So, I have been reading and watching a little Greek drama lately (Iphigenia, Oedipus the King, and bits of Medea). They are seriously weird. There are so many themes that these plays bring up or emphasize which are very timeless and useful to think about, but on the whole, they seem to be written in a foreign language…wait, they are.
I still haven’t really figured out my thoughts on the matter…other than being convinced that Medea was a very evil person/sorceress/goddess!!
Does Oedipus really control his fate? Or are the gods/prophesies all-controlling and binding? Did Agamemnon do the right thing in sacrificing his daughter? Was he selfless or selfish?

Paradox seems to be present everywhere in Greek drama. Perhaps this is one of its redeeming qualities, probing readers to move beyond the surface explanations of events. Cause/effect relationships seem to be a major form of the paradoxical elements.

For example, Oedipus the King (otherwise known as Oedipus Rex) seems to go against one of the fundamental Greek teachings of Sophocles’ time, which was “Know Thyself.” Considering that the source of Oedipus’ downfall seems to be that he relentlessly pursues the truth and tries to learn who he is (know himself), to his own peril, this teaching seems to be completely spurned. And yet, did Oedipus really know himself? Did he take advantage of opportunities to learn the truth about himself?

Back when he was still in Corinth, he has a suspicion that his Corinthian parents really were not his biological parents, so he leaves to go consult the gods. While he is there, Apollo gives him the oracle declaring the prophesy that was told earlier to his biological parents. However, instead of pursuing the answer to his question about who his parents really were, he leaves Corinth for Thebes in order to avoid the prophesy. So, did he really take advantage of every opportunity to “know himself?” Couldn’t he have consulted the gods further, or if not, he could at least have gone to his supposed parents and asked them the truth about himself.