Friday, September 19, 2014

Like Father Like Son

Laius and Oedipus have significant differences in their views on the gods in that Laius holds a deep respect for them while Oedipus has more self-respect. Laius respects and believes in the words of the gods so much, that he is willing to harm and kill his own son and even the punishment he receives, the Sphinx, is a direct one from the gods. The Oracle at Delphi, which speaks for Apollo, also foretells his death, further linking him to the gods. The things that happen to Oedipus, however, are largely caused by his own actions. Oedipus likes to be self-sufficient and rejects the credibility of the gods. It is Oedipus who ends up punishing himself, saying to the gods that they were right but he is the only one who can punish himself. Both Oedipus and Laius are punished for their misdeeds, but in two different ways.

1 comment:

Bonnie Cash said...

I think this correlates to the difference between Hellenic and Hellenistic art styles. Hellenic styles, as we saw, venerated gods and their importance. The Gods had all the power, and they should be respected and venerated in society. Laius felt that the Gods should be respected in every day society, associating him with Hellenic period. Oedipus, on the other hand, believed that he himself should be respected as a God, as we often see his blasphemous statements through the play. He associates more with the Hellenistic period, which venerated the power and respect of kings rather than Gods. While Gods are still incorporated, the main focus had transferred from venerating Gods to venerating kings. I think it's interesting Laius and Oedipus both correlate to different styles of art because it only emphasizes their different personalities.