APOLLO AND HIS PURPOSE IN SOPHOCLES' OEDIPUS TYRANNUS

Stuart Lawrence
2008 unpublished
Apollo actively intervenes in the fulfilment of Oedipus' destiny through oracles and immanently in the onstage action. Rather than to punish him for any offence, the god's purpose appears to be to impress upon Oedipus his existential insignificance. In the context of an ordered but absurd universe, Sophocles emphasises the paradox of the moral greatness of a man whose 'official' existential value is less than zero. With the partial exception of Athena in the Ajax, Sophocles' gods are largely
more » ... gods are largely inscrutable. In no play is this inscrutability more problematical than in the Tyrannus, and the resulting difficulties for the interpreter are well stated by R. Parker (1999), who warns us about drawing inferences where the poet is silent.
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