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Oedipus the King: Expansion of Human Consciousness

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It has been a fascinating process to read Sophoclesís play, Oedipus the King , with fresh eyes, mentally carving away the things I “know” about the story, in particular Freudís application of it to human psychology and my own spiritual take on it (in part derived from the popular show “The Gospel at Colonus”).

As my preconceptions dropped away, several dramatic ways in which this extraordinary drama moves away from the early Akkadian cosmgony, “Enuma Elish” and Hesiodís “Theogony” revealed themselves. These pivotal stories illustrated clear ways in which the peoples of Babylon, early Greece and classical Greece differed from one another, especially with regard to their relationships to their deities. In the earlier writings the gods are the only players in the story ? they are clearly central to the lives of the Akkadians and the early Greeks. Oedipus the King, on the other hand, features human beings as the central figures – the players of greatest interest. While Sophocl…

Free Essays – Victorious Achilleus of the Iliad

Victorious Achilleus of the Iliad

From reading book twenty two in the Iliad it is clear, from the beginning, that Achilleus will prevail in the battle against Hektor. The reader is given many hints from the text that Achilleus will succeed. Homer, the writer of the text, feels he will win, and so gives the reader hints of his victory though his narration, and through the words of Hektor’s parents, and the gods.

First, Hektor’s father encourages his son to allow other men to fight with him in battle against Achilleus. He says, “Hektor, beloved child to not wait the attack of this man alone, away from the others. You might encounter your destiny eaten down by Peleion, since he is far stronger than you” (Homer 436). Hektor’s father assumes that if Hektor fights alone he will certainly lose. Hektor’s father knows what a great warrior Achilleus is, and so seeks to convince his son to cast away his pride, admit he is weaker, and solicit support from his fellow Trojans. He has already lost a few sons at the hands of Achilleus and expects that Hektor cannot possibly win. Since his father recognizes his weakness, this is the first hint about the outcome of the battle. But Hektor, brave man that he is, will not be so easily convinced that Achilleus is stronger. Even Hektor’s mom is skeptical he can triumph over Achilles and begs him, “Do not go out as champion against him, o hard one; for if he kills you I can no longer morn you…” (Homer 437). She too has little faith that he will overcome Achilleus and is concerned he will die at the hands of this great warrior. She is so worried she does not even want him to fight.

Next, Homer gives the reader a few more indirect suggestions about the outcome of the battle. When Hektor first sees Achilleus approaching, he does not act like a extremely brave warrior. Homer explains, “And the shivers took hold of Hektor when he saw him, and he could no longer stand his ground there, but left the gates behind, and fled, frightened…” (Homer 438). Obviously, it seems unlikely Hektor can slay Achilleus since he is so afraid he cannot even stand his ground. If he has no confidence in his fighting ability surely most readers will also think he is unable to win and that is why he chooses his only option-fleeing.

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