Reason In Oedipus The King

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As philosophy progressed in the 7th, 5th, and 6th centuries, philosophers shifted from using mythos to logos. Mythos, which involves stories, myths, poetry, and inspiration, was closely tied to beliefs in the Greek gods. Logos, which involves reason, logic, language, and observation, began to replace beliefs in the gods. This did not mean that logic and reason completely replaced Greek myths. But philosophers began to explain the world relying more on logic and less on mythos. In Oedipus the King, Sophocles seems critical of this shift. The will of the gods cannot be avoided by using reason, as is illustrated by Oedipus. While he does not demonize reason, Sophocles portrays the need to accept the will of the gods.
In the play, Oedipus attempts to avoid his fate to “make love with [his] own mother, and shed [his] father’s blood with [his] own hands” by making logical choices (Oedipus the King lines 1091-1092). Oedipus, having solved the riddle of
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While the gods are portrayed as powerful, they are also noticeable more distant than in the works of Homer or Hesiod. In Oedipus the King, the gods are talked about but never talked to. They only speak to the people through prophets and oracles. In the play, Sophocles uses Oedipus to critique the shift from mythos to logos. In the play, not only do the gods exist, but they also have control over the lives of all the people. Oedipus illustrates that a person’s intelligence cannot save them from the will of the gods.
As the chorus says in the final lines of the play, “People of Thebes, my countrymen, look on Oedipus. He solved the famous riddle with his brilliance, he rose to power, a man beyond all power. Who could behold his greatness without envy? Now what a black sea of terror has overwhelmed him. Now as we keep our watch and wait the final day, count no man happy till he dies, free of pain at last” (Oedipus the King lines

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