Presentation on theme: "Oedipus the King Ancient Philosophy. Plot Initial scene –Plague –Infertility Creon returns from Apollo’s shrine –Unavenged murder –Oedipus’ curse Oedipus."— Presentation transcript:
Oedipus the King Ancient Philosophy
Plot Initial scene –Plague –Infertility Creon returns from Apollo’s shrine –Unavenged murder –Oedipus’ curse Oedipus and Teiresias –Challenges Teiresias claim to knowledge –All Oedipus needs is mother wit—natural abilities
Plot Oedipus and Creon –Creon content with his place –Oedipus-paranoid Threatens people with death on rumors Oedipus and Jocasta –Deny the validity of oracles –Learns that Laius killed at the intersection of three roads One person survived There were many robbers Chorus –Humans part of a lawful order
Jocasta and the Messenger Jocasta –Goes forth presenting offerings to the gods Messenger –Polybus is dead Jocasta –Ye god-sent oracles, where stand ye now!
Oedipus and Messenger Oedipus But, as they stand, the oracles are dead-- Dust, ashes, nothing, dead as Polybus. He didn’t kill his father Will he sleep with his mother?
Oedipus and Messenger Messenger –thou know'st not what thou doest. –He does not know what he knows –Polybus is not Oedipus’ father –Ankle scars –Obtained from a shepherd of Laius’ house
Jocasta and Oedipus Jocasta –Give up quest—be content with his place –upset Oedipus –Believes Jocasta is upset because he is not of noble birth
Chorus and Oedipus Let the storm burst, my fixed resolve still holds, To learn my lineage, be it ne'er so low. It may be she with all a woman's pride Thinks scorn of my base parentage. But I Who rank myself as Fortune's favorite child, The giver of good gifts, shall not be shamed.
Oedipus and Herdsman Herdsman –Denies knowing messenger Messenger –Oedipus is the child given to the messenger Oedipus –Threatens to torture the herdsman Messenger –Oedipus is one of Laius’ children
Oedipus I stand a wretch, in birth, in wedlock cursed, A parricide, incestuously, triply cursed!
Second Messenger Jocasta is dead –Oedipus asked for a sword to kill her –She had already hung herself Oedipus blinds himself with her brooches
Oedipus and Chorus Oedipus –Apollo blinded him Once ranked the foremost Theban in all Thebes, By my own sentence am cut off, condemned By my own proclamation 'gainst the wretch, The miscreant by heaven itself declared Unclean--and of the race of Laius. Thus branded as a felon by myself, How had I dared to look you in the face?
Oedipus Once ranked the foremost Theban in all Thebes, By my own sentence am cut off, condemned By my own proclamation 'gainst the wretch, The miscreant by heaven itself declared Unclean--and of the race of Laius. Thus branded as a felon by myself, How had I dared to look you in the face?
Oedipus and Creon Oedipus –Asks to be exiled to some desert Creon –Wants to consult the gods Oedipus –Sons can take care of themselves –Daughters need caretakers Will die barren
Oedipus To the end, trying to dominate Crave not mastery in all, For the mastery that raised thee was thy bane and wrought thy fall.
Chorus Look ye, countrymen and Thebans, this is Oedipus the great, He who knew the Sphinx's riddle and was mightiest in our state. Who of all our townsmen gazed not on his fame with envious eyes? Now, in what a sea of troubles sunk and overwhelmed he lies! Therefore wait to see life's ending ere thou count one mortal blest; Wait till free from pain and sorrow he has gained his final rest.
Relationships Artificial relations (state) vs natural bonds (family) Inversions –Unfatherly father –Unsonly son –Unmotherly mother Outsmart themselves –Like father like son Sacred and profane confused with ruler and subjects
Apollo Oversees the maintenance of order within the city His prime commandment is to “Know Thyself.” –Knows one’s own abilities and limitations –Knows where one fits into the order of things –He accepts his place. –Knows and accepts that he is mortal.
Tyrant pride- self-made man insolence bring things to light sets punishments arbitrarily accuses others he exalts his own ability to reason above the messages of the gods he can’t be denied the truth about his birth because he will not accept any limitations on his knowledge
Will to Omniscience When he consults Apollo’s oracle after his parentage had been called into question, he assumes he knows the meaning of the oracle’s message. He didn’t take this as an opportunity to know himself. Instead, he assumed that he knew the answer to the very question for which he was seeking an answer from Apollo, and he fled Corinth.
Will to Omnipotence Has to always be in charge
Impiety Piety demands that one act hospitably toward strangers, who are protected by Zeus. Piety also demands that the younger person treat the older one with respect. Thus, Oedipus should have yielded to Laius. Those lower in rank should respect those higher in rank. Thus, on all these grounds, Oedipus should have yielded to Laius, who was a reining king and who was traveling in a cart with a retinue of followers. Oedipus, in contrast, was traveling alone on foot. Oedipus does not stay within the boundaries of his proper place.
Creon steadfast pious-constantly consults Apollo dutiful obedient
Jocasta and Laius Death by binding, as Oedipus was sentenced to death by binding Laius the murderer killed Killed at intersection of three roads, just as Oedipus killed at birth (3 days)
Sphinx Maternal-devours those who fail to please her Lion-both rashness, excessive anger Eagle-and overblown expectations
Has Oedipus Changed Oedipus' blinding of himself can be seen as him cutting himself off from Apollo This dependency is another manifestation of his will to control others because he uses his weaknesses to manipulate others to get what he wants.
Blindness The Greeks thought that one who looked upon a god would be blinded. Oedipus attempted to see farther than humans can see. He attempted to look directly at the sun, indeed, to become the sun. The natural punishment for a misuse of a natural faculty is the rendering of that faculty useless.
Three Paths the path of humble piety –One can continue to recognize one’s weakness and dependency and obediently follow the rules set down by them from above. the path of the tyrant –One can follow the path of arrogance and greed going beyond all limits of human needs and powers and attempt to control and dominate the world around them. the path of withdrawal from life. –He blinds himself and weakens himself so that he can demonstrate his power.
Incest Social elites –Reproductive incest Rome Europe –Political incest Ruling elite becomes an isolated, self-supporting group—groupthink –Intellectual incest Ritualistic repetition of ideas--No creativity Unable to solve problems