Free Will in Oedipus Rex and the Odyssey Sample Essay

Grecian writers. when one considers the clip period in which they lived. are comparatively simple to separate from one another. peculiarly in how they treat Grecian myth in relation to the message they aim to convey to their audience. Homer and Sophocles use myth to reflect their different positions on human nature. which coincides with their audience’s antecedently held perceptual experiences of the myths they are covering with. Homer’s Odyssey suggests that worlds need non seek for intending in their lives. as it is administered and controlled by the Gods ; Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex offers a wholly different point of view. in which worlds. for all their secular cognition. can still be held blind to the truth of their being and beginnings. Odyssey chiefly deals with a universe of subjective significance ; that is to state. godly presence is everyplace. and everything is capable to the will of the Godhead. or in the instance of the Greeks. several godly figures. About all of the cases in which Homer allows Odysseus to get away whatever state of affairs he is in. is due to a combination of his ain craft and Godhead intercession. He makes a point of asseverating the god’s continual presence in Odysseus’ responses to his escapades.

Poseidon is seen to be drawing the bulk of the strings that work against Odysseus. being the one to confer the expletive on him to roll for 10 old ages ( Odyssey 9. 584-96 ) . However. there is a aggregation of Gods and powerful god-like figures that make it possible for him to get the better of Poseidon’s challenges ; possibly the most powerful illustration of this is the case upon which Calypso. who has fallen profoundly in love with Odysseus and has persuaded him to remain with her. must put him free. Athena was able to carry Zeus to direct Hermes to Calypso. who is so told that she must allow Odysseus travel on his manner ( 5. 108-28 ) . Homer makes it copiously clear how invested the Olympians are in the life of Odysseus. and how apparently un-invested he is in his journey place. farther underlining his thoughts about the function worlds play in their ain lives. Oedipus Rex inside informations a contrasting thought to Homer. in that Sophocles is markedly thin in any mentions to Gods holding a say in the battles that Oedipus encounters.

Though the chorus makes repeated entreaties to Apollo. Zeus. and Athena. it is left ill-defined. possibly intentionally so. whether or non they come to Oedipus’ assistance. Though it’s easy for the reader to see Oedipus as being a slave to destine. holding succumbed to the self-fulfilling prognostication. Sophocles is inexorable in his pursuit for Oedipus’ freedom. Though the prognostication is made and fulfilled. Oedipus is non ab initio wholly bound by it ; he makes a series of free picks that are non at all predetermined. He was non bound by the Oracle to avoid returning to Corinth. nor was he explicitly told to venture to Thebes. which led to the slaughter of his male parent and the matrimony to his female parent. Sophocles assures us that his ruin is non due to anything the Gods are making ; it is. alternatively. his complete misunderstanding of Tiresias’ prognostication. and his ain sightlessness to his true line of descent. It is besides worthwhile to observe that both Homer and Sophocles have their ain single reading of the Oedipus myth. which is addressed in their several plants.

Homer’s Oedipus. who is spoken of by Epicaste to Odysseus during his clip in the underworld. remains the King of Thebes with his eyesight intact ; it is besides said that the Gods informed him of his paternity ( Odyssey 11. 307-14 ) . Sophocles’ Oedipus is made to detect the truth on his ain. through look intoing. with Creon. Laius’ decease. with no aid from the Gods ( Oedipus Rex. 532-688 ) . In both cases. Oedipus is blind to the world of his beginnings. but the mode in which he is enlightened is wholly dependent on the writer we are analyzing. Upon careful consideration. we can detect that both writers are able to pull strings myth in such a manner that it tells their audience something about how they truly take part in their lives.

This is done by doing it possible for the audience to be able to associate to the chief fabulous figure. and so building a universe in which the character is either able to do determinations and picks for himself or non. The deductions of reading both texts. in concurrence. are huge ; the reader is forced to oppugn how much power is in their ain being in the modern universe. and to analyze both ancient and current statements for either side. This brings to illume the centuries-old riddle of the truth about our free will: are we bound by a higher power. or are we entirely in the existence?