Oedipus The King, Communication, And Religion Essay

Oedipus The King, Communication, And Religion Essay

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One of the world’s timeless classical playwrights, Sophocles, has inspired thousands over several generations, making him one of the world’s greatest writers that is still appreciated today. Sophocles specialized in tragedies which depicted people of high status being made low through circumstance, which served as examples to common people as to what character traits will cause one’s downfall. In his play, Oedipus the King, communication method to the divine through Oedipus and the Oracle depicts that the hierarchy of divine information and its reception from the perspective of the common people is measured by the amount of good fortune or direct communication with the gods that occurs in a person’s life.
Born into a wealthy family, Sophocles was highly educated. He studied and practiced poetic theory which enabled him to write On the Chorus. Sophocles wrote many Athenian plays which won him over eighteen first place prizes in various competitions. Of all the plays he wrote only four survive to this day. The plays of Sophocles provide historical insight into ancient Greek values and religion but also are used to inspire modern writers, civil rights activists and politicians which, in turn, widely influence western modern culture.
Oedipus was a young prince who was skeptical of the identity of his true father. He set out to find the oracle of Delphi who, he hoped, would reveal to him the true identity of his parents. Along the way, Oedipus runs into a band of men who pushes him off the road. Oedipus responds by killing all but one of the men in the party, after which he proceeds to Delphi where he is told that he is destined to kill his father and marry his mother. Fearing the prophecy Oedipus refuses to go back home which leads ...


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... … he is a plague, the heart of our corruption/ as Apollo’s oracle has just revealed to me.” . The Oracle’s word were of such importance that they were acted upon without question which indicates that the Greeks truly believed that the Oracle possessed a divine connection which prompted the Greek people to place faith and base actions on the sole words of the oracle.
Divine communication is a critical occurrence in Greek religious culture which not only depicts the importance of the gods but also it depicts the types of people who are perceived to have better communication with the gods due to their status or life circumstances. Oedipus was indirectly appointed by the gods through circumstance while the oracle was appointed directly by a god, which translated to the amount of knowledge they received and the reverence the people had towards each one respectively.

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