Medea, Oedipus, and the Gods

Topics: Sophocles, Tragedy, Euripides Pages: 4 (1551 words) Published: April 8, 2014

“Medea, Oedipus and the Gods”
All Greek tragedies no matter how dissimilar share underlying commonality. According to Aristotle, the first true theater critic, all tragedies are composed of several common features. “Medea” and “Oedipus the King” are no different. They both contain strong plot, thought, character, language, melody and spectacle. They also both have their own unique conflict, event and themes. One reoccurring theme through almost all Greek tragedies is the role of the gods and fate, both of which play an integral part in “Medea” and “Oedipus.” But, the authors of each play seem to have extremely different views on the role of fate, and the amount of interaction and interference the gods have in the lives of mortals. These views give us an insight into the beliefs of the culture they came from. Throughout both Medea and Oedipus, the characters are faced with struggle and hardship. From Oedipus being destined to kill his father and marry his mother to Medea killing her brother and then being left by Jason, both characters seem to have been destined by the gods for a cruel end. Oedipus tries and fails to tempt fate and ovoid his destiny due to the active role the gods play in his life, whereas Medea refuses to accept her fate and creates her own destiny with the blessing of less interactive gods. Sophocles’ tragedy “Oedipus the King” begins with Oedipus attempting the save his city’s citizens from the struggles they currently are enduring. He soon learns that to appease the gods he must prosecute the man who murdered the king. Oedipus begins his pursuit of the old king’s killer, unaware that he himself murdered the king, his father, and married the queen, his mother. Fate continues to haunt Oedipus as he unknowingly fulfills everything the oracle had spoken and he had dedicated his life to avoid. No matter how hard he tries, his fate is predetermined and cannot be avoided, the gods have determined Oedipus’ destiny and nothing he can do will...
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