The Gods vs. Man

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The Gods vs. Man

God. That one word has a lot of weight to it, doesn't it? It had even more

significance to the Greeks. It was something they feared and respected. Throughout

history men have always wanted to be like the gods. It is something that is seen over and

over, man's universal struggle to be like the gods. Is it man's fault that he wants to be

like the gods? Or is it the gods' fault? The story Oedipus Rex by Sophocles shows that

man's arrogance and fallible personality is the cause of this struggle for superiority. The

Greeks dealt the most with gods, melding their daily lives with religion.

The Greeks have had multiple Gods over much of their history. The Greeks had

one of the most complex and extensive systems of religion and polytheism in the history

of man. They also had a very extensive hierarchy of Gods. Its origin begins with the

Chaos and a number of other Gods. There were 19 of them and they were called the

Titans. They were the creators and first rulers of the world. The Titans later went to war

with the Olympians and lost and were imprisoned in the center of the earth. There were

also lesser Gods and noble characters. There were 32 lesser Gods that were various

offshoots of the major twelve Olympians. They were given all types of minor jobs and

responsibilities in helping to keep the world organized and running. There were also

noble characters in mythology, who were classified into heroes and creatures. There

were fourteen heroes who completed many legendary tasks. Many were well known such

as Hercules, Perseus, Jason, Odysseus and many others. There were also fourteen

creatures that had many various rol...

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...dipus is not the only case of man's stubbornness and arrogance getting him in to trouble, there are many examples of this throughout history.


End Notes

1 Milica Pty Ltd. "From Myth to Eternity." April 1998

2 Mirza, Sumair; Tsang, Jason; Jenkins, Neil. "Olympian Gods." 1997

3 Meiggs, Russell. The Athenian Empire. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1972). p 46.

4 Sophocles. "Oedipus Rex," in Literature: Reading and Writing the Human Experience, Eds. Richard Abcarian, Marvin Klotz and Peter Richardson. 7th ed. p 166. Other references refer to this text and are given in the paper.

5 Rollins, Kimberly. "On Misunderstanding the Oedipus Rex." 1993

6 Sophocles, p. 174.

7 Davis, Marlon. "Questions on Oedipus Rex." 8/8/98

8 Nussbaum, Martha. The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek tragedy and philosophy. p 75

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