Power Of The Gods And Religion In Oedipus The King

1018 words - 4 pages

In the tragic play, Oedipus Rex, the Gods and religion greatly influence the social structure which in turn has a profound effect upon how the events unfold. Oedipus is the head of the state. There is a direct parallel in the demise of his household and city state which eventually comes to a full circle to destroy him. Even though Oedipus is praised by his people for being a responsible and honest king, he possesses a major character flaw in his attitude towards the gods which causes the tragic torture he faces in the end. Over the duration of the play, there is a strong sense of contamination towards the state, because it is facing a time of plague, and towards the leader Oedipus, because he is unknowingly in a relationship with his own mother. The cleansing of the state can only occur if the ruler, Oedipus, and his ignorant ways are put to rest. The state and the household are directly linked to Oedipus. His incestuous ways are the outcome of anger from the gods for being intelligent and because the leader of the state is plagued with such a flaw the state must suffer for the wronging of the leader. This sense of contamination ultimately leads the gods to cleanse the state, household, and Oedipus by revealing the flaw to everyone and Oedipus at the same time.

Oedipus learns through the revelation of the oracle that he is destined to kill his father and marry his mother. As a result, he is driven to the belief that he can control his own fate, and not leave it up to the gods. By doing this, Oedipus places himself into the category of a god. The gods, particularly Apollo, takes great offence to this and decides to put Oedipus back in his place by punishing him and his state. (Mannani 2005) The punishment of the state is a sense of rotting within the state; babies are being born dead, people are starving across the state. As king, Oedipus proclaims that he will end the famine by killing those who he believes are polluting the state. Teresias, a messenger of the foods, tells Oedipus he is the reason his state is in ruins. The people of the land are religious and live there lives according to what messengers and oracles tell them. For Oedipus religion is pushed aside and he believes more in himself. The city of the Thebes is also considered to be a scientifically advanced city and science rejects religion which is another great factor in the downfall of the city. These factors lead the state and the household of Oedipus into contamination which will only be cleansed by the gods and fate.

The king's household and family are greatly affected by the religion in that there lack of believe in the gods has caused devastation within there lives. Iokaste, both Oedipus's queen and mother, is a strong believer in the oracle. She does not want to believe that Oedipus is destined to kill...

Find Another Essay On Power of the Gods and Religion in Oedipus the King

The Role of Faith and the Gods in Oedipus Rex

1947 words - 8 pages A common struggle man faces is the question of who or what has power and control over his life. Does he have total control of his future, or is there a higher being at work that takes human lives into their own hands? Sophocles, in his work Oedipus Rex, establishes a view that gives fate, which is created by the gods, a seemingly inescapable characteristic over man. The role of fate is clearly defined, through the fulfillment of divine

The Power of Gods Essay

2373 words - 9 pages . However, the power of the gods is purely psychological and fails when applied to physical tasks. Should the Athenians ignored the lunar eclipse many more men would probably have survived the Sicilian expedition and should Melos have listened to Athens and submitted peacefully their men would have most likely not be assassinated. As clearly shown by the Greeks, religion can play a large role in the success of a society and it's politics, but it is

Blindness and Sight - Lack of Vision in Oedipus The King

928 words - 4 pages Blindness in Oedipus The King (Rex) What is sight? Is it just the ability to recognize one’s surroundings or is there more? Is it knowledge? Is it understanding? Can a blind man see? Can the sighted be blind? And beyond, when the truth is too terrible, do we choose not to see? The phrase "too see" has so very many connotations. One meaning is to know or to understand and the other is based on the physical aspects of things. As humans, we

Zeus: King of the Gods

859 words - 4 pages Zeus: King of the Gods Zeus, Lord of the Skies, King of the Gods, was the last sibling of the Titan Kronos and the Titaness Rhea. He would have suffered the same fate as his other five Olympian siblings, Demeter, Hestia, Poseidon, Hades, and Hera, being swallowed alive, if it had not been for his mother hiding him and tricking Kronos into eating a large stone instead. He was raised in a cave with nine spirits, the Kouretes, and a goat

The Tragic Fall Of Oedipus in Oedipus the King

817 words - 3 pages Tragic Fall Of Oedipus Rex in Sophocles' Oedipus Rex The tragic fall of Oedipus in Sophocles play “Oedipus Rex” is both self-inflicted and result of events drawn from his own destiny. First off early on in Oedipus’ life his first deadly mistake towards succeeding his self-inflicted downfall was the murder of his father the former king. In a blind rage without any motive, he kills Liaus and his men at a rode crossing. Fate may have had led

Ensnared by the Gods in Oedipus Rex

1146 words - 5 pages Oedipus and Creon, Creon points out another fatal flaw in the kingís character:  "If you think obstinacy without wisdom a valuable possession, you are wrong."  Oedipus does seem stubborn to a fault.  Creonís argument that he has no reason to conspire against the king, because he already enjoys power without the headaches, is commended by the chorus, but Oedipus rejects it.  When Creon suggests that Oedipus may be taking action on the basis of a

Choice of blindness in "Oedipus the King"

353 words - 2 pages , Jocasta, and to care for his children, and in that instant he takes on the role of King again. Creon disagrees and states that they need to see what Apollo and the other Gods want them to do. By "choosing" blindness over death, Oedipus once again proves that the Gods are in control of everyone's lives; he acts out the last of the prophecy. Through the entirety of the play, Oedipus was pushing the fact that humans were in control of their lives

Fate and Freewill in Oedipus the King

1149 words - 5 pages In the play Oedipus Rex, it shows many different forms of fate and freewill. Fate is a word that can be defined in many different ways. Fate can affect a person's life in many different ways. Oedipus's fate ruined his life and lead him to a horrible death. Antigone's life was also thrown out to the hand of fate. Neither one of them had any freewill in there lifetime, all of there lives were based upon the fate that the gods handed to them

Destiny, Fate, Free Will and Free Choice in Oedipus the King - The Fate of Oedipus

1302 words - 5 pages The Fate of Oedipus in Oedipus the King   In "Oedipus the King" there comes a point in the play where Oedipus learns something that plays an important role throughout the play.   He learns from a  oracle that he will eventually kill his own Father and sleep with his own mother.  As one could imagine this is a shock to Oedipus, and he does not believe the oracle.  However, he cannot prevent any of this from

Outcome of Actions in Oedipus the King

1589 words - 6 pages humans not as gods’ puppets but rather has creatures with full independence of actions is supported by Iocasta, his wife and mother at the same time, who states how fate is random and neither prophet can predict it nor gods rule it. Why should man fear since chance is all in all for him, and he can clearly foreknow nothing? Best to live lightly, as one can, unthinkingly. (Sophocles, Oedipus the King, 1041-1043) On the other side

Sight And Blindess Of Oedipus The King

1449 words - 6 pages Oedipus the King by Sophocles was a play written after a devastating plague struck the city of Athens in 430 B.C. The play is about how knowledge can lead to devastation and destruction based on how the characters find out the truth of the Delphic Oracle. Years before Oedipus became the king of Thebes, the previous king, Laius, had received a prophecy that his son would grow up to kill his father. With this information he gave his baby son to

Similar Essays

The Life And Power Of Zues, King Of The Gods In Greek Mythology

542 words - 2 pages , on the wheatland of Athenians, and on the plains."-An AncientPrayer used to pray to Zeus "The god of weather".In my opinion, Zeus is one of the greatest Greek god of mythology and ruler of all gods.Even though he is fake. He was the worshipped as the god of many things. He also was the protectorof many gods The temples of Zeus are everywhere in Greece. One of the famous temples ofZeus is outside Greece in the Livic desert were he was worshipped as Ammon-Zeus.

Sophocles' 'oedipus The King' Was Oedipus A Victim Of Hubris Or A Victim Of The Gods?

1209 words - 5 pages The fate of Oedipus was bitter indeed. By the end of 'Oedipus the King', he and his fate are seen as "Luckless" (Ln 1195) and objects to "envy not at all" (Ln 1196). But what was it that caused this man to sleep with his mother and slay his father? What was it that Oedipus fell victim to? Was it the hubris that seemed to so permeate his character? Was he a puppet held in the cruel grip of the gods? It would seem that perhaps it was neither of

Destiny, Fate, Free Will And Free Choice In Oedipus The King Power Of Prophecy

1009 words - 4 pages The Power of Fate in Oedipus Rex (the King) The underlying theme in Oedipus Rex is that fate is more powerful than free will. On this strong basis of fate, free will doesn't even exist. This was a popular belief among the ancient Greeks.  Fate may be accepted or denied by modern society, but in Oedipus's story, fate proves inevitable. In the play, Oedipus Rex, the characters Oedipus, Iocaste and Laios try to change fate.   In the

Oedipus The King: Oedipus's Submission To The Gods

1894 words - 8 pages Oedipus's Submission to the Gods In ancient Greece, plays were more then simply a form of entertainment. "Athenian drama was supported and financed by the state. (...)Greek theater was directed at the moral and political education of the community." (Kennedy and Gioia, pgs 1357-1363) Sophocles understood this, and dissipated any pollyanic view of society by presenting us with plays that were intended to teach. Sophocles's Oedipus the King
Shoppers (1) | Personalised Engraved Geniune Parker Vector MATTE BLACK GOLD CLIP Ballpoint pen | Black Clover (TV) Episode 46 English Sub