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."
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."
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
"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!