. Thus, the two must conspire to punish Hamlet via a duel with a poisoned sword, says Claudius, because he cannot offend the queen. This quote shows the king's lying nature, as the king cares less for Polonius than eliminating the son Hamlet, who knows how he came to the throne, and his fears of raising suspicions in the court about his complicity in old Hamlet's death.
2) "You-here? You have the gall to show your face before the palace gates? You, plotting to kill me, kill the king-I see it all, the marauding thief himself scheming to steal my crown and power!"
As his fate closes around him, the king of Thebes "Oedipus" raves in horror at…… [Read More]
It is worded too strongly just to relate a fact. Further, the fact it relates, if common in the ancient world, would not deserve such strong wording to people who were familiar with such things as blind oracles.
Rather, even were blind oracles commonplace in the ancient world, this one is special because he is not just a conveyor of bad news to Oedipus, but a kind of archetype, symbol, or personification of the message Sophocles is sending us that vision and blindness are not actually dichotomous, but intrinsically entangled.
Oepidus is another archetype of the same thing: sight and blindness coexisting, not sequentially, but simultaneously.
Another important way in which Oedipus was both blind and yet possessed of light becomes clear when we think about the steps he has taken to avoid killing his father. When we read Oedipus Rex, we like to think that finding ourselves in his…… [Read More]
Ignorance in Oedipus ex
The toll of ignorance and deception on Oedipus ex
Ignorance plays a major role in the fates of several characters in the Greek tragedy Oedipus ex. In the play, ignorance is not only contained to the characters and their backgrounds, such as Oedipus and Jocasta, but also to the former Theban king, Laius. Because of their complex relationship with each other, and the lies that Laius told Jocasta, the truth about the relationship between Oedipus, Jocasta, and Laius remains a mystery until a messenger informs Oedipus of how he truly killed his father and assumed the throne in his place. Oedipus' and Jocasta's ignorance of their true relationship prior to becoming king and queen of Thebes was caused by Laius' ignorance of destiny and his (failed) attempt to defy a prophecy.
In the play, many, if not all, the tragedies that befall Thebes and the Theban…… [Read More]
OEDIPUS VS. OTHELLO
Oedipus and Othello
Oedipus and Othello are both productions where the namesake of the story or play experiences a downfall before the end of the play.
Oedipus and Othello each experience a downfall
Oedipus was a victim of the actions of the gods
Othello was responsible for his own downfall
Othello had opportunity to change his fate
Othello was deceived by Iago
Othello maims Iago
Iago never explains his motivations iii. Othello's jealousy leads him to murder Desdemona
Othello learns that he was wrong about Desdemona
Some ancillary actions played a part in each of the tragic circumstances
Oedipus' behavior is clearly outside the bounds of morality
a. Oedipus ignores the warnings of his father, Laius
Oedipus has sexual relations with his mother
c. Oedipus kills his father
d. Oedipus had free will and could have stopped himself
Oedipus and Othello are both productions where the…… [Read More]
irony in Oedipus Rex is that you cannot escape destiny and that the attempt to do so will lead you to take part in it. Destiny cannot be escaped nor can it be changed. The second form prevalent in the play is in foreshadowing through symbolic language. More than once character warns Oedipus that he is not seeing the world as it truly is, that is refusing to see truth. When truth cannot be escaped, he gouges out his own eyes to attempt to reclaim this blindness. Symbolic blindness becomes real blindness.
The first scene of importance is when Oedipus pledges to kill the man who killed Lais, this of course being himself. Secondly is Teiresias and Creon try to expose the truth to Oedipus and then accuse him of blindness. The irony here is that the symbolism becomes real. Thirdly, Jocasta's story of the prophecy regarding her first husband's…… [Read More]
Role of Free ill and Fate in Oedipus Rex and Othello, the Moor of Venice
Free will and fate play a major role in determining the outcome the hero experiences in Sophocles' Oedipus Rex and illiam Shakespeare's Othello, the Moor of Venice. In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus's destiny has been predetermined and despite his many efforts, he cannot escape the future the gods have planned for him. Oedipus Rex's form relies on a chorus to serve as an emissary between the gods and the audience and ultimately aims at allowing the audience to achieve catharsis. On the contrary, in Othello, the Moor of Venice, Othello's future is determined through a series of actions that were not influenced by the gods, but rather through free will. Othello, the Moor of Venice's form breaks up the action into separate "vignettes" that ultimately highlight the depravity of man and aims to serve as a…… [Read More]
Oedipus the King" by Sophocles, "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson, and "My Papa's Waltz" by Theodore oethke. Specifically, it will interpret and illustrate how the theme of parents may be seen in these three pieces.
Each of these pieces concern the family, but not the normal family unit most people expect. Each of the parents in these three pieces obviously contributes to the lives of their children, but not necessarily in the positive ways most parents are expected to contribute to the growth and abilities of their progeny. Their children grow in spite of their parents, rather than because of them.
The child in "My Papa's Waltz" has fond memories of his father, as this passage shows. "We romped until the pans / Slid from the kitchen shelf;" (oethke 880). However, as with many childhood memories, these views are distorted. Clearly, the father in the piece is a drunkard, and…… [Read More]
On the other hand, like Sophocles' Oedipus the King, Shakespeare also used the concept of uncertain vision as a major theme in Othello; but unlike Sophocles, the source of this uncertain vision did not come from some unearthly source, but from the machinations of an evil character. It is deception and outright lies, told by Iago, which create the conditions for certain characters to become suspicious and sustain erroneous beliefs that ultimately leads to tragedy. In the second scene of the very first act, Iago demonstrates his power of deception and manipulation by provoking Branbanzio into becoming enraged at the idea of his daughter, Desdemona, sexually involved with the African, Othello. Shakespeare cleverly used a common slang term for intercourse by stating "…your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs." (Shakespeare, I, i) and it is Branbanzio's own racism that clouds his vision and brings…… [Read More]
In this passage, Shakespeare brings into lucidity Hamlet's tragic flaw: as he delayed his plan to avenge his father against Claudius, Hamlet opens an opportunity for the murderer of his father (Claudius) to plan ahead and instead, turn the tables against Hamlet, which eventually results to his death.
It was only at the end of the play that Hamlet redeems himself from his mistakes in life. This is when he achieves "catharsis," the "end or goal of tragedy" (1186). Hamlet finally kills Claudius before he dies himself, and Fortinbras best illustrates his redemption by exulting him by saying, "Let four captains Bear Hamlet like a soldier to the stage, for he was likely, had he been put on, to have proved most royal, and for his passage, the soldiers' music and the rite of war Speak loudly for him" (1345).
Although Oedipus in the play "Oedipus the King" can be…… [Read More]
By the end of the play, Othello does not even try to seek out the truth. hen he finally talks to Desdemona, he is so outraged what she has to say does not matter. His mind is already made up and she does not stand a chance. Truth becomes apparent for him when it is too late. He tells Lodovico that he is Desdemona's murderer and that he "loved not wisely, but too well" (Shakespeare V.ii. 240). Oedipus, too, becomes aware of his own foolishness when it is too late for him to correct anything. Truth, they discover, can be quite far from what they once believed.
Oedipus does not suffer from jealousy but he does fall victim to arrogance. It can be just as damaging as jealousy when it comes to clouding judgment and limiting logic. ith Oedipus, Sophocles allows the play to come full circle with the chorus…… [Read More]
Othello" by William Shakespeare, "Oedipus the King" translated by Robert Fagles, and Girl by Jamaica Kincaid. These are dense and rich pieces of writing that have stood the test of time. These works continue to influence and offer insight in the modern moment. These plays and this novel are filled with many themes, motifs, symbols, and other literary techniques. The paper will primarily focus upon themes of jealousy and betrayal, gender and power, vision, and at the heart of it all, fear. The paper will limit the scope of the comparison to the aforementioned themes and mostly primary characters within each. What do these literary texts have in common and what do they teach readers about the human condition?
Jealousy and betrayal are rampant in "Othello." Iago is very jealous of Othello and betrays his trust. He convinces Othello that Desdemona, Othello's fiancee, conducts romantic affairs outside of their relationship.…… [Read More]
The vengeance of the gods is further underscored by the Chorus who warns that "But if any man comes striding, high and mighty, in all he says and does, no fear of justice, no reverence for the temples of the gods-let a rough doom tear him down, repay his pride, breakneck, ruinous pride!" Oedipus portrays tyranny and the people's greatest blessing becomes their worst curse.
In the last stage, Oedipus is a man who has become humbled with the pain and dejection of knowing the truth of reality as he is forced to admit his tragic destiny by the overwhelming evidence. The writer shows the sudden change in the protagonist's persona when Oedipus condemns himself by saying, "I stand revealed at last -- cursed in my birth, cursed in marriage, cursed in the lives I cut down with these hands!" (1309-1311) Oedipus's complete transformation is demonstrated when he gouged out…… [Read More]
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The story of Oedipus has pervaded out society and has come to provide a great deal of individuals with more information regarding thinking in Ancient Greece. Sophocles designed the story so as for audiences to gain a complex understanding of the tragic irony unfolding as the storyline progresses. The ancient Greek tragedian told the story of a young individual who becomes addicted to material values and unknowingly comes to murder his father, marry his mother, and eventually ends up being both brother and father to his children. Irony is one of the principal concepts dominating the play and it makes it possible for audiences to express little to no surprise regarding how the storyline unfolds. Oedipus' father is the person responsible for triggering a series of…… [Read More]
Sophocles & Milton
Sophocles wrote his great works two and a half millennia ago, and yet today they are still fresh and powerful. This is because Sophocles deals with deep and important human situations and emotions. Even though we can no longer imagine what it would be like to live in the world which Sophocles inhabits, we can completely understand his characters because they are fully human and human nature does not change much over time. Though he writes about kings and queens and the wealthy of Greece, his characters have the sense of being representatives of every man and woman, in every era. His characters struggle with pride and with sin and with accepting the will of the gods -- when they do things they should not do, in the end they are punished, and accept this punishment. This gives them a greater morality than sinners who are portrayed…… [Read More]
The things that ruins his life is his humanity and while this is a sad tale, it is one filled with knowledge for those who want to see how not to ruin one's life. It teaches us and one of the most resilient characteristics of man is that he can learn from his mistakes if he is courageous enough.
Plato considered drama and tragedy from another perspective, namely an isolated one. He wrote, "e would not have our guardians grow up amid images of moral deformity . . . until they silently gather a festering mass of corruption in their own soul" (Plato X) and he also expressed the notion that artists would better serve the world if they were "gifted to discern the true nature of the beautiful and graceful" (X). In Book X, he writes we should "remain firm in our conviction that hymns to the gods and…… [Read More]
The Oedipal Loop: Substance Abusers vs. "Royalty"
The psychologies of substance abuse and of royalty may seem on one level to be worlds apart. One is, after all, literally on top of things by law, decree, and birth-the other only gets "to the top" in an illusory world created by reliance on the drug of choice. But upon closer examination, especially in the play Oedipus the King, the mindset of the substance abuser and that of a misguided monarch turn out to be similar in an almost uncanny number of ways.
It has been said that Oedipus is above all a "victim." He is a victim of fate; of the machinations of people around him; of a curse. Similarly, many people in the web of substance abuse consider themselves "victims" of their addiction. However, this sort of view of both King and addict is something of an oversimplification. In both…… [Read More]
There isn't one time in the film that Martin doesn't act out of passion. Unlike Oedipus, Martin does not choose blindness but rather it is a result of his passion and desire for Mini.
atching Mini's First Time, the audience has a sort of god-like perspective as perhaps the audience felt in one of the great Greek theatres. As one watches the film, there is a definite feeling that it isn't going to end well for the humans involved. e can see the machinations growing and growing until they spin out of control and utter chaos is revealed. e are not sure what the fate of the characters will be, unlike Oedipus because we are so familiar with it, but like Oedipus, we know that there isn't much hope. In the Iliad and Odyssey, the gods do occasionally look down upon the humans with some compassion and interest -- and…… [Read More]
Classical and Modern Greek Theater
There are clear connections between the classical and modern theater in Greece - just as there are clear connections between the theater of classical Greece and the modern theater of the est in general. Much of what we believe to be proper theater-making comes from classical works: e still use many of the same ideas about character, about motif, about plot. But even as many of the internal structures have remained the same, the culture in which the plays of ancient and modern Greece are written and produced has changed dramatically, thus changing the content and understanding of the plays themselves. e can see how theater has changed (and how it has not) by examining one particular aspect of that runs through so many Greek plays, the concept of free will.
The works of the ancient Greek playwrights are difficult for us to read within…… [Read More]
Instead, the servant leaves the baby outside to let the Gods decide what will become of him. He is eventually given to the King of Corinth who was childless. Hitting adolescence, Oedipus also consults an oracle who tells him he will mate with his own mother and kill his father. In order to avoid this, Oedipus leaves Corinth, thinking he will protect his parents from the prophecy. On his way from Corinth to Thebes, Oedipus has an argument with a chariot driver regarding the right of way, a fight ensues, and Oedipus kills the other man. Oddly, the other driver was Laius, his real father, thus fulfilling part of the prophecy. Continuing his trip, Oedipus solves the infamous riddle of the Sphinx -- "What is the creature that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three in the evening?" Oedipus replies: "Man; crawling as an…… [Read More]
In the "Odyssey" Achilles says to Odysseus, that it is better to be a living dog than honored in Hades.
Submission to fate is ultimately what the Greeks seem to honor as a 'good' attitude. Oedipus the King finally accepts his cursed status, rather than fleeing from it, and from the beginning of her life, Antigone seems to anticipate that she will meet with an unhappy end. Although she is betrothed to marry, she does not seem to see her future as a married woman as an obligation that supersedes her obligation as a sister, and even says that because she can only have one brother, unlike a husband; obligations to the family come before everything. The play seems to suggest that this is valid, given the wrath that falls upon Creon's head. But evil also falls upon the heads of the innocent, because of the actions of the guilty,…… [Read More]
Job and Oedipus: A Comparison and Contrast Essay
There are many similarities between Job and Oedipus, and there are a few differences that must be discussed as well. The purpose and goal of this paper is to make clear the important ways that Job and Oedipus were very much alike, and also the important ways that they were different. In doing so, much about the two men and how they lived their lives, at least in the tales told of them, will be brought to light for examination and scrutiny based on how they react to situations that they are placed in.
It is clear that Oedipus is definitely acting in the best interests of the community, but he does not do this because he feels some moral or ethical obligation toward that community. The things that Oedipus does he does only for himself, and there is nothing…… [Read More]
organized response topic options. 1. Discuss role religion literature Ancient, Middle, Renaissance periods, work period illustrate comments. How writer view God (gods)? How work view man's place universe.
Q2.Select two works from the readings for this course and demonstrate how each fits the definition of a tragedy. It is crucial that you understand and define in your response the elements that constitute tragedy and how each work fits those conventions.
The classical definition of a tragic hero is that of a great man brought low by a tragic, fatal flaw. Such is the case with Oedipus. Oedipus begins Sophocles' play as a great and respected king, widely beloved for freeing Thebes from control of the evil Sphinx. Oedipus is so confident in his ability as a leader that when a plague strikes Thebes, he vows to get to the bottom of the problem and exile the citizen who is responsible…… [Read More]
Hamlet and Revenge
Hamlet -- Prince of Denmark -- is considered to be one of Shakespeare's greatest plays. (Meyer, 2002). It is also one of his most complex plays. It is about the evolution of a character within the context of a revenge drama -- that of Hamlet in Hamlet. In keeping with the revenge-theme of this drama, this thesis of this essay will aver that Shakespeare exalts Hamlet as a hero -- justifiably, though within reason. Indeed, Hamlet is a hero. He rights a horrible wrong. The reader of the play hopes against hope that his quest for vengeance is successful. This vengeance takes the form of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. The reader of the play is taken to emotional upheavals when the failure of Hamlet's quest almost becomes a certitude but for a quirk of fate -- the exchange of swords.…… [Read More]
The fact that Lysistrata's "came to power" by virtue of her own leadership abilities which were recognized and celebrated by their peers rather than having them thrust upon her from above is pointed out by Ober (1989), who reports, "The Athenians' demonstrated concern with native intelligence, their distrust of elite education, and their respect for the authority of the elders are parodied by Aristophanes, who mimics rhetorical topoi in the speech of Lysistrata, the female demagogue:
Listen to my words
I am a woman, but I'm smart enough
Indeed, my mind's not bad at all.
Having listened to my father's discourses
And those of the older men, I'm not ill educated. (Lysistrata 1123-27 quoted in Ober at 182)
Indeed, Lysistrata's leadership qualities were clearly demonstrated in her ability to organize the women of Athens to show the warring men of the city just who in fact had "the power" suggests…… [Read More]
..render up myself...Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night...And for the day confined to fast in fires, / Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature/Are burnt and purged away." (I.5). At first, Hamlet believes the ghost is from Purgatory because of the vividness of these images. Then Hamlet constructs a test for the ghost as he worries: "the devil hath power/to assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps/Out of my weakness and my melancholy, / as he is very potent with such spirits" (2.2). In short, Hamlet begins to doubt the doctrine because the ghost ostensibly from Purgatory has asked him to commit a murder, to kill a king.
Hamlet seldom displays a consistent attitude to Purgatory in the play. In his most famous soliloquy, Hamlet says that death is a place from which "no traveler returns" indicating he doubts the ghost (III.1). Hamlet wrestles…… [Read More]
He is described as being of gigantic size and of tremendous emotion. Always Achilles is described with the most exaggerated terms, shining like the sun or falling in the most absolute wretchedness. In a moment of sublimity oddly precognizant of gothic writers like E.A. Poe, Achilles refuses to bury his beloved Patrocles' body because "since I'm journeying under the earth after you, I'll postpone your burial...Till that time, you'll lie like this with me..." (book 18, 330-338) Achilles is perfect and heroic in the extremity of his nature. A more archetypal approach would say that he was heroic because, more than any other character, he represented the purity of war. Archtypically, he represents a purity of action and emotion than can drive men to battle, the pure warrior who is at once filled with the strength of emotion and will and yet resigned to perfect destiny, faithful towards the gods,…… [Read More]