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Greek mythology has, with no doubt, formed some of the most solid works of literature in the modern world. It merely revolves around the legends and myths pertaining to the ancient Greeks about their heroes, gods, the nature of the world, as well as the significance and origin of their ritual practices and cults. Modern scholars have been studying and referring to the myths in an attempt to decipher the political and religious institutions of the Ancient Greece and its civilization. In addition, they aim at enhancing their understanding about the nature of mythmaking. Needless to say, Greek mythology has been explicitly embodies in an enormous collection of narratives. It has also been implicitly embodied in Greek representational arts including votive gifts and vase paintings. It is worth noting that Greek myths explain or outline detail the adventures and lives of varied goddesses, gods, heroines and heroes, as well as mythological creatures. It also attempts to enhance the understanding on the origins of the entire world. While the past incorporates numerous plays and works of literature that detail Greek mythologies, none does it explicitly than the works of Sophocles in “The Theban Plays”.
Thesis statement: The gods in The Theban plays, who represented the nature of man and forces of nature, were a reflection of the world and shaped its destiny.
The Theban Plays is a collection of three plays namely “Antigone”, “Oedipus the King” and “Oedipus at Colonus”. The three plays revolve around the fate that befell Thebes during as well as after the reign of King Oedipus. It is worth noting that the three plays do not make a true trilogy. Each of the three plays outlines the tale of Oedipus, a mythological character who unknowingly married his mother after killing his father.
In “Oedipus the King” (also known as Oedipus Rex or Oedipus Tyranus), Oedipus has his death planned his death so as to prevent the fulfillment of a prophecy of the oracle. The prophecy had stated that Oedipus would kill his father and marry his own mother. However, a servant entrusted with killing the kid passes him through numerous intermediaries to a childless couple who have no knowledge of the history. Unfortunately, the kid later learns about the prophecy of the oracle and tries to flee so as to avert its fulfillment. On his way, he meets a man with his servants and fights him. He kills the man and all his servants except one. He does not know that the man he has killed is his real father, as he does not know that he was adopted. He eventually becomes the ruler of Thebes thereby marrying the widowed queen, who is his real mother Jocasta. He later blinds himself and quits Thebes after the truth comes out. Oedipus at Colonus outlines the lives of Oedipus and his two daughters Ismene and Antigone. The three have arrived at Colonus town, where they encounter the King of Athens known as Theseus. Oedipus dies and a conflict brews between his two sons Eteocles and Polyneices. In the “Antigone”, Oedipus’ daughter known as Antigone has to choose between having his brother’s body remain unburied or to bury him, an action that would attract a death sentence. Shoe chooses the latter and is sentenced to death. The sentense was to be carried out by burrying her alive in the tomb. This is irrespective if the fact that the king’s son has his eyes on her. However, the king rescinds his decision and decides to set her free. This decision may be termed as too little too late as Antigone had already committed suicide by the time the tomb was opened. The suicide causes the king’s son to commit suicide, which consequently causes the King’s wife to commit suicide after she loses her only surviving son.
One of the most striking features in “The Theban Plays” is the role of the gods. The gods play a crucial role in the development of the story. First, it goes without saying that the gods play a crucial role as they rule and regulate the behavior of human beings. Greek mythology underlines the fact that each god possesses distinctive powers .............
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