The chorus first presents themselves as devout worshipers of God; however, this is mainly because their faith has not yet been tested. For example, after listening to Oedipus condemn the then-unknown murderer, the chorus proudly pleads to Apollo, “whip your longbow’s golden cord / showering arrows on our enemies” (232-233). At this point in the play, the chorus has no reason to believe that they should not trust the Gods. Thinking that it would likely condemn whoever the Gods are condemning, the chorus’ wishes and those of the Gods seem to align—a parallel that enables the chorus to so easily proclaim their faith in religion. Needing to believe in something during this time of crisis in Thebes, the chorus is quick to latch onto the Gods simply because they can be seen as an extension of its own beliefs. In other words, the chorus is not believing in the Gods but believing in what the Gods believe in—a distinct difference that will later cause a shift in the chorus’ relationship with faith and convince the reader of the importance of the chorus and religion in Oedipus the King.
Following Tiresias’ prophecy, we can see t...
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...ormation—information that ends up being true. The inescapable nature of religion in Oedipus the King shown through the chorus’ forced return to faith allows Sophocles to successfully defend the Gods. This defense and support for the power of the Gods is what allows the reader to realize that the “corruption” of Thebes was a lack of such religious devotion.
Allowing Sophocles to defend religion in Oedipus the King, the chorus permits the reader to gain a deeper understanding of what causes Oedipus’ downfall. While Oedipus the King is unique in that the chorus takes such an influential role in conveying the significance of the tragedy, the chorus ensures that the reader understands the importance of Oedipus’ fall from glory. While Oedipus himself would never be able to recognize his fatal flaw, the chorus provides the reader with insight so he/she can do just that.
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