Oedipus the King and Ghosts– the Results of Parent’s Sins Upon Their
Sophocles’ play Oedipus the King was composed for a Greek audience as a spiritual right and lesson around 2 thousand years earlier, while Ibsen’s play Ghosts was composed as a criticism of the Norwegian society during the 1890’s. Although these plays were written for very different reasons and under different circumstances, the universal theme connecting them is mankind’s liability to sin because the outcomes impact a higher whole. One of the more specific themes of these plays is the negative result that moms and dads’ sins have upon the generations to follow.; br; lt; br; In Oedipus the King, Oedipus is born the child of Laius and Jocasta, the king and queen of Thebes. However, when they hear Apollo’s prediction (that Oedipus will kill his daddy and sleep with his mom) they decide to destroy Oedipus. Apollo’s prophecy made Oedipus an unwanted kid. In this case, the moms and dads’ disobedience of the law was that they tried to defy the gods by averting Apollo’s prediction. Later Jocasta mentions that “no skill on the planet, nothing human, can permeate the future” (Sophocles 201). Oedipus, as a later reaction to her declaration states, “? ll those prophecies I feared– Polybus packs them off to sleep with him in hell! They’re nothing, worthless” (Sophocles 214). In this method, Oedipus and Jocasta stopped thinking in the prophecies altogether. In Ghosts, Regine is the outcome of an affair that Captain Alving had with the housemaid, Johanna. Considering that Regine is a child substantiated of wedlock, she is undesirable by Captain Alving because she is the result of his sin, and if anyone were to find her true origins it might damage the regard that society has for him. She is likewise undesirable by Mrs.
Alving due to the fact that Regine is the only inextinguishable evidence of Captain Alving’s debauchery. If she did not exist it would be easier for Mrs. Alving to conceal her husband’s secret.; br;; br; Another set of sins that moms and dads commit in both plays is concealing the true origins of their children. For example, Oedipus’ origins are concealed from him not just by Jocasta, but also by Polybus and Merope, the king and queen of Corinth. Polybus and Merope take in Oedipus after Laius and Jocasta thought that he was dead. Regrettably, the rulers of Corinth never ever expose to Oedipus that he is not their biological child.
The results show to be devastating. When Oedipus was notified of Apollo’s prophecy he got away from Corinth, believing that Polybus and Merope were his true parents, just to murder Laius in his travels and sleep with Jocasta after beating the Sphinx and being crowned the new king of Thebes. Likewise, Regine’s origins are concealed from her by her mother and Mrs. Alving. The reality that Regine’s real daddy was never exposed to her led to an event happening in between her and Oswald that was strikingly comparable to that which had actually occurred in between Captain Alving and Regine’s mother.
When Mrs. Alving hears this she says, “Ghosts! Those two in the conservatory? return to haunt us” (Ibsen 120). Here, the ghosts are symbols of the sins that she remembers from her past. < Another similarity arises from the moms and dads' sins; both Oedipus and Oswald suffer, physically and metaphorically, from loss of sight. Oedipus pokes out his own eyes when he discovers the reality of the crimes versus morality that he has devoted, and when he can no longer bear to see Jocasta hanging from the ceiling.
While Oedipus’ loss of sight is of his own doing, Oswald’s loss of sight is a direct result of his dad’s debauchery. His daddy passed on to him a disease that triggers “softening of the brain”; blindness is one of the signs of the final stages of this disease before death. Metaphorically speaking, Oedipus is blind to the fact of his origins and to the criminal offenses that he has dedicated until all is revealed towards completion of the play. Allegorically, Oswald is blind to the reality of his daddy’s character, even when it is informed to him straight. lt; br;; br; Death of parents due to their sins likewise occurs in both plays. When Jocasta discovers that Oedipus truly did eliminated her other half which she is now wed to her kid, she hangs herself from the ceiling of her bedroom. It is possible that she would not have had a death such as this if she had actually not attempted to defy the gods. Likewise, Captain Alving dies as an outcome of his own debauchery. It is very likely that he died from the same illness that he provided to Oswald, which was a sexually transmitted illness.
Due to the illness that Oswald acquired from his father, he is doomed to pass away because he is in the lasts of the illness. Whether he will pass away at the hand of his mother and the pills that he has actually requested she offer him, or from the disease itself is unidentified, however he will certainly pass away and his death will be a direct result of the sins that his decadent daddy committed.; br;; br; Although a number of the parents’ sins are comparable in effect, there are likewise a number of differences that happen throughout the two plays.
For example, Oedipus is banished from society due to the fact that he himself assures this penalty to the guy who killed Laius. Not only is he banished from Thebes, however no other location will get him due to the fact that he is taken a look at as a “curse to society.” His child Antigone also goes into exile with him, therefore ending up being a social outcast also, despite the fact that she is a voluntary exile. His other daughter and sons likewise become socially unaccepted because they are children of incest. Although Regine is an invalid child, she is not a social castaway.
However, she leaves the Alving family with the belief that she will be able to acquire a position assisting Pastor Manders, but she will more than likely end up working in Engstrand’s brothel. If this happens she, too, will end up being a social outcast.; br;; br; Another instance of contrast is the truth that Oedipus purposely killed Laius. Although he did not understand that Laius was his dad, Oedipus was not required to eliminate him, and a murder is always a sin, no matter who is eliminated. The murder was an effect of Oedipus’ hubris, his pride and arrogance.
His pride can even be considered a sin in itself, as it is the very first of the 7 lethal sins. If this murder had actually not occurred, none of the other ethical criminal offenses that he dedicates would have taken place and his children would not have had the weight of his sins on their shoulders. On the other hand, Oswald’s sin was not committed purposely. The event that occurred with Regine occurred entirely since he was unaware of the reality that he was related to her. Also, there was absolutely nothing he could have done to redeem himself from the results (blindness and disease) of his dad’s sins.
It is in this way that Oedipus is a victim of his parents’ sins and a sinner himself, whereas Oswald is only a victim.; br;; br; In Oedipus the King, Sophocles’ message to his audience is that people must not question the words of the gods, or those on earth who are suggested to deliver their messages. This is shown by the reality that all of what Tiresias says holds true, and those who doubt him encounter awful troubles throughout the play. Also, Oedipus’ hubris is a sin in and of itself, for that reason one must attempt to control ones pride or the results can be devastating.
This is displayed because Laius would not have passed away if it had actually not been for Oedipus’ hubris, and if Laius had not passed away the many other sins and results that took place after that would never ever have actually occurred. In short, do not let your pride blind you to the understanding of those who are better than you. In Ghosts, Ibsen’s message is that the Norwegian society was hypocritical and unmoral. This is revealed through Oswald’s suffering due to the fact that he is merely a victim who is paying for what a hypocritical society licenses– guys’s immorality.
The general concept behind this play is that hypocrites need to not slam others; as Manders slams Oswald the buddies that he picked throughout his remain in Paris. Nevertheless, they are both combined by the intricate link of sin and its results on the whole.; br;; br;; b; Bibliography;/ b;; br;; li; Ibsen, Henrik. 4 Major Plays. Trans. James McFarlane and Jens Arup. New York: OxfordUP, 1998; br;; li; Sophocles. The 3 Theban Plays. Trans. Robert Fagles. New York City: Penguin Classics, 1984