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How Invisible Characters in Ghosts and Oedipus Rex Affect the Future of Their Male Children (World Lit.)

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Introduction

How Invisible Characters in Ghosts and Oedipus Rex Affect the Future of Their Male Children Lavota Carter 5/14/09 per 7-8 MTuTh World Lit. Essay Word Count: 1300 The invisible characters King Laius and Mr. Alvings, in the plays Oedipus Rex and Ghosts respectively influence the future of their offspring. The past decisions of these fathers lead the boys on a downward spiral to failure. In the novel Oedipus Rex, Oedipus, the protagonist, tries to escape the prophesized fate he had just been made aware of. The attempt is futile, because he had already completed more than half of it. Oedipus's imminent fulfillment of the prophecy stems from his father's, King Laius, efforts to eliminate him as a young child. The character Oswald, from Ghosts, is set up for failure, because of his father's infidelity. Oswald's "inner sickness", syphilis, and the failure of his love interest, Regina, are a result of Mr. Alvings's past affairs. Both fathers affect their children's' adult lives negatively. They do all this with no appearance in either play, only mentioned. King Laius's attempt to have Oedipus left for dead, sets in motion Oedipus's tragedy. In Antistrophe II Jocasta tries to console her new husband when the seer, Tiresias, lets loose that he is the former king's murderer. ...read more.

Middle

He could have noted that the fate for his son was not specific. It just said he would kill his father. It did not say if it was an accidental or intended event. In retrospect, the safest way to try to prevent the prophecy from being completed would have been to keep his son at home. As said before his decision to kill him, just lead to more confusion when the deed was not committed. Oedipus tried to break away from his parents, and leave his home. That way the prophecy would never be fulfilled. He was not aware that the couple he shared bread with, were not his biological parents. In his identity confusion he went into the world, intent to escape his "parents", and ran straight into his real parents on the journey. They were just random people to him, because he was given to Polybus and Merope at too young an age to know the difference. Another way Oedipus might have taken destiny into his hands is if he never killed or married anyone in his lifetime. To suggest to Oedipus not marry or kill anyone during his lifetime would have left him, or anyone else in Ancient Greece, vulnerable and fruitless. In Greek life it was very dangerous and ridiculous to not have children or be unable to fight for fear of killing someone for anyone, especially a prince. ...read more.

Conclusion

She could contract the STD fooling around with other people or having sex with the father after he has been fooling around. The only character reported to have done the sleeping around is Mr. Alvings. With that being so, it is because of his infidelity that Oswald has this horrible "inner sickness." Oswald's failed crack at getting Regina to be in a relationship has two problems. One he has a disease of the body that affects the mind and it would be incestuous for them to be together. The syphilis has already been pinned as Mr. Alvings doing, but what about Regina being Oswald's step-sister? That is Mr. Alvings doing too. Regina is revealed to be the product of his affair with the former housemaid Johanna. These factors are too much for Regina and she decides to leave the house altogether. In the process Oswald's heart is crushed and is pushed towards suicide. These problems originate from the father, Mr. Alvings, outer-marital relations. The fathers in the plays Oedipus Rex and Ghosts affected their sons' lives. King Laius basically paved the way for Oedipus's walk of self-destruction, while trying to save his own life. Mr. Alvings in disregard to the consequences had multiple sexual encounters outside his marriage. The birth of a "worm-ridden" Oswald and Regina are what became of it. While looking out for themselves, the two dads ended up impairing the future of their offspring. ...read more.

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