Ancient Lit Paper 2.pdf - !1 Katherine Torres Professor Stuart Watson LIT 230 19 November 2018 Fate Unchangeable Despite Wishful Thinking When events

Ancient Lit Paper 2.pdf - !1 Katherine Torres Professor...

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1 Katherine Torres Professor Stuart Watson LIT 230 19 November 2018 Fate: Unchangeable Despite Wishful Thinking When events unfold under the influence of divine power, the course of those events can never be altered regardless of efforts to do so by mortals. This is known as fate and is an important theme that is demonstrated in Oedipus Rex by Sophocles and The Aeneid by Virgil. Fate is determined by gods in the two ancient works and is met either with acceptance or denial. Through prophecies, the protagonists of Oedipus Rex and The Aeneid are relayed their fate and must decide for themselves if they are going to live up to it or try to alter it. However, the efforts to change one’s fate are useless because the events are predetermined and unchangeable. The outcomes of both of the works proves the prophecies to be true despite the great lengths taken by those in denial to alter their fate. The attitudes towards fate can be attributed to the characters’ reverence, trust and view of the gods. Circa 19 B.C.E. mortals were more readily accepting of their fate because of their respect for the gods. The gods during this time had great influence over the mortals and they acknowledged that they were at the mercy of the great power of the gods. A shift in respect, to the lack there of, for the gods circa 450 B.C.E. led mortals to believe they can question the power of the gods and the power of their own fate. Mortals during this time were not willing to accept the little power they had over their own lives. Aeneas from The Aeneid and Oedipus from Oedipus Rex both have predetermined fates by the gods and have differing levels of respect for the gods which influences their acceptance or denial of their fates. When the gods have great influence over the mortals, fate is accepted without question.
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2 In The Aeneid, the protagonist Aeneas is predetermined by the gods to found the city of Rome. Aeneas has great respect for the gods and puts his full trust in the gods to help him fulfill his prophesied fate. He recognizes that his long journey is “duty-bound” and not matter what he encounters Aeneas “follows hard on the course the Fates had charted” (Virgil 60). Aeneas encounters several obstacles on his journey that try to steer him off course, but he is determined time and time again to continue on with his perilous journey to fulfill his destiny. One major obstacles is when Aeneas finds love with Dido in Carthage. After falling in love and spending a
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