Fate Human Agency N Reason

Topics: Sophocles, Plato, Tragedy Pages: 4 (1478 words) Published: November 3, 2005
The study of Greek Mythology, is one of broadness with a diverse array of narratives dating back centuries, which even today to modern audiences is as captivating and influential as it was centuries ago. When we look at Greek Mythology, we see various themes remaining central to many narratives. Fate, reason and human agency are no exception to this and are dealt with in various ways. The texts which I will use to examine these are as follows the set text: Sophocles: Oedipus the King, as well as the two excerpts: Plato's Apology and Homer's The Iliad. These will be discussed below and finally compared in the conclusion.

Fate can be defined as a power that is believed to control events . However fate as far as Greek mythology goes is not just fate. Fate does not always just happen in some instances the gods are able to meddle with the mortals fate, such as in The Iliad where the presence of the gods is great. Human agency can be defined as the capacity for human beings to make choices and to impose these choices on the world . Finally reason can be defined in its simplest form as the ability to think and make judgements2. However in regards to Greek mythology it is not so simplistic and involves more than just the ability to think but the need to solve problems and seek the truth. During the 5th Century BC, Greek tragic theatre was one of a kind, drawing sizeable crowds; one such play was Oedipus the King which encapsulates the elements of tragedy. Tragedy is a serious play in which the main character, by some peculiarity of character, passes through a series of misfortunes leading to a final, devastating catastrophe2. The theme most central to this narrative is fate. Oedipus character contains the element of hamartia or the tragic flaw. Hamartia is the excessive defect in a character's behaviour that will contribute to his downfall . Oedipus's tragic flaw was his hubris which compels him to seek the truth. Oedipus's fate is revealed by Tiresias who says he...

Bibliography: Collins Australian School Dictionary.(1992) Great Britain: HarperCollins Manufacturing.
Homer. Trans. Robert Fagles.(1990) The Iliad. New York: Viking Penguin, p11 in Unit Reader
Plato. Apology. Trans. Hugh Tredennick & Harold Tarrant.(1993) The Last Days of Socrates: Eythphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo. London: Penguin p57-58 in Unit Reader
Segal. E.(ed). (1983). Oxford Readings in Greek Tragedy. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 1983,p 177-210
Sophocles. Trans. Fagles. R.(1984) The Three Theban Plays: Oedipus The King. New York: Penguin Group,1984, p155-253
Wikipedia online. [http://en.wikipedia.org]. 18th September, 2005.
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