Mankind's Place in the World: Oedipus Essays

772 WordsOct 2, 20124 Pages
Mankind's Place In the World: Oedipus Aristotle's Poetics: Comedy and Epic and Tragedy comments on the reflection of reality by it's very imitation. As with comedy being an imitation of the inferior and ugly, the role of the epic and tragedy follow the roles of characters of great importance. The idea being that only those of importance are even noticeable in the eyes of the gods, since mankind is relatively insignificant and are nothing more than an amusement to the gods. As the children address Oedipus with remarks such as “You are not one of the immortal gods, we know; Yet we have come to you to make our prayer as to the man surest in mortal ways and wisest in the ways of God.” (1. Prologue. 35. 43.), the audience can…show more content…
A man should live only for the present day.” (Soph. 1. 3. 65. 56.), the irony of his words is that had Oedipus or even his father Laios followed such ideals, then would they have shared such a fate, given the ideas that fate is inescapable. As Oedipus comes to a close and all revelations have been foretold, the audience is left with Choragos's words, “Let every man in mankind's frailty consider his last day and let none presume on his good fortune until he find life at his death a memory without pain” (Soph. 1. 4. 300. 64.), which in short tells that no one is guaranteed an easy pass through life. As Aristotle describes the tragic hero, often the tragic flaw is hubris, an excessive pride that causes the hero to ignore a divine warning or to break a moral law. Aristotle also adds that the tragic hero may achieve some revelation or recognition about human fate, destiny, and the will of the gods. "Tragedy, then, is a process of imitating an action which has serious implications, is complete, and possesses magnitude; by means of language which has been made sensuously attractive, with each of its varieties found separately in the parts; enacted by the persons themselves and not presented through narrative; through a course of pity and fear completing the purification of tragic acts which have those emotional characteristics." (Aristotle. 66) As the ancient world was ruled with the ideas that mankind was nothing, but mere playthings to the
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