Next, Polyphemus demonstrates hubris by believing that because he is a giant, he is unbeatable by anyone, even a god. This is shown when Odysseus meets Polyphemus and greets him with gifts, as it is a custom to show courtesy to hosts and guests alike, (unexpected or not). Failure to give gifts can lead to revenge from the gods. Odysseus tells Polyphemus this, but Polyphemus “would not let you go for fear of Zeus” because the Cyclopes “have more force by far ”. (205; 200) Polyphemus then angers the gods further by kidnapping and eating Odysseus’ men, both of which are considered extremely uncivil in Greek society. Polyphemus is so confident in his invulnerability he lets the men roam free inside the cave, a mistake that leads to his downfall.
Brittnne Bennett Bennett 1Mrs. BardEnglish Honors25 January 2014The cursed journey of Oedipus By conducting a thorough reading of Sophocles play Oedipus the king, one will easily view Oedipus as caring, getting ahead of himself, and seemingly on a personal journey. In the process of this journey you come to, and understanding that there is more to this apologue than it appears. Due to the fact that, Oedipus goes through a life changing journey; Between his biological family, people who he considered his family, and himself. The decision that he chooses to make will either bring him peace or misery. The story commences with a toxic plague tormenting the city of Thebes. The Priest approaches Oedipus his king, and begs him to help cease this curse. Being a considerate and understanding king who loves his people Oedipus was already one step ahead. At that point Oedipus had sent his brother-in-law Creon to talk to the god Apollo, to grasp and understand as to why this was happening to his people. In return, Creon had suggested to Oedipus that he talks to Tiresias, "The man who sees most eye to eye with Lord Apollo." (Will 17) In doing so, it doesn't end well as Oedipus felt betrayed by his brother-in-law; for sending a false prophet. Leading him to accuse Creon of wanting to steal the throne. As this predicament rises the chorus leader state's that " Quick decisions are not the safest." (Will 35)
From birth, Dionysus showed his mysterious and dual personality. Zeus was attracted to his mother, Semele, a princess of Thebes, and visited her in human guise and she became pregnant. She was tricked by Hera into asking him to reveal himself in his divine glory, whereupon she was instantly burned in the thundering fires. From her smoldering body a vine grew to shield the fetus, a bull-horned child crowned with serpents. Zeus removed him and placed him into his own thigh, from where Dionysus was later born; hence he is called twice-born. To protect the new infant from Hera's jealousy, Hermes carried him to Ino, Semele's sister, as a foster mother, and she started to raise him as a girl. Ino and her husband were driven mad and killed their own children. Then the divine child was changed into a young goat, and taken by Hermes to be raised by the nymphs of Mount Nysa. He was tutored by Silenus, often shown as a drunken satyr (Powell, 243). From these beginnings we can begin to detect some of the recurring images in the Dionysian religion: the vine, whether grape or ivy; the polymorphic, shape-shifting nature of the god; the madness and violence he brings with him; the wildness of nature, and the mountain nymphs and satyrs.
Trying to solve the mystery of who killed the previous King, Oedipus does not look at the facts around him. As a prophet, Teiresias explains to Oedipus that he is at fault for the death of Laius but Oedipus does not accept this as true, he embraces the darkness and his view of the truth. Teiresias goes further to convince Oedipus of his fault by saying, “Your clear eyes flooded with darkness. That day will come.” Oedipus has placed himself in a world that is suitable as the truth for him. He is not prepared for change or the opinions of others although he is directly seeking the answer to who killed Laius. This connects to Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” because Oedipus is very similar to the prisoners. He is set in his way and the light of knowledge does not immediately impact him. Teiresias bluntly says to Oedipus, “You have eyes to see with, but you do not see yourself” (Sophocles, 42). He pushes and pushes Oedipus to understand that he killed Laius but with no luck. Once Oedipus learns more about how Laius was killed and figures out that he killed a man that way he goes into the light. His reality has now changed just as it did for the prisoner who was released from the cave. But for Oedipus, facing the truth is something he is not able to do with ease. Teiresias says to Oedipus that “wisdom is a curse when [it] does nothing for the man who has it” (37).
... I see a bull.” (Line 917) Pentheus, after disregarding the existence of the god of nature, Dionysus, in the entire duration of the play, finally sees the god’s true form: a bull. As a consequence of possession, his blindness is partially cured. His own old preconceptions about the world, about his own superiority, and denying the existence of nature is now split into two worlds: one side that does believe, and one side that still does not—resulting in his skewed vision of the city. Even after being partially enlightened (especially seeing Dionysus’s true form for the first time), Pentheus still underestimates the god’s powers and foolishly heads to the hills to be mauled by his own family and the other women under Dionysus’s spell of frenzy. It is almost ironic that Pentheus perishes at the hand of his own mother as a result of her blindness—she sees him as a lion.
The predominant priority in characterizing Oedipus throughout the play is in describing his strengths. This priority can only be explained by Sophocles striving to convey that Oedipus is to be viewed as a good and righteous person in both character and action rather than the one who caused the tragedy. Oedipus’s dedication to his word leads him to banishing himself after he realizes he is the one who has brought misfortune upon Thebes. The chorus of the play also frequently honors him and laments his tragedy, feeling truly mournful that the savior of Thebes is forced to suffer. After he saves Thebes from the terrorism and rises to lead successfully and justly, the people are trusting of him and give more note to his successes. Still, it must be noted that none of these acts result in Oedipus’s downfall. Only the killing of his father and marriage to his mother can be seen as the actions that cause his undoing. All other destructive actions by Oedipus in the play can only be taken after he commits these two terrible
Prometheus Bound is quite different from other tragedies in that it is peopled entirely by gods. The play focuses on the story of Prometheus, and we have versions of this myth in Hesiod's famous works. There is reason to think that the author of Prometheus Bound was not only acquainted with Hesiod's version but actually drew on Hesiod directly in this play. This essay therefore aims to establish in what ways the author of Prometheus Bound seems to have drawn from Hesiod's version of myth, in what ways he has diverged from it, and what reasons he might have had for making these changes and innovations. This might therefore highlight any particular emphasis or purpose of Prometheus Bound and what its author might have been trying to get across. Though there is not space in this essay to discuss the problems of attributing this play, it must be recognised that this ambiguity of authorship and dating makes it even more difficult than usual to look at views and purposes behind the play.
...trated this by betraying the trust that people had in men and the gods with his foolish and reckless action against Cadmus and his family. Dionysus refuted rational thinking by letting his emotions for revenge stand in the way of his contemplating how a god should behave. In doing all the things Dionysus has destroyed the ideal way one would expect a god to conduct their self. Euripides portrays a Dionysus that single handily destroys all the cultural values of Hellenic Greece; however, Euripides is able to capture the changing values of his audience and pave the way for the culture of Hellenistic Greece to begin to dominate societal thought.
...lts of the insolent suitors in his own home. The anger of Odysseus is only matched by Telemachus whose restraint is forcefully elevated in order to hamper his new mature instinct of defending his father. Meanwhile, Odysseus is forced to couple this with control over holding his love, Penelope, in his arms. Yet, both characters are able to avoid the impediments and at last battle side by side against their foes.
Both Zeus and his son Dionysus are no different in this case. Zeus has continually been portrayed as wrathful and violent, he has no problem enacting revenge on another if he feels the victim deserves the punishment. In the story of Prometheus, Zeus tortures Prometheus for his thievery sentencing him to a cruel punishment, “Everyday he sent an eagle to feed on his captives liver, which, however much it was devoured, always grew back again” (35). This excerpt tells of how Zeus is often cruel, unforgiving and quick to enact revenge on his enemies. Even though Zeus is immortal and thought to be the figure of perfection, he still endows many flawed characteristics. He even goes as far as taking pleasure in the pain and agony Prometheus faces for sneaking behind Zeus’s back. I feel this points to how even Zeus isn’t perfect in nature for he often falls prey to the destructive human emotion: anger. Like his father, Dionysus is also quick to enact revenge on his enemies through vicious and bloody ways. In the tale of Pentheus, Dionysus gladly lets the King Pentheus be ripped to bloody shreds for mocking his divine ceremonies. “First they hurled stones, boughs torn from trees, and their
Oedipus Rex”, by Socrates, is a play that shows the fault of men and the ultimate power of the gods. Throughout the play, the main character, Oedipus, continually failed to recognize the fault in human condition, and these failures let to his ultimate demise. Oedipus failed to realize that he, himself was the true answer to the riddle of the Sphinx. Oedipus ignored the truth told to him by the oracles and the drunk at the party, also. These attempts to get around his fate which was determined by the gods was his biggest mistake. Oedipus was filled with hubris and this angered the gods. He believed he was more that a man. These beliefs cause him to ignore the limits he had in being a man. Oedipus needed to look at Teiresias as his window to his future.
Oedipus tried frantically to elude his predicted destiny and outsmart the gods and their celestial power. By pushing the parameters of his social margins, the delicate connection between god and man becomes more obvious. At the opening of Sophocles’ play, Oedipus is confronted with all the difficulties of Thebes, the city he governs as King. The crops are dying, the flocks are unhealthy, children are dying, and an epidemic is devastating the population. All these predicaments became apparent, after the demise of the city’s prior king, Laius and Oedipus takes over. The plagues of the town are a punishment on the citizens for not discovering their prior King’s killer. This play illustrates the direct involvement of the gods in Oedipus’ destiny, Oedipus’ effort to change his fate, and by trying to defy his destiny; he unknowingly fulfilled it. All his efforts were in vain, as the gods had already determined his future.
When Tiresias walks onto the stage he is a blind, old man needing assistance to stay on his own two feet. He had been summoned by King Oedipus to do as he says and give him answers. The power takes a complete shift in this scene though as Tiresias refuses to answer to Oedipus saying that “it’s better that way, please believe me”. As Oedipus’ anger grows so does Tiresias’ power continue to increase as he continues to defy his King. Eventually Tiresias loses his cool and yells to Oedipus that “you are the curse, the corruption of the land”. At this moment the power shifts due to the shift in blame and responsibility. It has turned from Oedipus blaming Tiresias for not telling him anything and ends with Tiresias holding Oedipus responsible for Thebes’ undoing. Sophocles has used Tiresias to add extra emphasis due to him being blind. How powerful must a blind man be to have to stand up to his mighty King and accuse him of murdering the man of whom he took the throne. This image is what makes Tiresias character so much more of an influential part of the play. This scene between Tiresias and Oedipus is the turning point in the plot and it begins with Oedipus losing his power to Tiresias, the blind