The Ancient Greek Literature English Literature Essay

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Out of the Mesopotamian, Hebrew, Roman, and Greek ancient cultures we have discussed in class so far the most interesting one to me has the ancient Greek culture. We still see much of what the ancient Greeks came up with today for example literature, architecture, democracy, and philosophy. The Greeks beloved that there are four forces that influence everybody's fate and those are personal choice, the unfolding of a universal plan, accident, and the intervention of the gods. We see some of this in Sophocles' Oedipus the King.

Of the ancient cultures the Greeks have one of the most intriguing cultures. They had many great philosophers like Aristotle who tutored Alexander the Great, Plato, Epicurus the founder of Epicureanism, and many more. They studied many subjects; they learned mathematics and built upon those making advancements. Same with astronomy, the made new discoveries in that using a lot less of the technology we have today, all though they did have some of their own technology. Now we are the ones building on what they discovered and making even more advancements in technology to find new things in the universe.

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As we learned in class, Sophocles was what you could call a fan of Aeschylus who is known as the Father of Western Drama, he was an expert in tragedies and had the idea adding a second person to the stage and dialogue between the characters. Yet Sophocles turned out to be great writer as well, he is even credited with the creation of Three-Way Dialogue and achieved that simply by adding a third actor to the stage. In Oedipus the King we see that Sophocles makes a drastic change in Oedipus's character to show us the meaning of fate. Again the four influences on mans fate are personal choice, the unfolding plan of the universal plan, accident, and the intervention of the gods and Sophocles shows us all of these Greek beliefs in the story of Oedipus the King.

Oedipus tries to change his fate by personal choice, but the unfolding of the universal plan seems to take place instead without him knowing it. His real birth parents or mostly his real father who was a great king abandoned him because they were told their son was destined to kill him and marry the mother. Then he is found by a shepherd where he had been abandoned and gets taken to a small family where he raised and taught to believe that those were his really parents when in reality they were not. Oedipus then gets adopted by other people and he is never told the truth about his past. Later on in his life while in his travels it is tradition to go to a fortune teller which is what his parents had done and how they found out of Oedipus's destiny he is told that he is destined to kill his father, and that is when he decides never to return home in order to keep from for filling his destiny he was told of killing his father and marrying his mother, this done by personal choice and this is where things take a turn for the worst. Things could have gone in so many other directions, but he had never been told the truth about being adopted, and in his search for a new life he runs into old man. The old man tries attacking Oedipus but in his defense he ends up killing the old man. It turns out that the old man was his real birth father, and there is where Sophocles shows some more of what the ancient Greeks believed in and that is accident. To this day many people believe in many different forces on our lives and fates, including those of the ancient Greeks.

Greeks were known to be very proud people and believed they had to be the best humans possible we know this more through the Athenians and the Spartans because those were the biggest city states of ancient Greece. In the beginning of the story of Oedipus the King, Oedipus is a very confident and a hero. And after saving an entire city, all the people want him to be the leader of their city because they were in need of a new leader and they felt like the gods had not been helping with all of their problems or coming to their aid. As the story goes on more and more secrets are revealed, some secrets that were never even intended to be kept hidden. Sophocles then shows us the true colors of Oedipus and shows us more a tyrant when he accused of the old kings murder. Oedipus fires back by accusing Creon of treason and then the people of Oedipus's city began to realize that he was not the hero they thought he was; he was more of a curse than a hero and he upsets the gods as well for what he has done.

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Towards the end of Oedipus the king, after Oedipus accepts the fact of what he has done, and he accepts his tragic destiny that was always part of the universal plan unfolding, soon after the death of Jocasta he takes his most drastic transformation of the entire story, he gouges out his eyes. Sophocles shows this as a way for Oedipus to humble himself up. If Oedipus's adoptive parents would have just told him the truth by personal choice none of this would have happened. If Oedipus would thought things through and had been more rational his fate might have changed.

The ancient Greek leaders felt they literally had to defend and protect their cities yet like all leaders around the world they cannot even protect themselves. Sophocles shows us this in Oedipus the King; leaders always have to be watching their backs. Whether Sophocles was trying to show us the four forces that influence all mans lives, it is evident that the unfolding of the universal plan and the intervention of the gods took control of Oedipus's life and his fate.