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  • Fate
    Free Will

    Oedipus Rex logo

      The Chorus is the instrument that chants prayers to the gods Zeus, Apollo, Athena and Artemis, describing the horrors of the plague. It begs for deliverance from the gods, thus confirming its belief in higher powers. When these men hear Tiresias' accusation that Oedipus is the murderer of Laius, they stand by their king but still recite an ode which continues the theme of belief in spiritual power as contrasted with the practice of reason and common sense. The final resolution, the self-blinding of Oedipus and his yielding to his fate, serves to confirm the Athenian belief that no one can withstand the blows of fate, anymore than one can avoid death. Even the action and determination of the king fails. The pity and terror aroused by Oedipus' tragic fall brings about a catharsis, the realization that the power of fate cannot be overcome by will-even the will of a king. In his essay, "In Sophoclean Tragedy, Humans Create Their Own Fate," Frank Jevons writes that Sophocles was more concerned with man than with gods. "It is difficult to always realize that Sophocles knew nothing of the free will controversy and consequently felt no alarm at fatalism."

      But Sophocles shows how men run to their fate by their own free will. Oedipus is warned by Apollo of his doom and he fulfills it, but all his acts are his own and not of the gods. "The lesson as well as the art of Sophocles is that man's fate, though determined by the gods, depends on man's actions and his actions on himself and his circumstances."

      The gods may warn man, but man will do whatever he wants to avoid the warning. The heavens may speak, but man will not listen or understand. If we can't blame Oedipus, we can't blame the gods. Thus, "for Sophocles, fatalism was consistent both with free will and with the justice of the gods...."

    OEDIPUS REX by Sophocles
    April 110, 2005

      Special lecture
      "Open house" lecture about Sophocles, Oedipus, Greek mythology and more.
      Featuring the Stage Director of Oedipus Rex Anatoly Anohin, Set Designer Timaree McCormick, Lillian Corti "Blindness, Sight, and Psycoanalysis in Oedipus" of the UAF English Department and Dr. Joseph Thompson "Oedipus Rex and the Oracle at Delphi" of the UAF Philosophy & Humanities Department.
      Monday, March 28, 5:30pm in the Lee H. Salisbury Theatre

      Free Admission & will be available online via streaming audio and video! Check back here for details.

      OEDIPUS REX in the Lee H. Salsibury Theatre
    • Friday, April 1 @ 8:15pm
    • Saturday, April 2 @ 8:15pm
    • Sunday, April 3 @ 2:00pm followed by a Q&A with the director and cast!
    • Friday, April 8 @ 8:15pm
    • Saturday, April 9 @ 8:15pm
    • Sunday, April 10 @ 2:00pm


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