Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Oh Please God, Make It Stop

FLG previously mentioned his queasiness with Rufus F's blogging of the canon.

Today, however, FLG can take it no more. Rufus writes:
it’s hard to see what Oedipus might have done wrong; Apollo just has it out for him.


In this case, the son is punished for the sins of the father by bloodline curse. Lineage is destiny.

To a disturbing degree though. Here, blood not only damns Oedipus; it seems to deny him agency.

Now, full disclosure, FLG hasn't read the play for a couple of years, but from what he remembers Rufus' entire post is, for lack of a better description, dumb.

The point of the story is this:
We are subject to the whims of fate. Trying to fight or avoid fate only makes the matter worse. For example, trying to avoid killing your father results in you fucking your mother, killing her, and then in madness blinding yourself.

Agency, innocence, unjust punishment are modern concerns. Or at least the extent to which Rufus is concerned about them and the nature of his concerns are thoroughly modern.

To put it simply -- The ancients didn't think life was fair. Examining Oedipus with an eye toward fairness is ridiculous.

1 comment:

Alpheus said...

Wow. I tried to read Rufus's post. I didn't get much past "fatal flaw." Lots and lots of preconceptions there.

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