AP Lit and Comp
October 24, 2008
Choose a character from a novel or play of recognized literary merit and write an essay in which you (a) briefly describe the standards of the fictional society in which the character exists and (b) show how the character is affected by and responds to those standards. In your essay do not merely summarize the plot. Oedipal society is a very religious civilization. The plebes religiously work their fields, pray to the gods to help their wheat grow, let the sun shine, and allow them to live for a few more years. They also religiously show deference to their leader, Oedipus. Oedipus is the one who has freed them of their slavery from the cursed sphinx who stumped many a greater man with her patronizing riddle. Not Oedipus though, he found a way to rise above, and they reward him with kingship and the newly widowed Iokaste’s hand in marriage, but how does he respond to this awe inspiring show of appreciation.. And how does he respond to the new society that Thebes has sheltered him in. Through careful research and masterful use of language, Sophocles reveals all this and more in his drama “Oedipus Rex”. In Greece, all pay homage to the gods. God Apollo is the ruler of… In Oedipus Rex, he serves as a foil to not just Oedipus, but also the society Oedipus lives in.. When the gods speak, the people listen humbly and act in the way they believe the gods will find most pleasing. When a soothsayer predicts a problem based upon the signs of the gods, people act as best they can to avoid disaster. For example, when Laius hears that he will have a son who will kill him, he immediately arranges for his son to be killed and abandoned on a mountain. This is nothing more than what would happen in modern American society as far as averting disaster is concerned, but these people are a bit more apt to accept what an oracle says than twenty-first century thinkers. In this society, everyone has a place. Everyone works...
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