Gods And Guidance Essay

1980 words - 8 pages

In times of strife and hopelessness, humanity looks to the sky for guidance, whether it is a god or specific entity a direction is important to finding a purpose or guidance. For centuries humanity has followed different religions, religious icons, and or moral principles dictated by a higher power, of which gives mankind a set of values and morals that give one direction and purpose. Without said guidance humanity struggles and conflicts with one another. In the drama Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles, many characters are faced with such inner conflicts of beliefs, as they trudge on a misguided path as they refuse to believe the entirety of their situation, which subsequently leaves the tragedy and death of Oedipus in its wake. Through Oedipus Rex, Sophocles utilizes characters such as Oedipus and Jocasta in order to reflect the raw human emotions and the helplessness of mankind when there is no clear guidance from higher powers through their thoughts and actions throughout the drama.
As the drama Oedipus Rex opens, the city of Thebes lies in ruin as plagues swallow the land and a sweltering sun bears down on the desert. The king of Thebes, Oedipus, realizes that the bad omens are present and pleads to the gods in terror; Sophocles does this in order to display the reality of the situation and portray humanity’s weakness and need to look towards a power for hope. It is conceivable that when in doubt, one should look to a higher power, without such entities and values humanity would quickly lose hope in most situations. Hope is a powerful tool and allows much of society to push onwards; many have made significant accomplishments because of such beliefs. Furthermore, Oedipus turns to the gods in desperation and pleads for his people and the preservation of his empire, “You must know I’ve been shedding many tears and, in my wandering thoughts, exploring many pathways,” in this scene Oedipus speaks of his endeavors as a king as he searches for a solution for this problem (Sophocles 70). Though the thoughts he had before speaking with his people were never included in the drama, Sophocles had a separate text which included Oedipus’ sorrows. “Alas! Alas! Beyond all reckoning My Myriad sorrows! All my people sick to death, yet in my mind no shaft of wit, no weapon to fight the death,” focuses on Oedipus’ pleading to the gods as he desperately seeks a solution to his problem, a direction if anything (Sophocles). The situation spirals downwards when Oedipus receives a revelation from the oracle of Delphi from his brother Creon. Oedipus’ ignorance is exemplified and his belief in the gods misguided into another direction as he attempts to find the one responsible for King Laius’ death. With such beliefs, mankind often overlooks details and what is underneath the shawl of fate, with such devotion should come control and perception.
Humanity’s reliance on such entities are further exemplified through Oedipus’ actions after hearing the prophecy, Sophocles...

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