September 26, 2014
Blinded By Blindness: Assessing the Ironic Implicature of Oedipus’ Fate In his tragic play “Oedipus Rex” (429 BC), Sophocles asserts that free will and self-determined actions are illusory, that in reality they are but mere pulls of fate, condemning the lives of all Grecian people into fatalistic puppetry overlooked by the will of the gods; he illustrates the madness of a man's attempts to surmount the will of the gods to further uphold the idea that destiny is sure to follow through even in the event that a man's repudiation of prophecy and flagrant ignorance challenge his subordinate relationship to the gods. While many scholars of the Greek diaspora sought exoneration from any excessive schooling of religion, Sophocles cultivates the first undercurrent of early fatalism in his time through his emphasis of a tragic hero, played by Oedipus, and utilizes it yet to instill a religious fervor onto the people of Greek city-states. He further stresses the idea that pushing the limits of human boundaries translates into a more tenuous relationship between god and man by utilizing light and dark imagery often in conjunction with sight and blindness to emphasize that rejection of divinity and furious avoidance leads to more disastrous consequences as compared to firm adherence to fate, what he believes cannot be controlled. Sophocles’ play, really a subliminal sermon, resonates a sympathetic yet didactive tone towards his audience, who would be the inhabitants of Greece, revealing the importance in adhering to divine law. Sophocles emits this tone profoundly through the commentary of the Chorus, which works as his mediator and voice of reason since the play does not include a singled out narrator. By definition, Oedipus is the tragic hero of his misfortune since he is but an altruistic character, which undergoes calamity resulting from his mistakes, in this case three. Aristotle defines the tragic hero to measure...
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