My understanding of the cultural aspects of ‘Oedipus Rex’ was deepened by the class debate we had. It was debated whether it was possible for fate to be avoided and if oracles were a significant part of life for the Ancient Greeks. We came to the conclusion that fate cannot be avoided, Oedipus being a prime example of this.
When Oedipus tries to change his fate and go against the oracle from Apollo, it showed us that fate cannot be avoided. This is because in Ancient Greek life, it was believed that there were three goddesses that determined human destinies. These were Clotho who spun the “thread” of life, Lachesis who dispensed this thread, and Atropos who cut this thread and determined when a person would die. Furthermore, they believed that even the Gods could not escape their destinies. This was known as Zeus and Kronos were prophesized their own deaths and could not change it. Therefore, as of Oedipus’ parents’ actions by wanting him to be killed as a baby; his knowledge of the people who have raised him as parents is incorrect. This shows us that that he is incapable of changing anything, showing us that fate cannot be avoided.
Furthermore, the significance of oracles was explored during the debate, as at first it was argued that oracles were not significant. However this view changed as we discovered the Greeks believed that oracles were the gateway to knowing the will of the Gods. The most famous oracle was the priestess of the temple of Apollo at the sanctuary of Delphi. Cities would travel far to ask questions about their future to the Delphic oracle and would wait for a response from Apollo. Therefore, the oracle was a significant part of the play as it showed us when the oracle confirmed that Oedipus’ destiny was to marry his mother and kill his father, this fate was decreed from the day they were born, showing that as the oracle predicted what was going to happen, fate cannot be avoided.
Overall, the interactive oral helped make cultural aspects clearer in ‘Oedipus Rex’ by allowing us to reflect on the significance of oracles and the role of fate in Ancient Greece. It made us realise that fate could not be avoided and that oracles were a sound way for the Greeks to know what was going to happen in their future lives.