“The world of gods and the world of men were quite apart; gods were not primarily concerned with regulating men, not men with emulating gods… So far from being a punishment for error, tragedy may therefore be proof of the sufferer’s merits and demonstration that he deserves the status of hero.” Ancient gods had their own world partially separated from the human one. In their “gods’ world” two plus two might equal five, but in the world of men they must continue making it four which results is tragedy. Gods could never fail because they establish what is right or wrong. Punishment for gods’ mistakes was eliminated in gods’ world. They appear in the earliest literature for the reason to give advice to people, most of the time simply because people cannot recognize what is right and what is wrong. There were individual gods to solve special problems and their concern for mortal being depended solely on these particular interests. However, there was one thing that may have made them wish they were like humans and that was that they could not taste what is to be human. The ancient gods could never know how it feels to fall from misfortune to happiness, to fight against their destiny, experience the consequences of one’s choices good or bad, and since the fact they were immortal they could never gain the status of a hero. Even a flawed human could still be honored as a hero. Oedipus’ problem was that he did not listen neither to Chorus nor to Jocasta, and he wanted to find out the dreadful truth. Sophocles’ play begins and ends with Oedipus, a man who Apollo’s priest declares: “equal to the gods.” The biggest concern throughout the play is whether Oedipus’ punishment is from the gods because of their envy or given as a result of his own or someone else’s mistakes.
Oedipus deserves to be called a tragic hero suffering a destiny if his punishment is from the gods, otherwise he is a pitiful figure who suffers from others’ human flaws by Tiresias words. Oedipus possesses faults and makes mistakes, but overall his actions are virtuous because they show he is a selfless man of action and principle proving he is a tragic hero.
Oedipus, who Apollo’s priest calls power to whom all men turn, blames Tiresias, a blind prophet, as a murderer of Laius. This accusation is Oedipus’ prideful opinion. He is convinced Tiresias is the one who he wants to kill even though he does not know the truth. The chorus describes how Oedipus solves the riddle of the Sphinx, and at the same time they call him a wise man, but they let the audience know that intelligence and knowledge are two different things. The chorus says: “The truth with all its strength is in Tiresias... Oedipus answered the riddle with his own intelligence.” Oedipus is too proud for himself. As the savior of his country he gets easily mad and annoyed by Tiresias words. Oedipus cries out: “Everything you say is the same- riddles, obscurities…once you are out of the way you won’t annoy me any more.” Tiresias is not afraid to ask the king about the truth of his parents:
“But you, who have eyes, cannot see the evil in which you stand; you cannot see where you are living, not with whom you share your house…without knowing it, you are the enemy of your own flesh and blood, the dead below and the living here above.”
Tiresias reveals enough to him to make him wonder about his parents. Now, Oedipus irrationally blames Creon as the murderer, and says Creon is: “a robber attempting to steal his throne.” The chorus and Jocasta try to defend Creon and give rational advice, but the obstinate Oedipus does not want to listen their suggestions and he goes to explore his journey to find out who his parents are. He finds out about the shocking truth of his parents from a shepherd, and when he returns to his palace he blinds himself. He is to terrible a sight that the chorus wish “they had never seen him.” His awful change creates his desire that he could have died on the mountain side, Mount Cithaeron, as a baby. He would rather be death now than alive and blind. The chorus reminds the audience and Oedipus that his blindness is his own choice, the consequence of his independent action after he finds out the truth. The chorus wonders why Oedipus did it: “You have done dreadful things; my eyes are drawn towards you- but I cannot bear to look.” Oedipus is defending his actions and refuses the chorus statement. “From all of this I am cut off, I, the most nobly raised in Thebes, cut off by my own act. It was I who proclaimed that everyone should expel the impious man- the man the gods have now revealed as unholy- and the son of Laius.”
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|Referát vhodný pre:||Vysoká škola||Počet A4:||4.1|
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