Destiny, Fate, Free Will and Free Choice - Prophecies in Oedipus, Antigone, and Agamemnon

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The Damning Prophecies in Oedipus, Antigone, and Agamemnon Oracles, seers, and prophets are used in Greek tragedy to provide foreshadowing for the audience and characters. The seers' wisdom is conveyed through the pronouncement of oracles or prophecies. They confer forecasts to principal characters that affect the characters' future. Although not always believed, and often endeavored to be foiled, seers, oracles, and prophets in Greek tragedies foretell events that greatly affect the lives of prominent characters. Cassandra in Aeschylus' Agamemnon, the Oracle at Delphi in Sophocles' Oedipus, and Teiresias in Sophocles' Antigone pronounce damning prophecies that, despite ignorance, evasion, or disregard, are inevitably fulfilled to the downfall and destruction of the characters. The seer Cassandra in The Agamemnon foretells the downfall and destruction of Agamemnon. Cassandra delivers several predictions of Agamemnon's impending death. "Agamemnon's dead is what you'll see."[p77] "The room- it reeks! Drips red with murder." p80 She also sees her murder that is unavoidable. "So, then I go / To sing the dirge of my own demise / And Agamemnon's too within the palace." p81 Cassandra's visions are heard by the chorus who are skeptical of her claims. Her visions are not believed by Agamemnon because of a curse set on her by the Greek god Apollo. Agamemnon is oblivious to her forecasts and believes he will live on and remain king. "So, overborne by you, I shall proceed / To tread the purple to my palace halls." Agamemnon infers that he will be able to safely return to power in his kingdom and is unaware of the treasonous plot calculated by his wife Clytemnestra and ... ... middle of paper ... ...t suicide in anger at Kreon. Lives are lost and Kreon is disgraced as a king. In spite of his avoidance the prophecy is realized. Although not always believed, and often endeavored to be foiled, seers, oracles, and prophets in Greek tragedies foretell events that greatly affect the lives of prominent characters. Cassandra in Aeschylus' Agamemnon, the Oracle at Delphi in Sophocles' Oedipus, and Teiresias in Sophocles' Antigone pronounce damning prophecies that, despite ignorance, evasion, or disregard, are inevitably fulfilled to the downfall and destruction of the characters. Oracles, seers, and prophets from Greek tragedy correctly predict the destruction of important characters. Despite the characters' arrogance or avoidance, the prophecies are fulfilled. The characters' blatant contempt for prophecy contributes to the irony of their situations.

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