As said by Benjamin Disraeli in Contarini Fleming, “Circumstances are beyond the control of man; but his conduct is in his own power.” Although this quote originates from 1832, centuries before Oedipus the King was published, its logic can still be applied to Sophocles’ play. Disraeli is saying that no one can help the circumstances they are born in, but everyone has the capability to live how they want. At face-value, this may seem true; in the end everyone has the ability to make a decision. Yet, it is their circumstances that drive the choices people make. This is best shown in Oedipus, whose actions were based on the circumstances surrounding him.
‘Sophocles, because he was a great artist, had something more important to do even than to make beautiful plays, namely to express as directly as his medium allowed certain tragic ideas which sprung out of a certain apprehension about human life.’ (H.D.F. Kitto)
It is often said that what we value can be determined by what we sacrifice. This is shown in Oedipus Rex with Oedipus’s wife Jocasta.
Double standards exist everywhere you go. In society, women and men are held to different standards. Whether it comes to strength, leadership, or appearance, they affect everything and everyone. These contrasting principles also apply to sexual fidelity. Often, men are praised and looked up to to having many sexual relationships. On the other hand, women are shamed for having the same relationships. These double standards are portrayed in literature as well. In Homer’s The Odyssey, we see these double standards applied to its’ story and characters. It was especially applied to Odysseus, the main Greek hero in this epic. Greek epic heros are figures that are meant to represent the ultimate mortal the ideals and common values in Greek culture,
In Oedipus Rex, Sophocles showed his feelings of irreverence towards the Gods. He was living in a time when people were starting to turn away from the gods, and this play shows his feeling’s of agreement. Oedipus Rex also demonstrates his feelings of how the gods thoughts can change on whim, destroying the lives of nobles and those around them. This is demonstrated by his showing of how the gods being spontaneous and non caring, in how the cure of oedipus’ family traveled down many generations before finally being fulfilled by oedipus.
During the time of Sophocles's prosperity, (490-410 BC), the gods and goddesses were often highly respected by the people there. They were believed to control all aspects of life. These gods, they believed, held the power to decide one’s fate. Sophocles wrote many tragedies in his life showcasing their power to the greatest extent. One of the most highly regarded is, “Oedipus the King”. In this tragedy, the people of Thebes are experiencing a dark time and call on their king for help. Oedipus, a man once believing to have changed the fate he was given by Apollo, turns to Apollo begging for a solution to his kingdom’s misery, “ I sent Creon, Menoeceus’ son, my own wife’s brother, to Apollo’s shrine at Delphi, with commission to enquire what I can say or do to save this town”(Oedipus, 69-72). The response he shortly receives does not please him or his wife , Jocasta, leading to the king and queen of
One may have wondered how mysterious it is when two lives on separate journeys meet, combining their journeys into one. In the epic poem The Odyssey, by Homer, Odysseus and his son, Telémakhos, do exactly this through trials influenced by hospitality, loyalty, and cleverness. After a long war Odysseus sets a voyage for home in hopes of meeting his son for the first time, but runs into many set backs. The Odyssey is an epic poem about how Odysseus and Telémakhos are reunited and the trials they go through to get back home. During both of their journeys, Odysseus and Telémakhos follow the most significant of the Greek values, hospitality, loyalty, and cleverness to help them to complete their journeys and reunite with each other.
In the play King Oedipus, Sophocles depicts Oedipus’ inevitable downfall, which represents man’s struggle between free will and fate. In an attempt to use the audience’s knowledge to his advantage, Sophocles opens the play seventeen years after Oedipus murders his father, Laius and marries his mother, Jocasta. The sequence in which the story unravels reveals the strong psychological focus towards Oedipus’ character. In search of his identity, Oedipus’ enigmatic quality and moral ambiguity compels readers to question whether his ignorance renders him morally blameless. The vagueness about Oedipus’ intellectual state can be interpreted as unconscious knowledge, which may make him morally culpable. Guilty
Our pride often hinders us from taking other’s opinion into account despite good or bad. Nevertheless, sometimes it is better to listen to others for own well being. Oedipus, the protagonist, takes pride in his wisdom due to his belief of escaping fate, and solving a riddle to become a king. As a result,he embarks upon a dark journey by willing to unmask the culprit behind King Laois’ murderer to free his people from the plague. However, during the process, the Prophet alerts him to not investigate further and reminds him of his awful prophecy, where he kills his own father. Because of his wisdom Oedipus wants to escape his fate; he neglects the Prophet’s words and pursues further to approach a shepherd, who alike the Prophet has an unpreferable
Doherty, The University of Chicago Press, 1985, pp. 16-21. Originally published as Précis de littérature grecque, © Presses Universitaires de France, 1980. The author outlines the developments of Greek literature throughout history, as well as the times and individuals of the era of their creation; she begins with Homer, the epic poem, and the traditional ideal of a hero. “The men who people the epic are heroes, and almost all are kings. Even in the Odyssey, where humbler people appear — the swineherd, the nurse, the beggar — these belong to the entourage of a prince” (17). De Romilly outlines the core belief that honor is achieved by the aristocracy through exploits upon the battlefield. However, The Odyssey does not focus on the heroism of the Trojan war; it deals in the aftermath. Odysseus, a man of great glory, wealth and power, is forced on
In Sophocles’s Oedipus and Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, both protagonists, Oedipus and Janie, fight hardship and misery throughout their life. They are faced with adversity, and their ability to withstand and survive their suffering determine their potential for personal fulfillment, wisdom, and happiness. Both individuals have a set pathway paved for them, either through their upbringing and social class, or through the prognostication of a curse placed upon them. Oedipus and Janie are both strong-willed and dedicated to the things most important to them, love and justice. In the end, their association with each other is split when Janie finds her happiness and self-fulfillment, while Oedipus wallows in his own self misfortune
The Queen, Jacosta, Oedipus’ wife tells him not to believe in the prophet, because they’ve been wrong before, she then tells Oedipus about how she and King Laius had a son who was prophesied to kill Laius and sleep with her but since the child was supposedly dead the prophecy couldn’t be true. Oedipus becomes a bit weary because as a child an old man told him he was adopted and that one day he’d kill his real father and sleep with his mother, Oedipus did also kill a man at a crossroads which sounded like the way Laius died.
We chose to do an interview with Oedipus and Jocasta as the interviewees. We based this interview on the T.V. show “The Maury Povich Show.” Nora would play the role of Maury, while Lance as Creon, half cameraman, and Teiresias. Zach as Jocasta and Derek will play Oedipus and be half cameraman. Maury will be asking though questions towards Oedipus about his kingdom and his past murders. The questions for Jocasta will be mainly about how her “dead child” and how her life is going with Oedipus. The questions for Oedipus will be mainly on how he feels about his parents and their actions, and how he gets the DNA results from the host, to tell whether he married his mother and killed his father. We will also feature Oedipus getting in a physical
So in the end, Oedipus no longer thinks of himself. Thinking of his children 's impending marriage, Oedipus begs for his children and no longer can think of himself as anything more than a creature that embodies what it means to be pathetic:
In ancient Greek society, the tragedy was a deeply spiritual and emotional art form integral to daily life. Perhaps one of the best examples of Greek tragedy is Sophocles’ Oedipus the King. The work is distinguished by the deep emotion and thought it elicits from the reader. This is in part due to Sophocles’ expert portrayal of Oedipus, who bears all the attributes of an Aristotelian tragic hero. A once powerful king turned blinded pariah, Oedipus is characterized by both his pride and his honorable character. Through such characterization, Sophocles heightens the emotions in the play by demonstrating how these traits contribute to the catastrophic conclusion. Sophocles deliberately depicts Oedipus as a seemingly infallible yet prideful ruler in order to augment the subsequent devastation Oedipus causes, thus realizing the vision of an Aristotelian tragedy.