• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Attitudes to religion in the play, Oedipus, the King.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Title: Attitudes to religion in the play, ?Oedipus, the King?. Word Count: 1493 Title: Attitudes to religion in the play, ?Oedipus, the King?. Sophocles? works are exemplary in that they give us an insight the cultural and social aspects of the ancient Greek society. Like any other society, this one is also founded on the pillars of religion. Through his play, ?Oedipus, the King?, Sophocles shows how gods can be villainous and also how the faith in the divinity and in the religious dogmas can be reduced into smithereens, when the God proves himself averse to human interests. It has always been believed that the ancient Greeks were a very religious society. Through this play, Sophocles gives the audience a true vision of the attitudes of the Greek society towards the Gods and their religion. He uses a variety of characters in different circumstances to show different attitudes towards religion in 8th century BC, Greece. One of the main themes that also serves as a dominating factor in driving the plot forward is that of predestination. Since Sophocles ?served for many years as an ordained priest of Alcon and Asclepius?[1], his views on religion are firm. ...read more.

Middle

The priest of Zeus praying to Oedipus to help the people of Thebes says, ?There was a god in it, a god in you? (Sophocles 25, line 57). He compares Oedipus to a god before the people by proclaiming, ?Thebes calls you savior? (Sophocles 25, line 69). In this episode we can see that the people consider Oedipus above God as the God who they have been worshipping is destroying Thebes. The people?s belief that Oedipus can fight the ?God of plague? is enunciated by Sophocles, wherein the chorus says, ?God?s fire eating everyone, everything, stroke after stroke of lightening, the god stabbing it alive? (Sophocles 24, line 44). But the so deified Oedipus is himself afraid of the power of oracles when he hears a mac, claiming to be a prophet, call Oedipus a bastard The harsh tone and diction used by Berg and Clay while addressing ?God? shows how even they believed that the people have started to consider God as a villain and Oedipus as a hero. This is ironic because the audience already knows that Oedipus is the one who is causing the plague and Apollo is the one to cleanse it. ...read more.

Conclusion

He is of the opinion that a man is safe as long as he is unaware of the prophecy or completely blind to it. Given the power of gods, Oedipus will have to switch roles with the blind prophet, when he blinds himself with Jocasta?s brooches. Thus the power of gods is invincible. Even minor characters such as the shepherd has deep faith in the god when he says, ?If you are the man he says you are, believe me you were born for pain.? At the end of the play Oedipus capitulates before the almighty gods and yells, ?LIGHT LIGHT LIGHT never again flood these eyes with your white radiance, oh gods, my eyes. All, all the oracles have proven true.? (Sophocles 77, line 1493). The chorus also feels commiseration for the unfortunate Oedipus, and declares, ?Happiness and peace, they were not your unless at death you can look back on your life and say I lived, I did not suffer.? (Sophocles 94, line 1986). It can be said that the attitude of the chorus and the characters of the play give us an insight into the omniscient and omnipotent power wielded by the gods in ancient Greece. The gods may appear iniquitous or unjustified for a moment but Sophocles illustrates that, ultimately it is their glory and their kingdom. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Issue of Fate Vs. Free Will In Oedipus the King

    The way that Oedipus believed that the prophecy was a farce at one point, but in the end it came true (intensifying the tragedy) shows that if the role of free will was important in life, Oedipus running away from Corinth and his supposed parents could have made a difference in the chance of the prophecy coming true.

  2. How does Kreon act as a foil to Oedipus in Sophocles' Oedipus the King?

    He is impatient, concludes and accuses Kreon without any evidence and seems to only work on his own beliefs. Through this conflict, in contrast to Kreon, Oedipus is stubborn and extremely excited. According to the punctuations used by Sophocles, he uses more exclamation marks in Oedipus? dialogues with which it

  1. Symbolism/Imagery/Allegory in King Lear

    Then, in the big storm scene, Lear strips off his kingly robes. Lear has seen Poor Tom (naked) and asks, ?Is this man no more than this?? Then, presumably to find out if man is indeed ?no more than this?, he strips down to his birthday suit.

  2. What is the role of fate in the tragic plays "Oedipus" by Sophocles and ...

    Fate reduces her into a pathetic creature-a man hater, half animal. She even despises her father, and holds him responsible for ruining her, ?My love for him was without bounds-but i hated him too, he taught me to despise my own sex-he made me half woman-half man.

  1. To what extent was President Richard Nixon responsible in the Watergate scandal in 1972-1974?

    which he made the above claims shows that Nixon was smart in not answering most questions with references to the scandal. Psychologists who have analyzed the interviews believe that his unease while answering many questions pertaining to his knowledge of and involvement in the scandal, shows that there is a

  2. Oedipus Rex Commentary. The excerpt taken from Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles presents ...

    death sang, stood like a tower to make pale Thebes take heart.? Oedipus was at his pinnacle of praise, once rescuing his people from blighted ridicule. Metaphor captures an appropriate comparison between human mind and strong bow, ?That mind was a strong bow.

  1. Othello - A Racist Play?

    At this time, the English did not travel often outside their country; therefore their main source of information with foreign occurrences came from the theatre. As all actors at this time were of Caucasian ethnicity, the players had to rely heavily on make-up and costumes.

  2. The significance of the fatal flaws of Meursault and Oedipus in The Outsider and ...

    Or maybe yesterday, I don?t know?.[8] It is also reflected on how Meursault spends the day: he then awakens, goes down to the port, meets a woman and ends up in bed with her. He describes the day in the usual blank and indifferent tone, ending with ?I realized that

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work