Friday, September 30, 2016

Duality

In Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being, we discussed the duality of concepts such as body and mind and lightness vs. weight. This duality encompassed a society and the human race as a whole. A somewhat similar duality exists in Sophocles's Oedipus the King. In contrast to Kundera's duality, Sophocles's duality only applies to one character: Oedipus. Oedipus has the dual roles that result in the fact that he unknowingly killed his father and accidentally married his mother. Therefore, he is both father and brother to his sons. He is also son and killer of his father. He is a son and husband of his mother. These dualities are a sharp contrast and therefore are very rare in reality and fiction alike. This uncovers the genius of Sophocles in his ability to write innovative plays.

3 comments:

Dylan Bryan said...

I think Joseph brings up a very good point. Oedipus is shown as having multiple roles, as Joseph points out, such as husband, son, father, brother, and killer. I also think it is interesting to look at Jacosta, who as a result of Oedipus, plays a double role. Jacosta is Oedipus's mother, but also his wife. When Oedipus was first born, and just her son, Jacosta and Laius showed him hate and cast him onto a mountain to face the elements and ultimately die. Later, without knowing it is her son, Jacosta shows love and affection towards Oedipus, the same person she had tried to kill earlier. The use of duality and multiple roles is very prominent and intriguing throughout the play.

Rickeia Coleman said...

I feel like one could argue that Oedipus is trying to fulfill the role of a son while being married to Jacosta. We often see him asks her advice about situations such as the prophesy and it seems like Oedipus trust in Jacosta an unknowingly treats her as a mother. Oedipus was robbed of this even though he had adoptive parents. Oedipus seemingly battles for his mothers affection which is seen in him killing his father an struggling to keep Jacosta's attention.

Julia Scofield said...

I believe that the idea of duality can also be seen in The king of Corinth. In the beginning of the play, we know him merely as oedipus' father. By the end of the play, we know not only did he save oedipus, but by not telling oedipus of his true parentage, helped to lead oedipus to his downfall. In that sense, the king is not only a savior, but the usher of Oedipus destruction