Alvarez, Mary Joy Baldomero, Yunisa J.Bohol, Jhoanna Marie O.Falcasantos, Kreanne L.
TitleSignificance of the Story Elements of the story Author’s Background Conclusions Presenter’s Insights
It has been the case throughout history the stories are indicative of a societys culture and values. In Sophocles Theban tragedy Oedipus Rex , Oedipus struggles to assert hiswill against his fate set forth bythe gods, and in doing so reveals the values of the Greeks in the period of the plays composition. Through Oedipus words actions and the words and actions of his fellow Thebans, the ideals of the Greeks concerning governance and society, as well as Greek ideals concerning fate and mans relationship with the Gods are told to the observer.Thus, though it is a single work,
Of the topics touched upon in Oedipus Rex , governance takes some prominence, no doubt since the central figure of the drama, Oedipus, is a king. Greeks had the strong belief that reason should be the defining characteristic of a ruler, and the subject is touched upon lightly in the text. For instance Creon when Oedipus hotly accuses him of misdeeds toward asserts strongly "If you think that stubbornness is of value apart from reason, you are a madman!" (Sophocles,
Similarly the Chorus, who sometimes in Greek tragedies speaks as the voice of reason, says this about kingship and tyranny, "Audacity siresthe tyrant-audacity, if filled up rashly with all excess neither timely nor useful, scaling the highest eaves rushes into precipitous necessity where it suffers from its ill placed foot." (Sophocles, 902-907) The words "rashly" and"audacity" are obviously not synonymous with reason, as well as the phrase "it suffers from its ill placed foot". Here the Chorus seems to comment on Oedipus actions in
As with many ancient societies, ones birth or blood was important in theGreek society of Sophocles,but not absolute in terms of Greek governance. This isplane in Oedipus Rex , sincethe king spends much of the drama seeking the truth to his descent. The king when angered by the prophet Tiresias orders him to leave. To which the blind seer retorts "Men like myself are born, to your eyes, fools, but to the parents who bore you we seem wise." Oedipus isquick to exclaim "To whom? Wait! Who on earth are my parents?" indicative of theimportance he places on his
But she (Jocasta) since awoman is proud of such thingsis troubled by this low birth ofmine." (Sophocles, 1104-1106) His resolution to find his ancestry, and his reaction to Tiresias words about his parents, clearly shows that a Greek placed value on the lineage of man, or indeed a woman, as Oedipus comment about Jocasta reveals. However ones blood was not necessarily critical to be a king. Immediately following the previously mentioned lines, Oedipus speaks, "But I deem myself a child of Chance, who gives good things, and I will not be dishonored." (Sophocles, 1107-1108) In essence,Oedipus claims that though he may not be of regal
The Chorus, in essence,says that such crimes are especial heinous, as the"Furies" themselves were deities that punished such transgressors. Butthe most compelling as to the Greeks perception ofacts against family is the fate of Oedipus and his and mother Jocasta. Oedipus, unable to bearthe shame of what he has done gouges out his own eyes because, for as hesays "For why must I see, I for whom no sight is sweet." (Sophocles, 1364-1365) Jocasta, his wife and mother, kills
While governance and societal values take someprecedence in Oedipus Rex, arguably more central and integral are the topics offate and mans relationship with the gods themselves. One inescapable fact ofGreek culture was the gods were in control. This is seen early on since what spurns Oedipus into his detective story to find the truth of himself is the plight of Thebes sent uponthem the gods. As the Priest when conversing withOedipus says, "Falling upon us, the fire-bringing god, most hateful disease, drives the city, and by him
As the Priest also says, "But may Phoebus who sent these prophecies come at once as savior and stayer of disease!" (Sophocles, 160-161) Though Oedipus heroically struggles against his destiny; he as well still acknowledges the supremacy of the gods. "You have spoken justly, but no man can compel the gods when they are unwilling." (Sophocles, 291-292) Very humble words coming from a man who is supposed be a tyrant. This reveals how central the gods were to Greek as well. That beings
I ban this man, whoever he is, from all land over which I hold power and the throne. I decree that no one shall receive him, nor make him partner in prayers to the gods or sacrifices, nor allow him holy water; but instead thateveryone must expel him from their homes as the man is the source of our pollution, as the oracle of Pytho has revealed to me. (Sophocles, 240-249)Irony abounds in tragedy, but that aside such a condemnation from a king shows how much influence the gods held over Greek society and even governance.Oedipus goes as far as to damn the criminal from worship, that "no one shall receive him, nor make him partner is
Of all the themes in Sophocles Oedipus Rex, fate is the most profound. Oedipus struggle against his fate, as has beenmentioned throughout this essay, is arguably the primary conflict of play. Oedipus story demonstrates the Greekbelief that men were boundby fate no matter how they fought against it. TheChorus again acting as thevoice of reason comments on fate, "What man can protect himself, warding away the shafts of angerwhen such things happen?" (Sophocles, 921-922) The
But instead insures his son would return and kill him. Oedipus hearing his fate leaves so he would not kill his father, as he says "I heard and fled henceforth to share with Corinth only the stars, where I would never see completed the disgrace of those evil oracles of mine." (Sophocles, 822-825) But in doing so he ensures the prophecies would be realized. In end all the prophecies that had been heard from the Delphi Oracle came true. The idea even great kings of men, like Oedipus are bound by this cosmic force called
People of our country Thebes, behold this Oedipus, who knew the famous riddle and was a most powerful man, whose fortunes all citizens watched with emulation, how deep the sea of dire misfortune that has taken him! Therefore, it is necessary to call no man blessed as we await the final day, until he hasreached the limit of life and suffered nothing grievous. (Sophocles, 1550-1559)The utter pessimism of this lines implies the importance of fate to theGreeks Fate is so present in the tragedy of Oedipus that
Oedipus Rex is the story of aking of Thebes upon whom a hereditary curse is placed and who therefore has to suffer the tragicconsequences of fate. During a time of plague, fires, and other forms of decimation, Oedipus decides to take action to restore life and prosperity to his kingdom,only to discover through thisquest that his identity is not what he thought. He learns
Another theme in theplay is the distinction between the truthfulness of oracles and prophecies of the gods (fate), as opposed to mans ability to influence his lifes trajectory
Ever since Aristotles high praise regarding its structure and characterization in hisPoetics, Oedipus Rex hasbeen considered one of the most outstandingexamples of tragic drama. In tragedy, a protagonist inspires in his audience the twin emotions of pityand fear. Usually a person of virtue and status, the
Not only does it make the viewer aware of human suffering, tragedy illustrates the manner in which pride (hubris) cantopple even the strongest of characters. It is part of the playwrights intention thataudiences will identify with these fallen heroes − and possibly rethink the manner in which they live their lives. Theorists of
The dramatic structure of Greek drama is helpfully outlined by Aristotle in the twelfth book of Poetics. In this classical tragedy, aPrologue shows Oedipus consulting the priest who speaks for theTheban elders, the firstchoral ode or Parodos isperformed, four acts are
The play has a single unified plot. It is presented like a detective play which islike an investigation into the cause of the plague. The play therefore commences as a searchand proceeds as a search until the messenger from Corinth arrives. The events of the play
Born in 495 B.C. about a mile northwest of Athens, Sophocles was to become one of the great playwrights of the golden age.
is one of three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays have survived. His first plays were written later than those of Aeschylus, and earlier than or contemporary with those of Euripides. According to the Suda, a 10th century encyclopedia, Sophocles wrote 123 plays during
In conclusion Oedipuss duel wit the fates displays, with poetic wit, the values of the Greeks in the era of its composition. Oedipus and his fellows actions exemplified Greek values toward their society, as well as their ideas of ate the gods themselves. Oedipus fight against his fate, his attempt to try an escape his doom reveals the merits and values of Greek society. His tragic rise and fall, from King of Thebes to
While lineage was important, ones family or kinsmen was integral, a fact that Sophocles dramaclearly asserts. Family was critical and thus crimes against family were irreprehensible. For instance, when Oedipuscomes to believe that Creonsent the Tiresias to him as a ploy to gain the rule of Thebes he is enraged beyond reason, which as discussed earlier was considered integral to the Greeks. Oedipus says this in his confrontation with Creon, "If you (Creon) think a man that does hiskinsman ill will not pay the price, you are fool."
Who was it the oracles- speaking rock of Delphisaw committing the most unspeaking acts with red hands? Now, stronger than swift- footed horses, he must deftly move his foot in flight. For in armsagainst him leaps the son of Zeus with fire andlightning and, following after him the terrible unerring Furies. (Sophocles, 486-496)
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