Oedipus Rex : Greek Culture Essay examples

1084 Words Nov 23rd, 2015 5 Pages
Throughout the course of human history, reverence to one or many gods has affected the ways of life and literature. Higher powers controlling one’s life are commonly written about, referenced, and even evaded. It can be seen throughout the text Oedipus Rex, that Greek culture greatly influences Sophocles in displaying the thematic message that fate is ultimately unavoidable. Within the text of Oedipus Rex it can distinctly be seen that the Greek time period and lifestyle inspired and affected Sophocles in his writing. During Sophocles’ era, Greek life, social status, and politics relied heavily on the male population. Thus the text displays that Oedipus, the lead role, is a male, and holds all the power within the family. Oedipus and his royal reign characterized his entire family’s social placement, and they had to suffer the consequences of his fatal mistakes as well. Perhaps the most prominent piece of Greek culture to affect Oedipus Rex was religion. Greek religion was polytheistic and included many practices such as animal sacrifice, libations, divinations, and many festivals. “With a sound of prayer and lamentation” (Sophocles 3) the people of Thebes would cry out the gods. This inclusion is an obvious example of Greek religion practice entering the story is when “it occurred to [Queen Iocaste] to visit the altars of the gods, bearing branches as a suppliant,” (47). Most of the characters throughout the story offered up prayers to the gods and burned incense on…

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