Characters Protagonist: Oedipus Antagonist: Fate. the Truth Oedipus (ED Ih pihs or EE dih plhs): King of Thebes. Jocasta: Wife of Oedipus. Creon: Jocasta’s brother. Teireslas (tl RE se uhs): Blind prophet. Antigone(an TIG uh ne): Daughter of Oedipus. Ismene (iz ME ne):Daughter of Oedipus. Messenger Shepherd Chorus of Theban Elders Setting Ancient Greece In the city of Thebes, northwest of Athens. Theme … Fate punishes the proud and the insolent with ironic outcomes terrible to behold. Oedipus as king of Thebes exhibits great pride (hubris) that blinds his ability to accept the truth.
Ironically, the blind prophet Teiresias readily “sees” the truth. ) As a result, Fate sends Oedipus tumbling headlong into an abyss of humiliation, grief, and remorse In a single day. In nearly every form of art, one can find certain universal that stand out and represent a major theme for the work. In the same way as these ideas regarding universal themes can be applied to novels and short stories, so too can they be applied to dramatic works, such as plays and cinema.
Especially In Greek Drama, one can notice the early emergence of Universal Values and key ideas that will have an effect on literature for centuries to come.
From playwrights such as Shakespeare, to modern authors such as Stephen King, the ancient works of Greek drama, tragedy and even comedy have acted as an Inspiration in both story and style. However, perhaps one of the most widely referenced and well known of the ancient Greek dramas Is the Sophocles’s trilogy of Oedipus the King. Not only are these three plays tremendously Influential to the worlds of drama and literature, they are also key examples of how a universal value can come to affect the entire course of a dramatic work.
Wlthln Oedipus the King Ile many common themes and morals that can be drawn upon by the reader_ However. erhaps the universal values that are most crucial to the play and its work are those regarding morality and truth. Note that throughout the sequence ot plays one can see many reterences to Justice and the meaning of law and truth, as well as their interpretation in the eyes of the individual in opposition of their meaning to the state or government. Perhaps one of the most notable instances in the play where the conflict regarding law and moral obligations can be seen is witnessed in Antigone.
Within Antigone, it is mentioned that the good of the state comes before the good of the Individual populace. Communism much later in history. From this early controversy in the course of the dramatic work, it becomes quickly apparent that the universal value of law and justice will play a large role in shaping the plot of the story. As the play progresses the reader notices more and more the plot taking influence from the universal values of law and moral obligations.
It is interesting to note that much of the proceeding actions in Antigone are simply a result of Antigone’s questioning of the laws that prevent her from properly burying her brother. Keep in mind, Antigone does not believe that her brother should be treated in the manner that he is, she also believes hat he deserves, at the least, a proper burial. Even though Antigone’s quest for what she believes to be Justice begins at an early point in the play, it is this quest for truth, which Oedipus also undertakes, that gives voice to most of the actions that follows in the play.
Interestingly enough, the entire plot is affected as a result of the universal value of morality and the quest for Justice. However, it is not Just the story of Antigone that is affected by the universal values of morality and truth. Throughout the entire trilogy, Sophocles places a major influence on the roles of both truth and orality. Note especially that it is Oedipus’ failure to acknowledge the truth in his prophecies that leads to his tragic downfall.
Also interesting is that Jocasta and Oedipus chooses simply to ignore the truth, even when they are directly confronted with it. In that matter, the universal value of truth influences everything else that will happen during the rest of the drama. Note that if such a high value was not placed on truth or the perils of ignoring it, the entire sequence of events may very well have unfolded quite differently. In fact, it often appears as though the characters in this lay go out of their way to avoid acknowledging the truth, which is something beyond simply ignoring it.
While there are definitely many important and universal values that can be found with the trilogy of stories relating to Oedipus the King, there can be no doubt that the universal value which affects the plot the most is the simply idea of truth, and the consequences which come with alternatively accepting the truth, trying to hide it, or running from it. It is the value of truth, which nearly every living person is taught at some point in their lives, which comes to influence the plot f the drama, the most.
Note that it is truth, which sets up the fall of nearly every character in the play. It is in hiding from the truth of his own prophecies that Oedipus sets himself up for his own tragic flaw. And it is in ignoring the truth and law of the land that Antigone begins to find her own way into the great classics of literature. Perhaps, even more the being a universal value, the idea of truth is simply a fundamental value, as there are few instances and written works that do not, in at least some sense, depend on the value of truth in order to infuse the plot with meaning and depth.
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