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Chapter Seventeen Lecture Two Oedipus and Thebes.

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1 Chapter Seventeen Lecture Two Oedipus and Thebes

2 Heroic Sufferer for Truth or Victim of Curiosity

3 Sufferer or Victim Oedipus not like other “cosmic” heroes –Not of divine birth –He overthrows his father but creates not order but chaos In Homer’s version, Oedipus continues as king after truth is discovered In Sophocles’s, he blinds himself and eventually is exiled

4 Sufferer or Victim The discovery combines the anagnorisis and the peripateia Was he just a toy of fate? For the Greeks, he had no moral fault and did what any intelligent person would have done in the same situation He is confused about his true self, between what he appears to be and what he is

5 Sufferer or Victim He dies as the pharmakos for the city, outcast His intelligence is restless and he solves riddles, including his own –Typically for the Greeks, the truth is an awful one

6 The Seven Against Thebes

7 Eteocles and Polynices rule in alternate years Eteocles reneges Polynices goes into exile Adrastus (Argos) –Daughters must be yoked to a boar and a lion –Polynices and Tydeus

8 The Seven Against Thebes Adrastus will restore the two to their kingdoms –First Thebes, then Calydon Great leaders are summoned –Amphiaraüs (a prophet who knew that all but Adrastus would die on the campaign) –Eriphylê (sister of Adrastus and wife of Amphiaraüs) is bribed to decide on behalf of the campaign

9 The Seven Against Thebes Amphiaraüs makes his sons swear to avenge his death The seven heroes 1.Adrastus 2.Amphiaraüs 3.Capaneus 4.Hippomedon 5.Polynices 6.Tydeus 7.Parthenopeus

10 Oedipus at Colonus Sophocles

11 Oedipus at Colonus Oedipus, now in exile, arrives in Athens as the Grove of the Furies with his daughter Antigonê Delphi: wherever Oedipus is buried that city will never be captured Eteocles and Polynices both want him back Theseus (king of Athens) refuses to give him back

12 Oedipus at Colonus Oedipus curses both his sons and goes off to disappear mysteriously

13 Tydeus at Thebes

14 Tydeus goes into Thebes to persuade Eteocles to step down Pins all their champions in wrestling Killed all but one of fifty Thebans who ambushed him Folktale qualities –mysterious, powerful stranger, all but one...

15 The Battle Before Thebes Aeschylus Seven Against Thebes

16 The Battle Before Thebes Seven Theban heroes each defend one of the seven gates of Thebes, drawing lots for which gate would be his –Menoeceus kills himself to fulfill the condition for the safety of Thebes Capaneus is killed by Zeus for an impious boast

17 The Battle Before Thebes Amphiaraüs savagely prevents Tydeus from becoming immortal by giving his skull to Melanippus who eats the brains Amphiaraüs himself is protected from being hit in the back by a spear by Zeus –He’s swallowed alive into the ground

18 The Battle Before Thebes Eteocles finds himself paired with Polynices They kill each other with a mutual blow Thebes is spared Only Adrastus escapes –In a chariot drawn by Arion (< Poseidon + Demeter)

19 Sophocles’ Antigonê

20 Creon (now ruling at Thebes) forbids the burial of Polynices Antigonê defies the order She is condemned to be shut in a cave and left to die Creon’s son Haemon (who’s engaged to Antigonê) tries to intervene, but Creon will not listen

21 Sophocles’ Antigonê Creon finally listens to the prophet Tiresias, but it is too late: –Antigonê hanged herself in the cave –Haemon tries to kill Creon, but fails. Then he kills himself

22 Revenge of the Parthenos

23 The play is a circle of opposites –male | female –young | old –state | family –the living | the dead –humans | gods

24 Revenge of the Parthenos Politically Antigonê is the conservative and Creon is the progressive Philosophically Creon advocates nomos and Antigonê physis As to gender roles, Antigonê is the untamed parthenos which no civic power can stop

25 The Epigoni

26 Ten years later, the “descendents” of the original seven attack Thebes again Eriphylê bribed again, this time by the robe of Harmonia Orders her son, Alcmaeon to lead an expedition against Thebes. Thebans abandon their city and it is sacked

27 The Epigoni Now Alcmaeon, son of Eriphylê and Amphiaraüs, avenges his father’s death by killing his mother –As he was ordered to do by his father before the Seven Against Thebes expedition He is driven insane for the matricide and later killed

28 End

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