The Greek Plays including ‘Antigone,' ‘Oedipus Rex’ and ‘Libation Bearers’ (Orestia) are generally viewed and praised as works of fine literature, written by renounced playwrights during the 5th century. The plays themselves are ample with hamartia, catharsis, irony and enriched faculties of composition. Notwithstanding its great value in literature, the Greek plays possess a unique, different dimension that is not often brought to light. The plays hold lavish significance in justice, ethics and morality. These plays articulate on these aspects by questioning the readers in forms of moral dilemmas installed in the platys. These plays prompt us with questions of strong perplexity that still intrigue and ignite debates even with our advanced contemporary political justice, and better established sense of ethics and morality. Moral dilemmas that we, as individuals, are left to ponder, and compelled to weigh our own virtues against laws, social norms and justice. Thus, not only did the Greek playwrights bestow alluring masterpieces of plays, in hindsight, they also prompted all of us with morally conflicting questions that arose alongside their development of democracy. Likewise, the life in democratic societies is rife with countless political disputes over right and wrong, justice and injustice, which are all explicitly manifested in the plays ‘Antigone,'’Oedipus Rex’ and Libation Bearers’. This essay will introduce one moral dilemma from each of the three plays and contemplate on the justice of each of the circumstances. Moreover, this essay does not aspire to present an ‘absolute’ justice to all these moral dilemmas, and to provide jurisdiction, yet, inst...
... middle of paper ...
...s of incest? Can one’s ignorance of his actions be the basis for his innocence?
In our democratic societies, rife with vice and disputes over justice, there might have already been similar cases as those of our plays. Perhaps, one had already committed matricide under external pressure(a gun to his/her head, or a beloved one), perhaps one breached the fence of law, in order to achieve goodness(ran a red light to get to his/her dying mother) or even perhaps, someone had unknowingly committed incest with his mother who had been separated at birth. With all these morally perplexing question, how then, can we reason our way through the contested terrain of justice and injustice, equity and inequity? As the Greek plays have provided us, is to encounter with a hard moral dilemma. To start with an opinion, or a conviction about justice just like the Greek playwrights did.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In Oedipus Rex, fate is something that unavoidably befalls two characters. The gods decide Oedipus and Jocasta’s fate even before they know it. Trying to avoid destiny is pointless because no matter what, it will catch up to you where ever you are. It is often thought that you can change your destiny, but in reality our fate was put into action the day we were born. Throughout the play, Oedipus tries to change his fate. When he confirms through two messengers and an oracle that he is destined to marry his mother and kill his father, he completely panics.... [tags: Oedipus Rex]
809 words (2.3 pages)
- Significance of the Women in Oedipus Rex Michael J. O’Brien in the Introduction to Twentieth Century Interpretations of Oedipus Rex, maintains that there is “a good deal of evidence to support this view” that the fifth century playwright was the “educator of his people” and a “teacher”. Sophocles in his tragedy, Oedipus Rex, teaches about “morally desirable attitudes and behavior,” (4) and uses three women to help convey these principles of living. This essay will explore the role of women in the drama, the attitude toward women therein, the involvement of women in plot development, and other aspects of women in Oedipus Rex.... [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]
2627 words (7.5 pages)
- Oedipus Rex – a Christ Figure Sophocles’ famous tragedy, Oedipus Rex, perhaps “the most important and influential drama ever written” (“Sophocles” 717), presents in the person of Oedipus the model of a good ruler, a humanely intelligent and vigorously active leader, a man who earlier saved his adopted city Thebes from disaster. Is Oedipus an alter Christus besides. The numerous parallels between the figure of the king Oedipus and the figure of Christ in the Scriptures prompts the reader to ask the above question.... [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]
1014 words (2.9 pages)
- Oedipus Rex – The Women Charles Segal in Oedipus Tyrannus: Tragic Heroism and the Limits of Knowledge explains the protagonist’s concern for Jocasta’s burial in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex: Oedipus turns from his utter desolation and abasement to something of his old air of command, albeit in a chastened and softened tone. He asks Creon to expel him from Thebes as quickly as he can and gives orders for Jocasta’s burial (1446ff), a gesture of concern and responsibility characteristic of the Oedipus we saw in the opening scenes(73).... [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]
2720 words (7.8 pages)
- The Themes in Oedipus Rex Sophocles’ tragedy, Oedipus Rex, contains one main theme, which this essay will consider. The theme is the general doctrine or belief implicit in the drama, which the author seeks to make persuasive to the reader (Abrams 170). In “Sophocles’ Moral Themes” Robert D. Murray Jr. cites a critic who is strictly moralist in the interpretation of the theme of Oedipus Rex: Let C. M. Bowra speak for the moralists: The central idea of a Sophoclean tragedy is that through suffering a man learns to be modest before the gods.... [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]
2786 words (8 pages)
- Women in Oedipus Rex Charles Segal in Oedipus Tyrannus: Tragic Heroism and the Limits of Knowledge explains one of the pivotal functions of Jocasta in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex: The second series begins with Jocasta. . . .Now Oedipus is pursuing the killer as possibly the same as himself. . . . In this set his goal shifts gradually from uncovering the murderer to discovering his own parents. The confidence and power that he demonstrated in the first series of encounters gradually erode into anger, loss of control and fear (72).... [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]
2721 words (7.8 pages)
- Mythology in Oedipus Rex E. T. Owen in “Drama in Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus” comments on the mythological beginnings of Oedipus Rex: Professor Goodell says: “Given an old myth to be dramatized, Sophocles’ primary question was, ‘Just what sort of people were they, must they have been, who naturally did and suffered what the tales say they did and suffered?” That was his method of analysis (38). The Greek Sophoclean tragedy Oedipus Rex is based on a myth from the Homeric epic Odysseus.... [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]
3973 words (11.4 pages)
- Mythology in Oedipus Rex In “The Oedipus Legend” Bernard M. W. Knox talks of the advantages accruing to Sophocles as a user of myths in his dramas: The myths he used gave to his plays, without any effort on his part, some of those larger dimensions of authority which the modern dramatist must create out of nothing if his play is to be more than a passing entertainment. The myths had the authority of history, for myth is in one of its aspects the only history of an age that kept no records.... [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]
4088 words (11.7 pages)
- Structure in Oedipus Rex M. H. Abrams says that “almost all literary theorists since Aristotle have emphasized the importance of structure, conceived in diverse ways, in analyzing a work of literature” (300). The matter of the structure of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex is a subject of varying interpretation among literary critics, as this essay will reveal. In “A Great Translator’s Reflections on Oedipus the King,” Gilbert Murray, professor at Oxford University in England, cites structure as one of the reasons why he chose Oedipus Rex as a work of translation: On the whole, I can only say that the work of translation has made me feel even more strongly than before the e... [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]
2332 words (6.7 pages)
- Oedipus Rex Sophocles Awake ye men of earth; remove thy shackles from thy body and acquaint yourself with the mother as you pass through creation in the manner of a tragedian romance, embodying nature and spirit. And in your night crusade, you will perceive a revelation of the most superlative feelings that come not from words or form, but from light. Hope Saphos DeVenuto A vaporous energy passes before us as a wave which carries us through the categories of the mind of an ancient past in Aristotelian truth.... [tags: Oedipus Rex Poem Essays]
824 words (2.4 pages)