Oedipus Rex by Sophocles: How It Fits Into Its Historical Period and Its Relevance Today (Essay Sample)
This paper will be based upon the readings from the primary sources for this class which can be found in the Readings to Accompany Experience Humanities, Volume I. The readings from which you can choose are listed below:
Homer, Selections from the Iliad and Odyssey.
Sophocles, Oedipus the King.
Plato, Selection from The Republic.
Aristotle, Selections from Poetics.
Aristotle, Selections from Poetics and Politics
Theocritus, Selections from the Idylls Aeschines and Thyonicus.
Vergil, Selections from the Aeneid.
Juvenal, Satire III
Selections from the Holy Scriptures (The Jewish Bible).
St. Augustine, Selections from Confessions and The City of God.
Selections from Beowulf
Boethius, Selections from The Consolation of Philosophy
Selections from the Qur’an
Chretien de Troyes, Selections from Arthurian Romances Lancelot.
Dante Alighieri, Selections from The Divine Comedy.
Giovanni Boccaccio, Selections from The Decameron.
Geoffrey Chaucer, Selections from The Canterbury Tales.
Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola, Selections from On the Dignity of Man.
Niccolo Machiavelli, Selections from The Prince.
After you have chosen your reading, read it over several times. Then, reread the chapter of the text book, Experience Humanities, Volume I, in which your reading is discussed (this can be found by looking for the title of your reading in the index). Then, answer the following questions:
How does this reading fit into its historical period?
What about this reading is relevant to the world today?
What about this reading is relevant to you as an individual living in the United States today?
These readings are among the most celebrated literature in the world. There are innumerable descriptions of them available in print and on the web. You are to consult none of them; you will quote none of them, you will plagiarize from none of them.
Your paper will be three pages minimum, maximum five, with a separate cover sheet, double spaced, typewritten, at 12-point type with a one inch margin on all sides. Do not put your name again at the top of the first page of the paper; just start with your writing. Your paper will be well written. Watch for syntax, grammar and spelling; THESE WILL COUNT IN THE GRADE OF THE PAPER
How does this read fit into its historical period?
The classic play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles was created and presented for the first time in about 429 BCE. The Golden Age of Ancient Greece, which flourished in the fifth century BCE, is precisely centered on this point. The play, a product of its time, displays Sophocles taking sides in the philosophical and theological controversies of the day. Although the play was composed in 429 BCE, its setting is considerably earlier, though it is not quite certain when. The story was adapted by Sophocles from one of the many Greek myths, which described mythical beings that lived in the distant past.
It was not Sophocles who first wrote the Oedipus myth. It was a part of Greek mythology, a vast and intricate body of tales about the gods, such as Zeus and Hera, who were believed to rule the universe, and the heroes of ancient Greece, including Hercules and Achilles. It's challenging to place any of these tales in a specific era. Because the tales were passed down orally for countless generations and recorded by various authors, none of them had a single recognized source. Writings have been able to create a rough timeline of Greece's legendary history, starting with the creation of Gaia (Earth) from Chaos and ending in the fifth century BCE, when the tales were performed in plays like Oedipus Rex, thanks to the fact that many of the stories combine legend with real historical events, such as the Trojan War. This timeline indicates that Oedipus lived in the Heroic Age. During this time, the gods had left Earth and returned to Mount Olympus, leaving people like Oedipus in charge of the earth. Although a great hero, he was not a god or a demigod like earlier heroes. The reading conveys
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