ENG 208 Final Reflection Paper
ENG 208 Final Reflection Paper
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Date Created: 11/06/15
English 208 Final Re ection The work we studied this term that I believe to be most relevant to contemporary students would be Oedipus by Sophocles As in many Greek tragedies fate and free will are major themes in Oedipus Fate is defined as the will or principle or determining cause by which things in general are believed to come to be as they are or events to happen as they do MerriamWebstercom Free Will is defined as the freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention MerriamWebstercom Honesty is also a theme in Oedipus since Oedipus wants the complete truth from everyone even at his own detriment All humans determine their fates by the choices they make in their lives Contemporary students should be able to apply these themes in their educational pursuits personal lives and occupational endeavors In the Sophoclean tragedy Much of the comment the play has excited revolves around the extent to which Oedipus can be held responsible for what happens to him Walton 1995 Many students bemoan their fate instead of taking responsibility for their role in the outcome In Oedipus The King Laius had been told that his fate was to die at the hands of any son that he may father Despite this Laius chose to father a child with his wife J ocasta When the child was born a son Laius and J ocasta abandoned the child to die to prevent the prophesized fate from actually happening Their actions served as a catalyst that caused the realization of their fates Oedipus 77893 In their educational pursuits contemporary students are told by their instructors that if they study they will make a good grade Some students choose of their own free will to neglect their studies When the students do not make a satisfactory grade on their exams they will blame the instructors or claim that the material was too complicated However because they exercised their free will to neglect their studies they are the only ones to blame No student is fated to fail or even excel Though students may need to tailor their study habits to meet their needs each can excel if they devote enough time and energy into their studies The play establishes Oedipus as someone who believes in speaking freely but he is not content merely to speak himself he also forces others to speak Lewin nd Oedipus is a character to be respected for speaking the truth but in expecting honesty from others as well Some contemporary students follow Oedipus example and are honest with all those in their lives but in these politically correct times other students must be dishonest even with their family members In my particular situation I have often been dishonest through omission with my own family There are times when a family member may say something that is insulting or hurtful and I would rather say nothing to keep the peace than to confront them with my honest feelings However I have learned that by saying nothing the hurt feelings fester and cause more resentment and alienation By being honest the resentment and alienation can be put aside When contemporary students obtain their degrees and enter the workforce they will also face the same challenges as when they were in school When some people are passed over for promotions or bonuses they bemoan their fate or blame others for these negative occurrences However they fail to recognize their own responsibility in not receiving the promotions or bonuses Most of the time these employees choose to do as little as possible never do more than expected or pass duties to others They blame fate or others but it is their choices made of their own free will that set the course for their futures Although fate is a major theme in Sophocles Oedipus The King the choices made by Laius J ocasta and Oedipus are the catalysts that propel them onward on fate s path According to J Michael Walton one of the features of Sophocles39 handling of the play is that he refrains from suggesting that Oedipus is simply an unfortunate who has been cursed by Apollo or by Fate for no good reason Sophocles demonstrates that free will is as powerful of a force as fate Through the actions of the characters we can see that the choices made led them directly to the fate they were trying to avoid Students face these challenges daily in their educational pursuits personal lives and eventually in their occupational endeavors They need to realize that the choices they make may propel them towards an undesired future Works Cited 2011 MerriamWebstercomWeb 8 Dec 2011 Lewin Jennifer quotAn overview of Oedipus Rexquot Drama for Students Detroit Gale Literature Resource Center Web 8 Dec 2011 Sophocles quotOedipus The Kingquot The Norton Anthologv of World Literature Ed S Lawall and M Mack 2nd Vol A New York Norton 2002 617658 Print Walton J Michael quotOedipus the King Overviewquot Reference Guide to World Literature Ed Lesley Henderson 2nd ed New York St James Press 1995 Literature Resources from Gale Web 8 Dec 2011
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