Irreverence In Oedipus The King

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Irreverence In Oedipus The King



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The Story of Oedipus: the King of Thebes (Complete) Greek Mythology - See U in History

Victor seems to have created the creature to live a life of suffering. The creature is left to take on the world all by himself, and seems to be destined by Victor for only one thing—pain. He just wanted his fellows to stop being miserable in this horrid cave, but in return he just has received rejection. They choose to hide from their judgement and stay in the darkness between heaven and hell. They disguise themselves from the eyes shining down on them, waiting for them to show themselves.

The men feel scared of the answer they might be given when they go to judgement and find where they will spend eternity. The hollow men that Eliot writes about are hollow because they might have not done much in their life to be fit for heaven or hell. They are stuck in this purgatory because they are not enough for either fate. Two character traits define Odysseus and shape his poor leadership style. The first trait is that he is a very arrogant person and this often puts him and his men in danger. Secondly, Odysseus can be deceitful and not fully communicate the facts of each situation. Odysseus was a weak leader and his lack of vision in not seeing the strength and possibilities in his men combined with his inability to effectively communicate to those around him ultimately led to his failure of not being able to safely deliver his men back to Ithaca.

His false portrayal and constant rejection never stopped him from adapting to society, evidently it did turn him down a dark and vengeful path. Just as it did for the Monster. The monster was content staying away from humans until he happened upon the family of. In the epic The Odyssey, written by Homer, Odysseus can be categorized as a bad leader because he is a bystander to preventable deaths of his crew members and exhibits poor authority amongst his group. Odysseus dismisses the possible danger of death he places his crew members in.

Yet I refused. Coming across the cyclops 's cave, Odysseus immediately conveys interest in exploring the abode of the one-eyed creature and waiting for him to return. Although his crew offers a. With the god's good help Success is sure; 'tis ruin if we fail. O Zeus, reveal thy might, King, if thou'rt named aright Omnipotent , all-seeing, as of old; For Laius is forgot; His weird, men heed it not; Apollo is forsook and faith grows cold. For he who most doth know Of bliss , hath but the show; A moment, and the visions pale and fade. Not for some far-off kinsman, but myself, Shall I expel this poison in the blood; For whoso slew that king might have a mind To strike me too with his assassin hand. Oh, touch me not, but let me all alone Find out the sepulcher that destiny Appoints me in this land.

My sire was Polybus of Corinth, and My mother Merope, a Dorian; And I was held the foremost citizen, Till a strange thing befell me, strange indeed, Yet scarce deserving all the heat it stirred. Then, lady,--thou shalt hear the very truth-- As I drew near the triple-branching roads, A herald met me and a man who sat In a car drawn by colts--as in thy tale-- The man in front and the old man himself Threatened to thrust me rudely from the path, Then jostled by the charioteer in wrath I struck him, and the old man, seeing this, Watched till I passed and from his car brought down Full on my head the double-pointed goad.

Which lacking for too late Was I enrolled a citizen of Thebes This proclamation I address to all Thebans, if any knows the man by whom Laius, son of Labdacus, was slain, I summon him to make clean shrift to me. I know thee near, and though bereft of eyes, Thy voice I recognize. Hard by, the Titan, he who bears the torch, Prometheus, has his worship; but the spot Thou treadest, the Brass-footed Threshold named, Is Athens' bastion , and the neighboring lands Claim as their chief and patron yonder knight Colonus, and in common bear his name.

These two maids Their sisters, girls, gave all their sex could give, Food and safe harborage and filial care; While their two brethren sacrificed their sire For lust of power and sceptred sovereignty. Hear, gentle daughters of primeval Night, Hear, namesake of great Pallas; Athens, first Of cities, pity this dishonored shade, The ghost of him who once was Oedipus. A wayfarer, I ween, A wayfarer, no countryman of ours, That old man must have been; Never had native dared to tempt the Powers, Or enter their demesne, The Maids in awe of whom each mortal cowers , Whose name no voice betrays nor cry, And as we pass them with averted eye, We move hushed lips in reverent piety.

Right worthy the concern Of Phoebus, worthy thine too, for the dead; I also, as is meet, will lend my aid To avenge this wrong to Thebes and to the god. If my soul prophetic err not, if my wisdom aught avail, Thee, Cithaeron, I shall hail, As the nurse and foster-mother of our Oedipus shall greet Ere tomorrow's full moon rises, and exalt thee as is meet.

A wayfarer, I ween, A wayfarer, no countryman of ours, That old man must have been; Never had native dared to tempt the Powers, Or enter their demesne, The Maids in awe of whom each mortal cowers, Whose name no voice betrays nor cry, And as we pass them with averted eye, We move hushed lips in reverent piety. But when my frenzied grief had spent its force, And I was fain to taste the sweets of home, Then thou wouldst thrust me from my country, then These ties of kindred were by thee ignored; And now again when thou behold'st this State And all its kindly people welcome me, Thou seek'st to part us, wrapping in soft words Hard thoughts.

But other grievous things he prophesied, Woes, lamentations, mourning, portents dire; To wit I should defile my mother's bed And raise up seed too loathsome to behold, And slay the father from whose loins I sprang. Earth's might decays , the might of men decays, Honor grows cold, dishonor flourishes, There is no constancy 'twixt friend and friend, Or city and city; be it soon or late, Sweet turns to bitter, hate once more to love. Creon, unrelenting, condemns her to be immured in a rock- hewn chamber. I seemed forsooth too simple to perceive The serpent stealing on me in the dark, Or else too weak to scotch it when I saw.

Command my liegemen leave the sacrifice And hurry, foot and horse, with rein unchecked, To where the paths that packmen use diverge , Lest the two maidens slip away, and I Become a mockery to this my guest, As one despoiled by force. Having come Unto a State that champions right and asks For every action warranty of law, Thou hast set aside the custom of the land, And like some freebooter art carrying off What plunder pleases thee, as if forsooth Thou thoughtest this a city without men, Or manned by slaves, and me a thing of naught.

OEDIPUS Elders, if I, who never yet before Have met the man, may make a guess, methinks I see the herdsman who we long have sought; His time-worn aspect matches with the years Of yonder aged messenger; besides I seem to recognize the men who bring him As servants of my own. Aye, and a flood of ills thou guessest not Shall set thyself and children in one line. No sooner has he gone than Creon enters with an armed guard who seize Antigone and carry her off Ismene, the other sister, they have already captured and he is about to lay hands on Oedipus, when Theseus, who has heard the tumult, hurries up and, upbraiding Creon for his lawless act, threatens to detain him till he has shown where the captives are and restored them.

And for thy foemen, though their words were brave, Boasting to bring thee back, they are like to find The seas between us wide and hard to sail. For Zeus who hates the braggart 's boast Beheld that gold-bespangled host; As at the goal the paean they upraise, He struck them with his forked lightning blaze. How like a ghost forlorn My voice flits from me on the air! O listen to him; other men like thee Have thankless children and are choleric , But yielding to persuasion's gentle spell They let their savage mood be exorcised. Hear us, Zeus, and hear us, child Of Zeus, Athene undefiled, Hear, Apollo, hunter, hear, Huntress, sister of Apollo, Who the dappled swift-foot deer O'er the wooded glade dost follow; Help with your two-fold power Athens in danger's hour!

Say, didst thou too abet This crime, or dost abjure all privity? Wouldst thou betray us and destroy the State? Go in, my lord; Go home, my brother, and forebear to make A public scandal of a petty grief. Now like a sullen bull he roves Through forest brakes and upland groves, And vainly seeks to fly The doom that ever nigh Flits o'er his head, Still by the avenging Phoebus sped, The voice divine, From Earth's mid shrine. Dear father, wrapt for aye in nether gloom, E'en in the tomb Never shalt thou lack of love repine , Her love and mine. Let no man in this land, whereof I hold The sovereign rule, harbor or speak to him; Give him no part in prayer or sacrifice Or lustral rites, but hound him from your homes.

Or how without sign assured, can I blame Him who saved our State when the winged songstress came, Tested and tried in the light of us all, like gold assayed? We offered first a prayer To Pluto and the goddess of cross-ways, With contrite hearts, to deprecate their ire. And when ye come to marriageable years, Where's the bold wooers who will jeopardize To take unto himself such disrepute As to my children's children still must cling, For what of infamy is lacking here? O that Death Might nip my breath, And let me share my aged father's fate. For Zeus who hates the braggart's boast Beheld that gold-bespangled host; As at the goal the paean they upraise, He struck them with his forked lightning blaze.

Who when such deeds are done Can hope heaven's bolts to shun? Meanwhile, the common folk, with wreathed boughs Crowd our two market-places, or before Both shrines of Pallas congregate , or where Ismenus gives his oracles by fire. Can nothing melt thee, Or shake thy dogged taciturnity? OEDIPUS Then may the gods ne'er quench their fatal feud, And mine be the arbitrament of the fight, For which they now are arming, spear to spear; That neither he who holds the scepter now May keep this throne, nor he who fled the realm Return again. The purport of the answer that the God Returned to us who sought his oracle, The messengers have doubtless told thee--how One course alone could rid us of the pest, To find the murderers of Laius, And slay them or expel them from the land.

And for the disobedient thus I pray: May the gods send them neither timely fruits Of earth, nor teeming increase of the womb, But may they waste and pine, as now they waste, Aye and worse stricken; but to all of you, My loyal subjects who approve my acts, May Justice, our ally, and all the gods Be gracious and attend you evermore. PRIEST Yea, Oedipus, my sovereign lord and king, Thou seest how both extremes of age besiege Thy palace altars--fledglings hardly winged , and greybeards bowed with years; priests, as am I of Zeus, and these the flower of our youth. If sin like this to honor can aspire , Why dance I still and lead the sacred choir?

O ye his daughters, sisters mine, do ye This sullen, obstinate silence try to move. So having reached the abrupt Earth-rooted Threshold with its brazen stairs, He paused at one of the converging paths, Hard by the rocky basin which records The pact of Theseus and Peirithous. I had a mind to visit the high shrines, For Oedipus is overwrought , alarmed With terrors manifold. O King, thy willful temper ails the State, For all our shrines and altars are profaned By what has filled the maw of dogs and crows, The flesh of Oedipus' unburied son.

Such threats Vented in anger oft, are blusterers, An idle breath, forgot when sense returns. A gift, a thing I sought not, for this crown The trusty Creon, my familiar friend, Hath lain in wait to oust me and suborned This mountebank , this juggling charlatan, This tricksy beggar-priest, for gain alone Keen-eyed, but in his proper art stone-blind. Am I not utterly unclean, a wretch Doomed to be banished, and in banishment Forgo the sight of all my dearest ones, And never tread again my native earth; Or else to wed my mother and slay my sire, Polybus, who begat me and upreared? Who craves excess of days, Scorning the common span Of life, I judge that man A giddy wight who walks in folly's ways.

Child, who bare thee, nymph or goddess? Of did Loxias beget thee, for he haunts the upland wold; Or Cyllene's lord, or Bacchus, dweller on the hilltops cold? Come hither, deign to touch an abject wretch; Draw near and fear not; I myself must bear The load of guilt that none but I can share. Ah whither shall thy bitter cry not reach, What crag in all Cithaeron but shall then Reverberate thy wail, when thou hast found With what a hymeneal thou wast borne Home, but to no fair haven , on the gale! Were I on Theban soil, to prosecute The justest claim imaginable, I Would never wrest by violence my own Without sanction of your State or King; I should behave as fits an outlander Living amongst a foreign folk, but thou Shamest a city that deserves it not, Even thine own, and plentitude of years Have made of thee an old man and a fool.

A gift, a thing I sought not, for this crown The trusty Creon, my familiar friend, Hath lain in wait to oust me and suborned This mountebank, this juggling charlatan , This tricksy beggar-priest, for gain alone Keen-eyed, but in his proper art stone-blind. And the Muses' quire will never disdain To visit this heaven-favored plain, Nor the Cyprian queen of the golden rein. I had a mind to visit the high shrines, For Oedipus is overwrought, alarmed With terrors manifold. No sooner had we come, Driven from thy presence by those awful threats, Than straight we swept away all trace of dust, And bared the clammy body.

His son Haemon, to whom Antigone is betrothed , pleads in vain for her life and threatens to die with her. OEDIPUS Stern-visaged queens, since coming to this land First in your sanctuary I bent the knee, Frown not on me or Phoebus, who, when erst He told me all my miseries to come, Spake of this respite after many years, Some haven in a far-off land, a rest Vouchsafed at last by dread divinities. When from the hail-storm of thy threats I fled I sware thou wouldst not see me here again; But the wild rapture of a glad surprise Intoxicates, and so I'm here forsworn. But you by special summons I convened As my most trusted councilors; first, because I knew you loyal to Laius of old; Again, when Oedipus restored our State, Both while he ruled and when his rule was o'er, Ye still were constant to the royal line.

Earth her gracious fruits denies ; Women wail in barren throes; Life on life downstriken goes, Swifter than the wind bird's flight, Swifter than the Fire-God's might, To the westering shores of Night. To wait his onset passively , for him Is sure success, for me assured defeat. Ill fares the husband mated with a shrew , And her embraces very soon wax cold. For I will speak; thy lewd and impious speech Has broken all the bonds of reticence. Thou didst kindle the strife, this feud of kinsman with kin, By the eyes of a winsome wife, and the yearning her heart to win.

Let me clasp you with these hands, A brother's hands, a father's; hands that made Lack- luster sockets of his once bright eyes; Hands of a man who blindly, recklessly, Became your sire by her from whom he sprang. Yet 'tis no easy matter to discern The temper of a man, his mind and will, Till he be proved by exercise of power; And in my case, if one who reigns supreme Swerve from the highest policy, tongue-tied By fear of consequence, that man I hold, And ever held, the basest of the base. For lo, the palace portals are unbarred, And soon ye shall behold a sight so sad That he who must abhorred would pity it.

Since it pleaseth thee To triumph o'er thy country and thy friends Who mandate , though a prince, I here discharge, Enjoy thy triumph; soon or late thou'lt find Thou art an enemy to thyself, both now And in time past, when in despite of friends Thou gav'st the rein to passion, still thy bane. Thou art his father, therefore canst not pay In kind a son's most impious outrages. I warrant such a one in either case Would shine, as King or subject; such a man Would in the storm of battle stand his ground, A comrade leal and true; but Anarchy -- What evils are not wrought by Anarchy!

For myself, I call To witness Zeus, whose eyes are everywhere, If I perceive some mischievous design To sap the State, I will not hold my tongue; Nor would I reckon as my private friend A public foe, well knowing that the State Is the good ship that holds our fortunes all: Farewell to friendship, if she suffers wreck. Nay, thou know'st it not, And all unwitting art a double foe To thine own kin, the living and the dead; Aye and the dogging curse of mother and sire One day shall drive thee, like a two- edged sword, Beyond our borders, and the eyes that now See clear shall henceforward endless night. Again the oracle was consulted and it bade them purge themselves of blood-guiltiness.

O Zeus, reveal thy might, King, if thou'rt named aright Omnipotent, all-seeing, as of old; For Laius is forgot; His weird, men heed it not; Apollo is forsook and faith grows cold. From Theseus Oedipus craves protection in life and burial in Attic soil; the benefits that will accrue shall be told later. I whom ye dislodged First from my seat of rock and now would drive Forth from your land, dreading my name alone; For me you surely dread not, nor my deeds, Deeds of a man more sinned against than sinning, As I might well convince you, were it meet To tell my mother's story and my sire's, The cause of this your fear. Then topples o'er and lies in ruin prone; No foothold on that dizzy steep. Lead him straight within, For it is seemly that a kinsman's woes Be heard by kin and seen by kin alone.

Thus by the law of conscience I was led To honor thee, dear brother, and was judged By Creon guilty of a heinous crime. But when he comes, then I were base indeed, If I perform not all the god declares. Nay, thou know'st it not, And all unwitting art a double foe To thine own kin, the living and the dead; Aye and the dogging curse of mother and sire One day shall drive thee, like a two-edged sword, Beyond our borders , and the eyes that now See clear shall henceforward endless night. Learning may fixed decree anent thy bride, Thou mean'st not, son, to rave against thy sire? For the long years heap up a grievous load, Scant pleasures, heavier pains, Till not one joy remains For him who lingers on life's weary road And come it slow or fast, One doom of fate Doth all await, For dance and marriage bell, The dirge and funeral knell.

If aught thou wouldst beseech, Speak where 'tis right; till then refrain from speech. PRIEST Yea, Oedipus, my sovereign lord and king, Thou seest how both extremes of age besiege Thy palace altars-- fledglings hardly winged, and greybeards bowed with years; priests, as am I of Zeus, and these the flower of our youth. First, he can claim the hospitality To which by mutual contract we stand pledged: Next, coming here, a suppliant to the gods, He pays full tribute to the State and me; His favors therefore never will I spurn, But grant him the full rights of citizen; And, if it suits the stranger here to bide, I place him in your charge, or if he please Rather to come with me--choose, Oedipus, Which of the two thou wilt.

But a shepherd found the babe and tended him, and delivered him to another shepherd who took him to his master, the King of Corinth. But a shepherd found the babe and tended him, and delivered him to another shepherd who took him to his master , the King of Corinth. Where in the wide world to find The far, faint traces of a bygone crime? She ruins States, and overthrows the home, She dissipates and routs the embattled host; While discipline preserves the ordered ranks. Thy fall, O Oedipus, thy piteous fall Warns me none born of women blest to call. All that I lately gathered on the way Made my conjecture doubly sure; and now Thy garb and that marred visage prove to me That thou art he.

If thou fail'st To find these malefactors , thou shalt own The wages of ill-gotten gains is death. Yet not from Thebes this villainy was learnt; Thebes is not wont to breed unrighteous sons, Nor would she praise thee, if she learnt that thou Wert robbing me--aye and the gods to boot, Haling by force their suppliants, poor maids. Foremost the peerless warrior, peerless seer, Amphiaraiis with his lightning lance; Next an Aetolian, Tydeus, Oeneus' son; Eteoclus of Argive birth the third; The fourth Hippomedon, sent to the war By his sire Talaos; Capaneus, the fifth, Vaunts he will fire and raze the town; the sixth Parthenopaeus, an Arcadian born Named of that maid, longtime a maid and late Espoused, Atalanta's true-born child; Last I thy son, or thine at least in name, If but the bastard of an evil fate, Lead ag Yet was I quits with him and more; one stroke Of my good staff sufficed to fling him clean Out of the chariot seat and laid him prone.

I am not so infatuate as to grasp The shadow when I hold the substance fast. For, as thou seest thyself, our ship of State, Sore buffeted, can no more lift her head, Foundered beneath a weltering surge of blood. In that faith I hunted down my quarry ; and e'en then I had refrained but for the curses dire Wherewith he banned my kinsfolk and myself: Such wrong, methought, had warrant for my act.

Earth her gracious fruits denies; Women wail in barren throes ; Life on life downstriken goes, Swifter than the wind bird's flight, Swifter than the Fire-God's might, To the westering shores of Night. And of the children, inmates of his home, He shall be proved the brother and the sire, Of her who bare him son and husband both, Co-partner, and assassin of his sire. O yield to us; just suitors should not need To be importunate , nor he that takes A favor lack the grace to make return. But, ye pure and awful gods, Forbid , forbid that I should see that day! And in his frenzy some supernal power No mortal, surely, none of us who watched him Guided his footsteps; with a terrible shriek, As though one beckoned him, he crashed against The folding doors, and from their staples forced The wrenched bolts and hurled himself within.

I know thou mean'st me well, And yet would'st mitigate and blunt my zeal. I thought He'd take it to the country whence he came; But he preserved it for the worst of woes. But for my daughters twain, poor innocent maids, Who ever sat beside me at the board Sharing my viands , drinking of my cup, For them, I pray thee, care, and, if thou willst, O might I feel their touch and make my moan. Nor did I deem that thou, a mortal man, Could'st by a breath annul and override The immutable unwritten laws of Heaven.

And yet his fortune brings him little joy; For blind of seeing, clad in beggar's weeds, For purple robes, and leaning on his staff, To a strange land he soon shall grope his way. Then we sat High on the ridge to windward of the stench , While each man kept he fellow alert and rated Roundly the sluggard if he chanced to nap. Time with never sleeping eye Watches what is writ on high, Overthrowing now the great, Raising now from low estate. THESEUS Show us the trail, and I'll attend thee too, That, if thou hast the maidens hereabouts, Thou mayest thyself discover them to me; But if thy guards outstrip us with their spoil, We may draw rein; for others speed, from whom They will not 'scape to thank the gods at home.

Thou hast withstood authority, A self-willed rebel, thou must die. He will not use His past experience, like a man of sense, To judge the present need, but lends an ear To any croaker if he augurs ill. But if Betwixt this stranger there was aught in common With Laius, who more miserable than I, What mortal could you find more god-abhorred? But O condemn me not, without appeal , On bare suspicion. If thou wouldst rule This land, as now thou reignest, better sure To rule a peopled than a desert realm. Corpses spread infection round; None to tend or mourn is found.

So, by our fountains and familiar gods I pray thee, yield and hear; a beggar I And exile, thou an exile likewise; both Involved in one misfortune find a home As pensioners, while he, the lord of Thebes, O agony! Perturbed in soul, I straight essayed the sacrifice by fire On blazing altars, but the God of Fire Came not in flame, and from the thigh bones dripped And sputtered in the ashes a foul ooze; Gall-bladders cracked and spurted up: the fat Melted and fell and left the thigh bones bare. I would as lief a man should cast away The thing he counts most precious , his own life, As spurn a true friend. Command my liegemen leave the sacrifice And hurry, foot and horse, with rein unchecked, To where the paths that packmen use diverge, Lest the two maidens slip away, and I Become a mockery to this my guest, As one despoiled by force.

How could the soil thy father eared so long Endure to bear in silence such a wrong? By him the vulture maid Was quelled, her witchery laid; He rose our savior and the land's strong tower. I have long noted malcontents Who wagged their heads, and kicked against the yoke , Misliking these my orders, and my rule. What happened after that I cannot tell, Nor how the end befell, for with a shriek Burst on us Oedipus; all eyes were fixed On Oedipus, as up and down he strode, Nor could we mark her agony to the end. And for thy foemen, though their words were brave , Boasting to bring thee back, they are like to find The seas between us wide and hard to sail. And thou, my child, whilom thou wentest forth, Eluding the Cadmeians' vigilance, To bring thy father all the oracles Concerning Oedipus, and didst make thyself My faithful lieger, when they banished me.

Not Ister nor all Phasis' flood, I ween, Could wash away the blood-stains from this house, The ills it shrouds or soon will bring to light, Ills wrought of malice , not unwittingly. Betwixt that rift and the Thorician rock, The hollow pear-tree and the marble tomb, Midway he sat and loosed his beggar's weeds; Then calling to his daughters bade them fetch Of running water, both to wash withal And make libation; so they clomb the steep; And in brief space brought what their father bade, Then laved and dressed him with observance due. My spirit quails and cowers: my hair Bristles for fear. Against our land the proud invader came To vindicate fell Polyneices' claim. He the all- presumptuous man, Whither vanished?

Dost thou presume To approach my doors, thou brazen-faced rogue, My murderer and the filcher of my crown? What tongue can tell That sight ineffable? For, had I sight, I know not with what eyes I could have met my father in the shades, Or my poor mother, since against the twain I sinned, a sin no gallows could atone. Thy ready help we crave, Whether adown Parnassian heights descending, Or o'er the roaring straits thy swift was wending , Save us, O save! Hither comes in angry mood Haemon, latest of thy brood; Is it for his bride he's grieved, Or her marriage-bed deceived , Doth he make his mourn for thee, Maid forlorn, Antigone?

Sitting upon my throne of augury, As is my wont, where every fowl of heaven Find harborage, upon mine ears was borne A jargon strange of twitterings, hoots, and screams; So knew I that each bird at the other tare With bloody talons, for the whirr of wings Could signify naught else. Envy, sedition, strife, Carnage and war, make up the tale of life.

Come Creon then, come all the mightiest In Thebes to seek me; for if ye my friends, Championed by those dread Powers indigenous , Espouse my cause; then for the State ye gain A great deliverer, for my foemen bane. Envy, sedition , strife, Carnage and war, make up the tale of life. For transgressions past May be amended, cannot be made worse. To you, my children I had much to say, Were ye but ripe to hear.

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