Loyalty Conflicts Between Family And State In Homer’s Odyssey, And Sophocles’ Oedipus The King And

3396 words - 14 pages

Loyalty Conflicts between Family and State in Homer’s Odyssey, and Sophocles’ Oedipus the King and Antigone

Everyday we are faced with hundreds of decisions. Some of the decisions take very little time and are made without a second thought. Other decisions hold more at stake and can tear a person in two while trying to make the final decision. The basis of many of the hardest decisions is the conflict between family and state. The decision between pursuing a career and starting a family first is an example. Once a family is started, there are endless decisions about daycare, office meetings, and school activities to decide which will take priority. These decisions can become harder during a time of war. People are forced to choose between their personal lives including education, family and careers, and their duties as a citizen.

Some of the earliest recorded literature presents this conflict between family and state. Homer’s novel, The Odyssey, deals with the issue at a time of war. Sophocles also addresses the conflict in two of his famous plays, Oedipus the King and Antigone. In the Greek language, this is a conflict between oikos1 and polis. 2 This essay will present the separation of loyalty between oikos and polis as is evident in early literature and in decisions of today.

A modern example of the conflict between oikos and polis at a time of war can be seen in one National Guard soldier, Ryan. In February, 2003, Ryan was twenty-one years old and had just received a degree from a two-year college. He had met the woman he wanted to marry and had recently proposed to her. The couple had not set a date, but was looking at the spring of 2004. Everything was headed towards a bright future. Then Ryan got the call that his National Guard troop was being sent to Iraq. Things suddenly started to move too fast. Ryan did not have much time before deployment, and he and his fiancé had a huge decision to make on when to get married. There were benefits and comforts to getting married before he left, but there were also negatives, like not being able to have the perfect wedding they had envisioned. One week the decision was to be united in marriage at the court house, and the next week they had decided to wait. After volleying the marriage idea back and forth, they ultimately decided to wait until Ryan safely returned. Thus far, the couple is happy with the decision because Ryan is still safe, and hopefully will return safely in the summer of 2004.

True loyalty is being prepared to give a life for the cause. What and whom loyalty is given to has changed over the centuries. Loyalty was once given to the family and the government as one, because the two were one, then it progressed into loyalty to the government, or polis, and today everyone is loyal to his or her own beliefs. The separation of oikos and polis will be examined and the resulting loyalties will then be analyzed.

...

Find Another Essay On Loyalty Conflicts between Family and State in Homer’s Odyssey, and Sophocles’ Oedipus the King and

Parallels between Virgil’s The Aenieid and Homer’s The Odyssey

1071 words - 4 pages In Virgil’s The Aeneid, there are many parallels found in Homer’s The Odyssey. In each epic, the heroes, Aeneas and Odysseus, are on a journey “home.” Aeneas is on the search of a new home for he and his companions to settle since Troy has been destroyed, Odysseus on the other hand is attempting to return to his home he left years earlier to fight the Trojan War. They both have Gods against them and helping them, both Aeneas and Odysseus are

Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex (the King) and Seneca’s Oedipus

1121 words - 4 pages Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex (the King) and Seneca’s Oedipus   Contrary to Sophocles’ Oedipus that was written to the Greeks, a peaceful and wise audience, Seneca’s Oedipus was written to the Romans, a militaristic and violent community.  Seneca successfully appeals to the elements of Roman literature; therefore, Edith Hamilton in The Roman Way calls him the “Father of sentimental drama.”  Seneca wrote the play in around 50 AD about 480 years

Characterization in Oedipus the King and Homer's Odyssey

1277 words - 5 pages , and what they themselves say, which shall be the focus of this essay.  Both Oedipus, in Sophocles'  King Oedipus  and Odysseus, in The Odyssey of Homer, oftenare spoken of by others, but their own words are telling, as certain emotions and traits can be seen.  Traits of a character can often be masked or distorted by favorable or unfavorable descriptions by others, but their own speech, however calculated or controlled, often clearly shows

This essay outlines the similarities in theme, symbolism and writing structure between William Shakespear's "Hamlet" and Sophocles "Oedipus King"

877 words - 4 pages . Sophocles Oedipus King and Shakespeare's Hamlet both contain the basic elements of tragedy, although the Shakespearean tragedy expanded its setting far beyond that of the ancient Greek tragedy.The theme of the tormented king is perhaps the strongest comparison between Hamlet and Oedipus King. In Hamlet, Shakespeare establishes the theme of torment early in the play with the arrival of the ghost of Hamlet's murdered father, the former King of

Shame, Equality, and Blindness: Oedipus the King by Sophocles

1537 words - 6 pages Throughout Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, shame, equality, and blindness are all themes presented. Tiresias, a blind prophet attempts to convince King Oedipus that he has lived a shameful life by bringing light to the truth that Oedipus had no idea who his real parents are, and that he himself is the one who killed Laius. Tiresias, though blind, can clearly see the truth and shame that Oedipus lives in, while Oedipus, though he can see, is

"Oedipus, the King" and His Fate, by Sophocles

872 words - 3 pages Oedipus The King, by Sophocles, is a play about how Oedipus lives up his fate that he will kill his father and marry his mother, both of which are extremely bad in the Greek society, even though he thinks he is getting away from it. Despite the Greek notions of supreme power of the gods and fate, Oedipus' downfall is primarily the result of King Laius' and his own actions and attempts to defy the gods, consequently Sophocles says that prophecies

The Role of Irony and Fate in Oedipus The King by Sophocles

2679 words - 11 pages ” (Sophocles Lines 157-159). He was basically just trying to save himself more than he was trying to save the citizens of Thebes. The idea of a metaphorical plague exists because there is something rotten that is affecting the moral state of Thebes. This is due to the fact that there is incestuous activity occurring between his mother, Jocasta, and Oedipus himself. The audience is able to understand how the citizens of Thebes feel after finding out

The Concept of Legitimaiton in Oedipus the King by Sophocles and Crito by Plato

994 words - 4 pages Oedipus the king by Sophocles and Crito by Plato both have an active indication of the concept of legitimation and each one presents variations in using the authority through the rational and the traditional forms of legitimation. However, there was a minor concern about the charismatic legitimation in both of them. Traditional legitimation was shown in Oedipus the king by the Delphic oracle and the divine intervention. Also, it presented in

Similar Ideas of Fate in Oedipus the King, by Sophocles and Crash

672 words - 3 pages The play, Oedipus the King, by Sophocles, shares very similar ideas of fate as the movie Crash. Fate is the idea that the outcome of events are out of our control, that your life is predetermined. Both of these works use the idea that one cannot escape their fate, that it is set and nothing can change it. However, in Oedipus the King, Oedipus believes that he can escape or change his fate while the characters in Crash do not even try to. In the

Sophocles: Oedipus the King

916 words - 4 pages .). Colonus had its own legendary heroes, one of which was the center of “three of Sophocles' most famous tragedies”, Oedipus. According to the legend, one of the local heroes had “been an exiled Theban king who vanished mysteriously in a grove at Colonus and who continued to protect the area until Sophocles' own day”. During the fifth century, contests were held and prizes were awarded to the finest playwrights. “Sophocles was to receive the first

Sophocles' Oedipus the King

1256 words - 6 pages direction to fulfill it. One’s Destiny is always planned, and not even the mighty Oedipus has the power to use freewill. Furthermore, the Gods did not stop after his birth, nor did they finished after these years as a young man, they will always hold him to his dreadful Destiny. After Oedipus took flight from his home in Corinth, he stumbled upon another disaster in his distressed state of mind. Threatened and pushed by the King of Thebes’ caravan

Similar Essays

Comparing The Hero In Sophocles' Oedipus The King, Homer's Odyssey, And Tan's Joy Luck Club

2662 words - 11 pages Heros in Sophocles' Oedipus the King, Homer's Odyssey, and Tan's Joy Luck Club         In world literature, there are two types of archetypal protagonists, the mythic hero and the tragic hero. Mythic heroes, like Homer's Odysseus, represent the combination of superhuman virtues and human imperfections. These traits create a supernatural adventure with a realistic character. The mythic hero is favored by divine powers and eventually

Contrast Between Oedipus The King And Antigone By Sophocles

945 words - 4 pages Contrast between Oedipus the King and Antigone Sophocles, a famous and renowned Greek dramatist, is the playwright to both the play Oedipus the King and Antigone. Along with Antigone and Oedipus Sophocles had also wrote Electra and Fete. Sophocles wrote many Greek tragedies which are plays in which the main character in the play suffers a tragedy due to some flaw of theirs. An example would be how Oedipus (thinking he is defying a prophecy

Blindness, Sight And Eyes In Sophocles' Oedipus The King

680 words - 3 pages The Deeper Meaning of Sight and Eyes in Sophocles' Oedipus The King In Sophocles' play, "Oedipus The King," the continuous references to eyes and sight possess a much deeper meaning than the literal message. These allusions are united with several basic underlying themes. The story contains common Ancient Greek philosophies, including those of Plato and Parmenides, which are often discussed and explained during such references. A third

Tragedy In Sophocles' Oedipus The King And Antigone

1418 words - 6 pages Tragedy in Sophocles' Oedipus The King and Antigone The Greeks considered tragedy the greatest form for literature.  However, the tragic ends for the characters were not ordained or set by fate, but rather caused by certain characteristics belonging to that person.  Such is the case with the characters of Sophocles' plays Oedipus the King and Antigone.  Oedipus from King Oedipus, and Antigone and Creon from Antigone posses characteristics