Sanga Essay

1875 WordsNov 9, 20148 Pages
Oedipus Rex: Question 1 Oedipus Rex is considered one of the greatest tragic plays to come from any of the ancient Greek playwrights as its lessons mirror societal troubles of the era. It projects certain cultural values and morals onto the Athenian audience of the time through many different tragic conventions. Sophocles, the writer, was born near Athens between 497 and 495 BC and is considered a conservative as all his plays supported the idea of a polytheistic society and that we should not attempt to change our already defined fate. The festival Dionysia, a competition of playwrights where a tetralogy of plays is crafted and judged, brought about the play for the first time in 429 BC and it came in second place to a lost “masterpiece”. With this play Sophocles attempts to convey a model citizen, he slanders hubris or arrogance and glorifies moderation in a personality, essentially he did the city state a favour by stating expectations of social conduct and codes of behaviour. He wrote to describe the danger of questioning gods and working against them and warns of the dangers that come with exuberance and having no tolerance. In the time it was acted the audience would have known the story of King Oedipus all too well, a tragic hero who brings upon his own demise, they too knew of his prophecy and Sophocles used their knowledge so that he could add depth to the portrayal of a model citizen through conventions, rather than focusing everything on the plot. Sophocles emphasises numerous times that the gods control our fate and have control on our ways of life and in order to show the magnitude of the idea, he instils his theism into the audience of the time, to keep them aware. He successfully shows that opposing the gods only ends in failure no matter how religious one may have been; the best example of this in the play is Oedipus mother and wife Jocasta. When

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