Monday, November 14, 2011

Oedipus at Colonus - Sophocles

The second play in the trilogy find Oedipus and his daughter Antigone, after wandering around the wilderness finally approaching Colonus. Throughout the play Oedipus vehemently states that he is not responsible for the actions he was fated to commit. He argues his case before some older townsfolk and they agree to withhold judgement. When Theseus decides that Oedipus is not as disgusting and despicable as one would think and offers him citizenship in the end, after cursing his sons that they will die by each other hand, he decides to just end his life and after completing absolution of sorts disappears is a flash. Less plot and more philosophy in this play then its predecessor.
I almost had a flash back of Bigger from Richard Wright's "Native Son" while reading this. There is a similar amount of post-justification. And yet while Bigger argued that society had predestined his fate and his actions where therefore destined to happed...Oedipus is fighting against an oracle...And while society is not can't make you do can brainwash you into wanting to do things or making you think you either have free will or you don't have free will...yet ultimately one is a free agent and responsible for ones actions. Yet Oedipus did what anyone would have done in his position to defy fate and despite his best efforts still managed to participate in incest and patricide. Perhaps the only thing he could have done would have been to spend his life hiding from people and absolutely never marrying anyone just to be safe...

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Henry V - William Shakespeare

In this essay, I will examine the rhetorical and dramatic effectiveness of King Henry’s speech to the Governor of Harfluer in Act 3 Scene 4 ...