Religion in Oedipus the King

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  • Religious concepts, beliefs and practices in Oedipus the King
    • The role of the gods
      • Apollo sends the plague
        • "Drive the corruption from the land"
      • Oedipus blames Apollo for the original fate
      • Oedipus' hubris
        • thinks he has avoided his fate/the gods - arrogant
    • Fate and free will
      • Oedipus was born with the that he would kill his father and marry his mother
      • Oedipus CHOSE to investigate the murder of Laius
      • Oedipus CHOSE to Blind himself rather than kill himself
        • has self control
    • prophecy and prophets
      • Laius and Jocasta tried to avoid their prophecy but sending away their son to be killed
        • Jocasta goes on to believe that she had avoided her prophecy and dismisses them
      • Oedipus tried to avoid his prophecy by not returning to Corinth
        • However, he doesn't realise that the prophecy is actually about his real parents in Thebes - which is where he ends up
      • Prophecy cannot be avoided
    • religious rituals and acts
      • at the beginning og OtK, the people of Thebes surround the altar of Apollo, in the hopes that he will rid the city of plague
      • Creon will not decide on Oedipus' fate without consulting the gods
  • McEvoy: real people making bad decision that lead to terrible results
  • Knox: Oedipus is a free agent, and is responsible for the catastrophe
  • Knox: Oedipus's will to action neve falters
  • Knox: Oedipus did have one freedom: he was free to find out or not find out the truth
  • Dodds: the hamartia of Oedipus... was unknowingly killing his mother and marrying his mother
  • Dodds: Suicide would not serve his purpose
  • Nietzche: Oedipus... destined to error and misery
  • Dodds: The gods are merely players in a traditional story which Sophocles, exploits for dramatic purposes without raising the religious issue or drawing any moral 


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