Oedipus Rex vs. The Burial at Thebes Term Paper

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Oedipus Rex vs. The Burial at Thebes

Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles and his Antigone, in its the modern version, translated and adapted by Seamus Heaney in 2004 share the theme of devotion to one's country and are set apart by the means two king of Thebes, Oedipus and his brother in law, Creon, understand the meaning of dedication to their country.

Oedipus is a tragic hero, victim of his own destiny, relentless in his continuous efforts to escape it and, yet unable to succeed in doing so.

Creon, on the other side, is a leader who oversees the well being of his subjects in the process of protecting the safety of his country.

Oedipus Rex is a play about the human conscious and subconscious and reveals the darkness of the human mind through the voices of the Sphinx and the prophet. The relationship between Oedipus and his wife, Jocasta, Creon, Oedipus' brother in law, Teiresias, the old prophet and the Chorus seems to be dominated by Oedipus' super-ego. He is a tyrant in the broader sense of the word. In what concerns his relationships with those around him, he is clearly the boldest and the most prone to action of them all. He is also the character that will carry the heaviest burden of his own destiny. His position of ruler over Thebes makes him responsible not only for the sake of his family, but also for the whole city state.

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He will, however, leave a bloodline that will be forever doomed by his involuntary sin, along with that of his wife and mother. His two sons and two daughters will meet their tragic destinies in the Burial at Thebes. At the beginning of the play, Antigone asks her sister, Ismene: Ismene, quick, come here! / What's to become of us? / Why are we always the ones?" (Heaney).

TOPIC: Term Paper on Oedipus Rex vs. The Burial at Thebes Assignment

The characters in Oedipus act according to their own free will, but they are under the influence of their own fate. The prophecies Oedipus' parents and Oedipus himself desperately tried to escape will eventually come true and change the course of action, not only for those involved, but also for their families, and for certain periods of time, even those of their countries. Oedipus is a character that is in constant motion, always a step ahead of everybody, except for his own destiny. When he realizes that the salvation of his own country relies in the destruction of his family and his banishment, he does not hesitate to go all the way. He is ready to sacrifice himself first.

By comparison, king Creon, in the Burial at Thebes, although dedicated to his country, too, is closer to the character of a fanatic, than that of a tragic hero. His decision to deprive one of his nephews, Polyneices, of a proper burial and leave his body pray scavengers symbolizes a profanation. He considers this the right decision in the case of high… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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