Role Of Seers Or Prophets In Sophocles' Tragedies.

1220 words - 5 pages

"We cannot believe, we cannot deny; all is dark."(King Oedipus, pg. 39) Throughout the tragedies of Sophocles there are seers and prophets and the resolution of whether to believe their predictions or to disregard them. This internal struggle of belief causes the prophets to play a major role in the outcome of events in both King Oedipus and Antigone.In the two tragedies by Sophocles there are prophets made and the characters who hear them are torn. "My heart is torn in two. Its hard to give way, and hard to stand abide...... Both ways are hard."(Antigone, pg. 155) The characters are unsure of whether to believe what they have been told or to disregard it as a feeble attempt for the prophets to "seek their own advantage." (Antigone, pg. 154)In the play "King Oedipus", a major prophet is made that shapes the entire outcome of events. Laius was warned by an oracle that his own son would kill him and that he would marry his mother, Jocasta. Determined to reverse this fate, Laius bound his newborn son's feet and sent a shepherd away with him with instructions to leave the child to die on the mountain of Cithaeron. This shows how much effect the prophets really have over the characters.However, Oedipus did not die. The shepherd who was supposed to place Oedipus on the mountain felt sympathy and he passed the child into the hands of a Shepard who then passed Oedipus on to the shepherd in Corinth so that the child may be raised as a prince of Corinth.As the play progresses Oedipus grows up with his "adopted" parents but later he hears of a prophet that he will kill his father and marry his mother. Hearing this, Oedipus fled from home, never to return. Again we see how much influence the seers have on the outcome of events. It was on this journey away from home, which would take Oedipus to Thebes; he was confronted and harassed by a group of travelers, whom he killed in self-defense. The group of travelers was none other than Laius and his companions and when Oedipus killed them, not knowing their true identities; he unknowingly completed the prophecy that was made.The remainder of the play is about Oedipus and his search to find the killer of Laius and his true parents. He is unaware that the killer is actually himself and he goes on a mad search to find the killer. A prophet is made saying that "your enemy is yourself." (King Oedipus, pg. 36) At first Oedipus thinks that this could not possibly be true, but then he remembers the group of men he killed in self-defense and he realizes that it was actually he who killed Laius.He panics and worries that someone will find out it was his doing. He goes on a mad search to find his true parents until he finally finds the shepherd whom was given the task of placing him atop the mountain of Cithaeron. The shepherd informs him that he is the son of Laius and Jocasta. He realizes what he has done and he is broken. Jocasta hears of the truth as well and she kills herself. When Oedipus discovers her body he gouges...

Find Another Essay On Role of seers or prophets in Sophocles' tragedies.

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

2679 words - 11 pages have become king of Corinth. Either way no matter where Oedipus’ life took him, he would have ended up as a king in either Corinth or Thebes. The only times he wouldn’t have become king would be if he was actually killed, or he killed his father while being raised in Thebes. When Jocasta realized what had actually occurred, she immediately wanted to deny it and hide it (Sophocles Lines 1158-1422). She did not want Oedipus to keep looking into

Prophets Facing Backward: Postmodern Critiques of Science and Hindu Nationalism in India

3403 words - 14 pages Meera Nanda's book Prophets Facing Backward is an extraordinary and compelling book. Few in the West are aware of the alarming confluence of ideas arising out of the contemporary nationalistic politics of India with its endorsement of 'Vedic science' and the dominant postmodernist, social constructivist and sociological trends in science studies in the West. Nanda's book is an intellectual bombshell dropped on this potent combination. No one

Antigone or Creon the protagonist in "Antigone", written by Sophocles

913 words - 4 pages AntigoneCritics have traditionally divided over the question of whether Antigone or Creon is the protagonist in the play, Antigone, by Sophocles. The answer lies in ones interpretation of the play. Is it a play about a woman doomed by the sins of her father,r is it a play about a king who holds himself more powerful than the gods?Antigone is the daughter of Oedipus. Oedipus, once the king of Thebes, unwittingly killed his father and married his

Significance of the Women in Sophocles' Antigone

2556 words - 10 pages woman in a supporting role to do most of the instructing of the audience in this regard. This essay will explore the role of women in the drama, the attitude toward women therein, the involvement of women in plot development, and other aspects of women in Antigone.   In the essay, “Sophocles’ Invention of the Third Actor Widened the Scope of Drama,” H.D.F. Kitto describes the new type of atmosphere which the Prologue brings to Antigone

Nature of the Conflict in Sophocles' Antigone

2421 words - 10 pages The Nature of the Conflict in Antigone       In “Sophocles’ Praise of Man and the Conflicts of the Antigone,” Charles Paul Segal explains the nature of the conflict between Antigone and Creon: The conflict between Creon and Antigone has its starting point in the problems of law and justice. At any rate, the difference is most explicitly formulated in these terms in Antigone’s great speech on the divine laws. . . . Against the limited

Concepts Of Sight in Sophocles’ Play Oedipus

1333 words - 5 pages Concepts Of Sight in Sophocles’ Play Oedipus The concept of sight is one of the major motifs throughout Sophocles’ play Oedipus the King. The play revolves primarily around series of events caused by many people’s insight or lack there of. Oedipus does not see that he is caught up in a web of cruel destiny that he cannot escape. The gods demonstrate foresight and insight into the play. In addition to this, Tiresias has physical blindness

What is the role of women in Classical Ancient Greece, and how are they represented in the play 'Antigone' by Sophocles?"

1110 words - 4 pages not comic) and certain religious festivals. Women were prominent in functions such as weddings, and in funerals, since they took care of the bodies. Women were not allowed to visit the ekklesia, the Pan-Hellenic games, or the cherished oracular shrines.In Homer's Odyssey (possibly 9th Century BC), many women feature, but most find their place in the story only by their relationship to the men. A woman's prime role was to procreate and carry on a

Essay on Order and Superstition in the Tragedies of William Shakespeare

1644 words - 7 pages Order and Superstition in the Tragedies of Shakespeare     The concept of order was an extremely important one to William Shakespeare, and to Elizabethans in general. We in the existentialist atomic age have little trouble conceiving of an individual man or woman as the only beacon of light in a world gone irrevocably and irredeemably mad, but this would be inconceivable to Shakespeare and his audience. Shakespeare staunchly followed the

The Punishment of Wrongdoing in Greek Tragedies, Emphasizing Pentheus, Creon, and Jason

913 words - 4 pages In Greek tragedies wrongdoing was often severely punished, especially if the wrongdoing involved defying the gods. The gods, being superior to mortals, rarely concerned themselves with mortals except for in occasional acts of lust or acts of vengeance after being defied or angered by a mortal. Mortals who happened to anger the gods faced many misfortunes, but although the punishments of the god were both harsh and severe, they were

Sophocles' 'Oedipus The King' - Was Oedipus a victim of hubris or a victim of the gods?

1209 words - 5 pages with what Sophocles portrays. Early in the play he establishes that Oedipus was a good and enviable man. He saved Thebes from the Sphinx and was moved by pity to try and rid them of the plague. The Chorus claims that, "...he will not be condemned in my mind." (Ln 512); not something one would say of a hugely unjust and proud man. Dodds states that if "...the punishment preceded the crime [it] is surely an odd kind of justice." (Dodds) On this

The Importance of the Chorus in Sophocles' "Oedipus Rex"

1362 words - 5 pages "Oedipus Rex", written by Sophocles takes place in the city of Thebes. The chorus within the play represents, for the most part, the people of Thebes, giving them a significant role in the play. There are several specific purposes for which the chorus is utilized. These include providing the audience with background information and summaries of recent events, allowing for scene changes, entrances and exits and indicating the passage of time

Similar Essays

The Crucial Role Of Teiresias In Sophocles’ Antigone

674 words - 3 pages The Crucial Role of Teiresias in Sophocles’ Antigone Antigone is a tragic play written by Sophocles in ancient Greece during approximately 441 B.C. The story is set in a palace in Thebes, a city within Greece. Teiresias is an old blind prophet who claims to be capable of seeing the future, he has yet to tell a prophesy to be untrue; he has immense credibility. A theme within the text is: quality not quantity. In this translation of Antigone

The Important Role Of Pride In Sophocles' Antigone

1711 words - 7 pages In the novel Antigone by Sophocles, there is much betrayal in the novel, that a enormous quantity of the novel is generally about family, pride, and a drastic amount of drama. In the novel Antigone, the king Creon who was passed the thrown from Etocles because his brother Polynecies killed him for the ruling of Thebes but they both ended dying and Creon does not let anyone bury the body of Polynecies because he was a trader fighting against his

The Role Of Pride In Sophocles' Oedipus The King

991 words - 4 pages sick as you are, not one is sick as I” (71 -73). Only a twisted judgment can establish such statement without developing a full report on the plague. He already considers that the people suffer nothing compared to his own. Instead, he believes because of his apparent role in the city, he feels all pain, which may be true, yet he deserves no right to describe his pain worse than the actual decay and death of an infected body. His lack of faith is

Satire In The Tragedies Of Euripides

1819 words - 7 pages , goes on to say, “Then why do we employ these prophets? Better were it to sacrifice / to the gods, and crave a blessing, leaving prophecy alone; for this was but devised as a bait to catch livelihood, and no man grows rich by divination if he is idle. No! sound judgment / and discernment are the best of seers” (lines 352-354). In this exchange between Menelaus and the messenger there is no need to guess, or leave open to interpretation, exactly