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September 29, 2005

Framed, Fate or Goat...? Maybe it is all 3

I sometimes have trouble with works that have been translated because I am worried that won't receive the full effect of the piece...I wonder if that might have contributed to the discrepancy with the number of "highwaymen."

I find the idea that Oedipus is the scapegoat very interesting though. I do think this is a possible the Sophocles might have wanted Oedipus to be a "'critique of our own culture's way of finding scapegoats.'" I wonder if Rix believes it possible that Oedipus is meant to be both guilty and a scapegoat. Even if he is guilty of murdering his father why does the whole kingdom suffer? Oedipus is actually the one who saved Thebes from the Sphinx and made life better, even after killing his father. So why now, years later are the gods punishing Thebes for his crimes? Are the people of Thebes not at all responsible for the state of their homeland? If they are, maybe that is another reason Oedipus must be the scapegoat…

Or maybe all this delay in punishment is after all just a result of the fate factor? Because if even after killing Laius, if Oedipus hadn't saved Thebes from the Sphinx, than he would have never fulfilled the second half of the prophecy and married his mother. Because of this inescapable connection to fate, I do believe that at least in part, Sophocles wanted his audience to get is indeed "how humans (even as "high a character as Oedipus) inescapably find themselves at the mercy of divine will."

Posted by LorinSchumacher at September 29, 2005 12:09 AM


Lorin, while I don't know Greek, I'm pretty sure that the discrepancy in the number of highway men is part of the original, and not something introduced in translation. But it's good to see you thinking critically about such a detail.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at September 29, 2005 8:15 AM

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