Medea, Oedipus, and the Gods
!.?.!?”Medea, Oedipus and the Gods” All Greek catastrophes no matter how dissimilar share underlying commonality. According to Aristotle, the very first real theater critic, all catastrophes are made up of numerous typical features. “Medea” and “Oedipus the King” are no various. They both consist of strong plot, thought, character, language, melody and phenomenon. They also both have their own unique conflict, event and themes. One returning theme through practically all Greek disasters is the role of the gods and fate, both of which play an important part in “Medea” and “Oedipus. However, the authors of each play seem to have very different views on the role of fate, and the amount of interaction and interference the gods have in the lives of mortals. These views give us an insight into the beliefs of the culture they originated from. Throughout both Medea and Oedipus, the characters are faced with battle and challenge. From Oedipus being predestined to kill his daddy and wed his mom to Medea killing her brother and then being left by Jason, both characters appear to have been destined by the gods for a harsh end.
Oedipus attempts and stops working to lure fate and ovoid his destiny due to the active role the gods play in his life, whereas Medea contradicts her fate and creates her own destiny with the blessing of less interactive gods. Sophocles’ catastrophe “Oedipus the King” starts with Oedipus trying the save his city’s residents from the struggles they currently are withstanding. He quickly learns that to appease the gods he should prosecute the man who killed the king. Oedipus starts his pursuit of the old king’s killer, uninformed that he himself killed the king, his dad, and married the queen, his mother.
Fate continues to haunt Oedipus as he unknowingly fulfills whatever the oracle had actually spoken and he had devoted his life to avoid. No matter how hard he tries, his fate is predetermined and can not be avoided, the gods have identified Oedipus’ fate and absolutely nothing he can do will change it. Through-out the play numerous efforts at changing fate and avoiding fate are made by numerous characters, not just Oedipus. But, these efforts change nothing, revealing Sophocles belief that a person’s fate is determined by the gods. As a young kid Oedipus discovered of his horrible future, and chose he would do anything within his power to prevent it.
Oedipus believes if he strives enough he will have the ability to alter the will of the gods and avoid becoming the guy they have pre-destined him to be. Throughout the play he constantly resists the gods ending up being a growing number of annoyed as his efforts continually fail. The futility of his battle is excessive to bear, and culminates in the climax, as he accepts his fate and gouges out his own eyes, driven mad by the awareness that he has ended up being whatever he has attempted his entire life to prevent. Oedipus though is not the only character who tries and stops working at tempting fate.
Jocasta and King Laius both fulfill their demise trying to alter their prospective destiny. They too find out of their futures from an oracle and take actions to prevent it, having Oedipus left in the wilderness for dead. However, by trying to avoid their fate they only alter the course on which they will satisfy it. The Shepard, who was bought to leave Oedipus to pass away, brings him to king Polybus, however this will change nothing, the oracle will still become a reality. The Shepard believes he is changing Oedipus’ fate however in reality is just changing the approach in which it comes true.
Oedipus still fulfills and kills the King, his father, on the cross roadways. By attempting to avoid his fate and run from the will of the gods he actually plays right into their hands doing exactly what was foreordained many years back. The characters in Oedipus constantly attempt to prevent the plans set out by the gods and lure fate to no get. Sophocles believes the will of the gods is unavoidable, that fate can not be tempted and that free will has its limits. In this tragedy fate has a sense of irony, the harder the characters try to avoid their fate the more they play into the will of the gods.
Fate is the consistent determining factor resulting in their awful end. The gods figure out the fate of the characters, which have no wish to alter their own fortune Euripides “Medea” has a much different outlook on fate and the gods. Medea has and utilizes the power to create her own destiny, the gods do not have as much power and occasions can take place against their will. Medea, after assisting Jason and the Argonauts, eliminating her own brother, chopping him up into little pieces, and relocating to a completely various nation far from her whole family is left by Jason for his brand-new other half.
Jason attempts to discuss his actions, only to further show to Medea that her rage is warranted, and she begins to outline to ruin Jason and all that he likes. The gods do not cause Medea’s’ actions, nor do they oppose them, but in actuality help her in the tragedies last scene. Medea’s vengeance is quick and awful. She starts by taking away what Jason really likes; she murders the princess, and in the process winds up eliminating the King himself. Next, to penalize Jason even farther, she eliminates her own children; she will end his line, eliminate his family, and give nobody else the complete satisfaction of eliminating them.
Jason pleads to the gods for justice only to have Medea leave on a flying flaming chariot with their assistance. Oedipus and Medea considerably vary in their view and approval of fate. Oedipus tries his hardest to avoid the will of the gods, and spends his entire life attempting to lure fate. Medea on the other hand pays little attention to the gods; she forms her own fate without providing the gods or their will a doubt. Whether or not they searched her actions positively does not matter to her, she would not have actually altered a single thing. Neither Jason nor Medea allow the gods to write the story of their lives.
Jason makes his decisions without a look after anybody other than himself driving Medea to do the exact same, culminating in her last act of revenge taking all that Jason loves, righting the wrongs that he had perpetrated. In “Medea”, unlike in “Oedipus the King’, the gods and fate play a really bit part in the play. At the end of the catastrophe the only time they disrupt mortals remains in supplying Medea with a flaming chariot to escape Jason, showing her favor in the end, either because she has taken steps for justice or most likely because her grandfather is the god Helios.
No matter the factor for Medea being supplied the chariot, the gods show extremely little interest in the lives of the mortals, and humans have a lot more capability to determine their own fates. Through the role and actions of the gods in Medea Euripides view on the gods can be inferred. Euripides seems to believe that the gods do not take an interest in the daily life of mortals. Euripides unlike Sophocles has an innovative view on the gods. In this play there is little to no relation between the interest or interference of the gods and the actions of people, no matter how ethical or unethical they might be.
This straight disputes with the common beliefs of his day and age. Due to the Euripides unpopular beliefs his appeal as a writer throughout his life was no place near that of Sophocles. Sophocles was an extremely famous and effective poet. Aristotle enjoyed Sophocles work, and was not very keen on the works of Euripides. Euripides works did not get in popularity and acceptance to the very same level as those of Sophocles till after his death. Like a lot of advanced ideas, those of Euripides took some time to get approval into popular culture. Sophocles and Euripides ideas and iews on the gods provide us an insight into the beliefs of the people in that period. Sophocles appeal reveals that the popular opinion of the people seeing the plays was more coherent with his concepts. Greeks of that day and age would identify more with the suitables expressed in “Oedipus the King.” More people would have thought that the gods played an active role in our daily lives, that we are predestined to be the individual we are and that absolutely nothing we can do will change that. The beliefs in “Medea” were controversial and not frequently accepted by those who enjoyed the play.
However, as time went on the progressive approval of the perfects found in “Medea” show a change in the basic beliefs of the people of that time duration. People slowly began to believe that like Medea they are in control of their fate. As these beliefs advanced the gods in no way were entirely forgotten, but society as a whole started to alter their views. Sophocles and Euripides varying views and modification of acceptance were indicative of the altering beliefs of the society those plays were planned for.