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Oedipus Rex IO
Transcript of Oedipus Rex IO
Maria Medina The Importance of Destiny
in Oedipus Rex Oedipus before his knowledge of the Prophecy Oedipus after his knowledge of the Prophecy Oedipus's Prophecy Oedipus's Quest for Knowledge Significance of the Sphinx Oedipus's Destiny Fate Vs. Free Will Oedipus's Blindness Connections between issues in Oedipus Rex and our own cultures and experiences Setting Social and Cultural context and issues Interesting Aspects of Technique Culture in
Literature Sight and blindness is a metaphor.
We might say "I see the truth" to convey the same thoughts as the metaphor in Oedipus Rex.
Before Oedipus is aware of his prophecy, he is told to be clear-sighted. But, he soon discovers his metaphorical blindness to his truth. "What good were eyes to me? Nothing I could see could bring me joy."
Oedipus blinds himself, because what he has metaphorically seen (i.e. realized) leaves him unable to face his family or his parents in the afterlife.
He understands that he has disapointed his family and is ashamed. Why do you think Oedipus blinded himself with Jocasta's (his wife/mother) brooches?
What is the significance of Teiresias's blindness, even though he manages to have sight over everything? Oedipus Rex is a play written during the period of popular Greek Theater.
The Greek theater of that time was seen to be a religious worship ceremony.
The plays of Greek theater were viewed by all of the citizens in the town. Greek Theater Sophocles Sophocles was the king of the Greek playwrights.
Sophocles was involved with the political and military affairs of Athenian democracy. He did stints as a city treasurer and as a naval officer.
He is believed to have authored 123 plays, only seven of which have survived. Question Why is the origin of Oedipus Rex important?
Think about the aspects of theatre, drama and the time period. Dramatic Irony,
Themes & Symbols Oedipus was destined from birth to kill his father and marry his mother.
An oracle tells Laius that he will die in the hands of his own son. Laius binds the feet of his baby with a pin and the infant is sent away.
The baby is found and named Oedipus. Oedipus discovers that he is destined to kill his father and marry his mother, tries avoid the prophecy.
Oedipus answered the riddle of the sphinx,then marries queen Jocasta and sleeps with her.
Riddle is a foreshadow of Oedipus's own prophecy. Question: In your opinion , do you think that Oedipus could have truly managed to avoid his own prophecy??? In modern American society, destiny and the concept of fate is underplayed compared to ancient Greek society. However, Christianity, the most influential religion in the United States, states that God has a plan for all and this indeed can be analyzed as "fate" existing in some form in American society. In my Cuban culture, fortune-telling in the Santeria religion can be easily compared to the oracles that are present in the polytheistic beliefs of the ancient Greeks. Similarly, the Voodoo religion present in some parts of the state of Louisiana also put fortune-telling into practice. Fate and destiny are present even in today's society, although much less important than in Oedipus' surroundings. Oedipus' horror at the revelation that he murdered his father and married his mother is an omnipresent fear in all societies around the world. Incest and murder are considered to be the most heinous crimes that any human being can commit and this is highlighted in the entire play. In American society, this continues to be just as looked down upon as it was in ancient Greece, and as shown in Oedipus Rex. The reader can easily understand the kind of feelings that Oedipus is experiencing, effectively allowing the reader to understand the severity of the events that have occurred to Oedipus. After all of the precautions that Oedipus takes to try to stop the prophecy, he is ultimately unsuccessful.
Oedipus realizes that he was doomed from the very beginning to make the prophecy come true.
It becomes apparent to the reader that nothing that Oedipus could have done could keep him from fulfilling his prophecy from Apollo. His attempt at cheating fate by fleeing from Corinth, from who he though were his parents (Polybus and Merope) backfires, leading him to fulfill the prophecy without realizing that instead of running from his destiny, he only quickened the prophecy coming true.
Even his father Laius's attempt at getting rid of Oedipus at a young age does not stop destiny from making the prophecy come true. Question! Easy to understand In the play it is easy to understand that fate/destiny is powerful.
Tries to avoid fate and seek for knowledge, but unfortunately runs into his own downfall.
A tragedy with dramatic irony. Dramatic irony plays an important part in Oedipus Rex.
Its story revolves around two different attempts to change the course of fate: Jocasta and Laius' killing of Oedipus at birth and Oedipus' flight from Corinth later on.
In both cases, an oracle's prophecy comes true regardless of the characters' actions.
Jocasta kills her son only to find him restored to life and married to her, Oedipus leaves Corinth only to find that in doing so he has found his real parents and carried out the oracle's words.
Each time a character tries to avert the future predicted by the oracles, the audience knows their attempt is futile, creating the sense of irony that permeates the play. dramatic irony The Sphinx is a mythical creature present in both Greek and Egyptian scenes. It is said that those who could not answer her riddles were devoured. In Oedipus the king, she asks the riddle "Which creature walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs in the evening?" Oedipus answers the Riddle by saying that it is man. respectively he became the king of Thebes as promised.
Ironically, Oedipus is the embodiment of the riddle. Who walks on all fours as a baby when he was abandoned by his parents on Mt.Cithaeron and had his ankles bound. He walked on two legs as an adult, after being saved, and as an old man he walks on his cane because he is blind. Metaphors in Oedipus the King Light Vs. Darkness Comparisons with Cuban Culture This is one of the main metaphors used in the play. It comes up several times. Light in the play represents truth and knowledge. we see this in the quote "O god-all come true, all burst to light! O light-now let me look my last on you! I stand revealed at last-cursed in my birth, cursed in marriage, cursed in the lives I cut down with these hands!" In this scene Oedipus finally learned the truth. He learns that he has essentially been hidden in the darkness, not knowing that he had in fact killed his father and slept with his mother. So in essence the darkness is Oedipus' own ignorance, and the light is the truth. themes Sight Vs. Blindness This is another important metaphor used in the play. It is predominantly embodied by Tiresias who is actually blind but knows what Oedipus does not. And Oedipus who lives in the shadows and 'blind' by not knowing what he has done. This essentially makes Tiresias the one with 'sight' and Oedipus the 'blind' one. This is expressed in the play when Oedipus accuses Tiresias and Creon of conspiracy.
Oedipus is Blind throughout the poem and when he is finally able to 'see' the truth and how he has completed his fate, he ironically blinds himself with Jocasta's brooches. For Discussion A central theme of the play Oedipus Rex is the tension between individual action and fate.
While free choices, such as Oedipus's decision to pursue knowledge of his identity, are significant, fate is responsible for Oedipus's incest and many of the other most critical and devastating events of the play.
Be elevating the importance of fate, Sophocles suggests that characters cannot be fully responsible for their actions.
It becomes difficult, for example, to blame Oedipus for marrying his mother given his ignorance. Question Do you think Oedipus would have fulfilled the prophecy of killing his father and sleeping with his mother if his parents hadn't tried to kill him as an infant? symbols Wisdom & Knowledge In Oedipus the King, Oedipus is a seeker of knowledge and truth.
He struggles to uncover Laius’s murder and his own identity, despite numerous warnings that he should leave the truth alone.
His pursuit of knowledge and truth, however, results in ruin as Oedipus uncovers his destiny, which he was better off not knowing.
This suggests that knowledge is futile and limited in its ability to bring happiness to those who seek it. Quote OEDIPUS
Where are they? Where in the wide world to find
The far, faint traces of a bygone crime?
In this land, said the god; "who seeks shall find;
Who sits with folded hands or sleeps is blind." (107-110) Power Power both corrupts and metaphorically blinds characters in the play.
Assuming other characters are trying to steal his power, Oedipus does not listen to their wisdom. Quote OEDIPUS
Offspring of endless Night, thou hast no power
O'er me or any man who sees the sun.
No, for thy weird is not to fall by me.
I leave to Apollo what concerns the god. (374-378) Teiresias suggests that earthly power is irrelevant in the face of divine influence. Memory and the Past Memories of the past have a complex impact on the characters of the play.
One message in this play is that delving too far into the past- as Oedipus does against the warnings of nearly everyone- is extremely dangerous. Quote Oedipus: Lines 1077-1086 While it is dangerous for Oedipus not to recall the prophecies of his youth and look to the past for direction, exploring his past in order to help him understand his identity is just as dangerous. He is, it seems, stuck between a rock and a hard place. The Crossroads Oedipus killed his father, Laius, at a place where three roads meet. Oedipus could have run into his father anywhere along the Theban Way, but instead Sophocles specifically places the confrontation at a three way intersection.
Oedipus does make a fateful choice at the crossroads, but it is one that he was predestined to make.
These three roads could represent three things: past, present, future. Discussion Note that Oedipus was three days old when his parents abandoned him. Is there some connection between this and the junction of three roads? Would You say that along with Oedipus, Jocasta was blind as well? Explain At first Oedipus is presented as a hero, and very confident.
Oedipus had the bravery and confidence and dared to answer the Sphinx's riddle in order to free the people of Thebes from the plague, despite the death threat there was to anyone who answered incorrectly.
His ability to answer the riddle correctly also proved his intelligence, and courage.
When he takes the challenge in solving the riddle of Laius' death, the denial and tyrant like side of Oedipus begins to appear.
Even after his feeling of paranoia that he felt when Jocasta describes the murder of her husband, he continues his investigation, becomes suspicious yet in denial. His denial led to him being defensive for example, he accuses Creon for conspiracy and treason, by stating, "I see it all, the marauding thief himself scheming to steal my crown and power!" (597-98)
Oedipus becomes vulnerable to the human instinct of knowing the truth and encounters pain through the evidence of his reality and tragic destiny. Are we all destined to go down one predetermined path, or are we in full control of our lives and where it leads us? Throughout the whole play Oedipus felt the need to uncover the truth and wanted answers and this led to his fall. This was Oedipus' biggest flaw. He was perfectly happy living in the unknown which to him was reality but as he quested out for revelation of his true identity and murderer of king Laius, he faced tragedy. Do you think Oedipus' future might have been different if he had never tried to solve the murder of King Laius?
Have you ever encountered a situation in which you were better off not knowing? Ideas Today! Many people believe that we are predestined and that God gave us each a purpose and fate will lead us to that purpose.
We tend to want to have free-will over the course of our lives.
Others spend their lives just trying to discover who they really are, especially at rough times, just like Oedipus.
We often feel guilty for our actions but do not admit it because of pride or selfishness that we blind ourselves in. Questions People in today's society hardly ever punish themselves, especially in a cruel ways.
Karma is a reoccurring thought people have when doing good deeds or facing punishment, and somehow it will come back around, instead of thinking god will serve his justice.