Patricide and Greek Tragedy (and such)

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Re: Patricide and Greek Tragedy (and such)

Post by guardienne on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 2:52 am

@skystar when you crossread the scene with what greek tragedy is supposed to be, it makes the most sense. it's unambiguously ambiguous. and you're right, it's very uncomfortable for that reason and i think to the extent that you *can* ride this kind of thing out in a blockbusting movie, it is ridden out. i'm in awe with the movie for that reason, because in that moment it takes itself very serious and succeeds.

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Re: Patricide and Greek Tragedy (and such)

Post by guardienne on Mon 27 Aug 2018, 2:21 pm

the tragedy here is not in oedipus. it is in lauis, the clear villain of this story, the one who damned and hurt and cursed all around him. he who caused so much strife, and then left it all for his son to fix, for his son to struggle with.

but he did fix it.

oedipus was a fair and just ruler of thebes, a kind husband to jocasta, a good father to his children, from all accounts, since antigone was so devoted to him, and he was disappointed in his sons for their selfishness because that’s not how he raised them.

perhaps oedipus is a story of how our fathers, our predecessors, those who come before us will curse us and damn us and leave us more problems than solutions can be found

perhaps oedipus is a cautionary tale, and our tragic figure is not oedipuis, but laius, who made his own ruin, who’s spiteful hands left scars on all they touched.

oedipus is a tragedy, but only because it reminds us that our own undoing, our own unhappy endings, aren’t necessarily within our control. our own tragedies may not be our fault, may not be due to our mistakes, maybe we didn’t earn our unhappiness.

it’s not fair.

it’s not fair, and that’s the true tragedy of oedipus. that good, kind, clever, merciful people can do their absolute best, can show kindness and sacrifice and love, and in the end it won’t be able to save them from the mistakes other people have made.

oedipus was a good man, and a good king, and it may not have saved him – but it saved all those in thebes.

yes, oedipus was blinded. yes, jocasta died.

but the spinx was gone, their line continued, and thebes thrived.

the tragedy of oedipus is the idea that we’re not in control of our own destiny.

the triumph of oedipus is the idea that we need not control it in order to have a destiny worth remembering.

http://jumpingjacktrash.tumblr.com/post/175013700374/how-would-you-describe-oedipus-ive-been-asking

a pretty good rundown of what the tragedy of oedipus is.

and i think it also shows quite nicely how han is set up as someone who sinned against his son, which i'm not sure the movie actually supports.
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Re: Patricide and Greek Tragedy (and such)

Post by Armadeus on Mon 27 Aug 2018, 7:30 pm

@guardienne

Really nice rundown.

Seneca wrote:Fate leads the willing, and drags along the reluctant.

One of the conceits of Greek stories is that our fate is set, and woe betide anybody who tries to defy theirs. Even the gods abide by it. In Iliad, Hector leaves the city to fight Achilles not because he wants to, but because he is fated to do so.

Stories like Oedipus Rex tell us that life isn't about having all the cards, it's what you do with the hand you're dealt.
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