theban plays

Topics: Oedipus, Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus Pages: 9 (2505 words) Published: October 14, 2014
Pillai 1
Rahul Pillai
Professor Black
English 2315
9 October 2014
Sins of the Fathers: Man’s hubris vs. Fate’s intervention in the Theban plays. The sins of the fathers in the Theban plays written by Sophocles, illustrates the conflicts between man’s actions against the power of unwritten law, the willingness to ignore the truth, the misused limits of free will, and the false notion of beating the ways of fate. The fathers, chronologically Lauis, Oedipus, and Creon all show people who acted in ways to avoid the predestined fates set up on them for their own happiness. The first father, Lauis the king of Thebes is portrayed as a person who lets his hubris and ego attempt to rewrite his fate by not heading to the gods, letting lust control his mind and sacrificing others just for his own benefits. On the other hand Oedipus, the son of Lauis initially is contrasted as a man who tries to runs away from his fate to only fall back into the tracks of fate by his own actions.. Lastly Creon, the king after Oedipus brings downfall upon his own house, by not knowing his limit to pride over his power as king and ego. His retaliation to the laws of the gods and his false believe of him being supreme welcomes destruction at his own household. These three men ruled the city of Thebes, but do to their unwitting actions and feeble attempts to run away from fate resulted in sin. Each of the three men exhibited the same flaws as their predecessors had, all three of them become great men, while at that same time in their own eyes they witness their own annihilation from to hubris.

Pillai 2
Laius, King of Thebes and father of Oedipus, commits a crime before his married to Jocasta. Laius, who was to be king of Thebes had sovereignty issues with his fellow family members, forcing him to leave the city and seek refuge in the neighboring kingdom of Pisa, where lived the king Pelops and his illegitimate son Chrysippus. King Pelops felt should master the arts appointed Laius as his teacher. However in the turn of events, Laius falls in love with the young boy exhibiting homosexuality returns to Thebes with the young boy to reclaim his throne. The gods hearing out about this sin of homosexuality with a young boy punished Laius by cursing him to become childless and condemned his kingdom with the sphinx to bring havoc in Thebes. (The Tale of the Golden Fleece; Laius and Chryssippus -Greek Mythology). Laius sins again when he marries the wife of Pelops, Hippodamia who was also the stepmother of Chrysippus, thus initiating Laius as the young boy’s stepfather. When Hippodamia finds out about the relationship of Chryssippus and Laius, she becomes jealous and murders her stepson Chrysippus while he and Laius were in bed together (The Tale of the Golden Fleece; Laius and

Chrisippus -Greek Mythology). Chrysippus dies due to the sins of Laius, even though he was his stepson. This first scenario shows how the sins of the father played in this book. The next obvious sin that Lauis commits is by conceiving Oedipus with Jocasta. The gods deemed him to remain childless, but in his own state of pride and ego, he disobeys which ultimately results in the consequences that Oedipus has to face because of his father’s sins. Both Jocasta and King Laius set out to the oracle of Apollo to ask about their and Thebes future, but instead prophesies that if Lauis should get a child, it will grow grow up to kill him and marry his mother as the result of Lauis’s sins. Heeding with warning,

Pillai 3
“It remains even into the third generation, ever since Laius—in defiance of Apollo who, at his Pythian oracle at the earth's center, said three times that the king would save his city if he died without offspring —ever since he, overcome by the thoughtlessness of his longing, fathered his own death, the parricide Oedipus, who sowed his mother's sacred field, where he was nurtured, and endured a bloody crop. Madness united the frenzied bridal pair.” (Seven against...

Cited: Laius and Chrisippus-Greek Mythology. 2 Feb. 2005 .
The Tale of the Golden Fleece. 2 Feb. 2005
The Complete Greek Tragedies Sophocles. Second ed. Press The University of
Chicago, 1991
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