Comparing Power In Oedipus The King And The Bacchae

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Julian Hernandez 3/18/13 Classical Lit Power in Greek Literature “Keep your hands off me! Off with you to your Bacchic rites! Do not wipe your foolishness off on me! But I shall punish this fellow who has taught you your folly. Go, someone quickly as possible, and when you come to the seat of this man where he observes his birds, prise it up with levers and turn it upside down. Pile everything all together in a confused mass and throw his wool ribbands to the winds and storms, by doing that I shall hurt him the most” (Bacchae, pg53) The representation of power is a key aspect of the plot in both Oedipus The King and The bacchae. In the quote above are the power hungry words of Pentheus, the king of Thebes, before he met his tragic death. The thirst for power is relevant in fall of both of the main characters in each play. Pentheus, is out for a vengeance to get power and rule over his kingdom back while Oedipus is frantically trying to gain power of his own life and control of his fate. In many instances in these plays, the demand for power hinders the…show more content…
He came to the kingdom of Thebes and took control over all of the women. He put them under a curse and forced them to worship him. And because one man did not show reverence to him, he ruined his life. He acted selfishly and even cruel in a sense. These are qualities of human nature which were brought out of a god because of his want for more power. In Oedipus, we see different type of struggle for power. It is not so much power over a kingdom or a people, but power over his own fate. Oedipus starts the play with the reputation of being a compassionate ruler. He is also approached by the blind prophet and given news that causes him to turn angry and even insult the blind prophet. This shows how quickly a man can turn from compassion to hostility by just being hinted that things are not the way he thinks they are, or might not be in his
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