Consequences And Moderation In Oedipus Rex By Sophocles

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Mēdén Agan Carved into the temple Delphi in Greece is the phrase, “mēdén ágan” which means “nothing in excess.” The ancient Greeks had a firm belief in moderation. They thought that if there was an extravagant amount of a particular aspect or quality in one’s life, consequences would ensue. In the play Oedipus Rex Sophocles expresses this philosophy of “nothing in excess” by depicting the negative effects and the ultimate downfall of people who don 't live in a moderate state. While Sophocles was writing “Oedipus Rex,” the power of Athens was diminishing. A war broke out in 431 B.C. between Athens and Sparta and that dragged on for 27 years and nine years later in 404 B.C. Athens suffered a humiliating defeat — leading to the loss of power…show more content…
In the play, Jocasta and Laius received an awful prophecy about their son. This prophecy claimed that their son would one day kill Laius and marry Jocasta. Because of this, Jocasta sends her son away to die in an effort to prevent the prophecy of the Gods. This belief that she could outwit the gods and avoid the prophecy indicates Jocasta’s extreme excessive pride. She assumed she was more powerful than the Gods and could run away from her fate. It was foolish of her to believe all was well after trying to intervene with her future she knew to be inevitable. What Jocasta does not know is that her son didn 't die and the prophecies did, in fact, come true. Yet, because she is filled with so much pride, she lives her life with the inability to see the truth. Jocasta thinks because she sent her son away to be killed, the problem of the prophecy is solved; but this isn’t the case. She ends up doing the very thing she was certain could never happen and marries her…show more content…
His arrogance is shown in the very first lines he speaks, “Here I am – myself – you all know me, / the world knows my fame: / I am Oedipus” (7-9). When Oedipus is told by the oracle that he will marry his mother and kill his father, he arrogantly thinks he can run away from his fate. Believing that Polybus and Merope were his biological parents, Oedipus fled Corinth, attempting to escape his destiny. Oedipus ' pride is revealed in his belief that he is greater than the gods. He believes that he is capable of establishing his own destiny apart from the gods ' control or help. He flees his home to try to thwart the prophecy; but just as Jocasta’s fate was inevitable, so was Oedipus’. Oedipus ends up committing the two acts the prophecy projected, though he does not know it at the
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