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The Prophecies between the Works of Macbeth, Sophocles I (Oedipus the King), and Sundidata - Essay Example

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World Literature December 11, 2011 The Prophecies between the Works of Macbeth, Sophocles I (Oedipus the king), and Sundidata In many work of literature, Prophecies are often used as plot devices to motivate the characters and to swing them into action or inaction…
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The Prophecies between the Works of Macbeth, Sophocles I (Oedipus the King), and Sundidata
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Download file to see previous pages Oedipus the King is an Athenian tragedy written by Sophocles and it is believed to be first performed at around 429 BCE. In this tragedy play, the central character is fated to murder his father and marry his mother. The play revolves around prophecies and how the characters try to avoid fate. Macbeth is a tragedy play written by Shakespeare sometime between 1603 and 1607. In Macbeth, the central character tries to fulfill the prophesy revealed to him by the witches that he one day shall rule the Thane of, Glamis, Cawdor, and become king. Macbeth did everything in his power to fulfill the prophesies foretold by the witches, which eventually led to his destruction and downfall. The Epic of Sundiata is an epic poem of the Malinke people. The poem tells the story of Sundiata Keita who was the founder of the Mali Empire. It is a rich tale which tells the story of Sundiata being part of a prophecy and how he overcomes his physical disabilities to rule over the kingdom. In this epic poem, prophecy plays a central role throughout the story. In all the three works - Oedipus the King, Macbeth and Sundidata the purpose of the use of prophecies is ordinarily to set the themes of the story.  In the play Sophocles I (Oedipus the king), the writer illustrates the concept that trying to avoid the predictions of the prophet is futile. In the play, there are three main prophecies: The first one is the prophecy made to Laius on the details about his death by the hands of his own son. The second prophecy is made by Tiresias giving details about Oedipus on his discovery of the true murderer’s identity and the third one is directed to Oedipus foretelling his future action. In all the three prophecies given, the recipients of these predictions did everything in their power to avoid their fate, but they all eventually end up following the paths which destiny has in store for them. The concept of fate plays an integral part in the play. Although, Oedipus’ has the free will to do what is necessary to avoid the prophecies, it only brings to his downfall as he is destined from birth to kill his own father and marry his mother. From the time he was born he was controlled by his destiny. The prophecy foretold by the oracle of Apollo at Delphi was unconditional and Oedipus actions are controlled by his fate. When Laius received the news that doom would strike him by the hands of his own son, he tried to prevent the tragedy and to defame prophesy, he took his own son to be flung into the barren, trackless mountains. His mother thought that his son had died. But, it was not fated to be so, as prophesy foretold. A shepherd took the baby and gave him to the King and Queen of Corinth. Oedipus was thus raised as the son by the King Polybus and Queen Merope. Eventually, he grew up to be a man of courage and he indeed killed his own father and married his mother just the prophecy had revealed. In the play, the author illustrates again and again that the oracles are never wrong. This is also central to the belief of the Greeks that there is no way a person could escape his own fate. In Macbeth, written by Shakespeare, The central character, Macbeth takes the prophesies as his own fate and tries to make it come true. He believes in the prophecies given to him by the witches as his own destiny and he takes the matter in to his own hands to fulfill it. He is unsure of how the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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