Theseus Essay, Research Paper
The character Theseus portrayed in the epics Hippolytus and Oedipus at colonus have some similarities but quite a few differences.
In Hippolytus, Theseus returns from his voyage and finds his beloved wife dead, he mourns with sorrow. Theseus said by her death he is ruined. He goes into a sort of depression at his loss. Theseus is confused and doesn?t know why the gods put this suffering on him and at his point he doesn?t know why she would do such a thing as to kill herself. When Theseus reads the ?tablet? of what Phaedra left, he feels these are words of evil, these are ?abominal crimes? he said. Theseus banishes Hippolytus for his crime of laying his hands upon his wife. Theseus questions Hippolytus about his actions. He is furious with Hippolytus. Theseus is so heart broken by this tragedy he can only blame Hippolytus by what the note said. Theseus finds out from Artemis that the note isn?t entirely true. Aphrodite was the one to blame for this whole mess. She was the one that made Phaedra fall in love with her own stepson. Hippolytus insists that he didn?t touch Phaedra. Artemis tells Theseus the truth about the whole incident. Artemis points out Theseus? fault: he did not take time to find out the truth, he just presumed and jumped to conclusions. It would have saved grief and heartache. Theseus goes to Hippolytus when he is at his deathbed and asks for forgiveness. Hippolytus does forgive him. Theseus wants to die now because of what he has caused. If he hadn?t been so presumptuous then maybe Hippolytus? life would have been spared.
This epic reveals Theseus? tragic flaw. He is quick to judge and very presumptuous and this ends up causing so much unnecessary pain and guilt. This epic portrays how deeply he loves his wife, Phaedra.
In Oedipus at Colonus, as Oedipus travels he learns that he is in Colonus and they are at a grove that admission is forbidden. He asks to see Theseus. Oedipus said he would give his blessings to Athens because he is sick to find out his sons ?sold their father for the throne.? Theseus arrives and greets Oedipus respectfully. Theseus tells Oedipus that he knows of him through the stories. He promises to grant all that is in his power. Theseus is aware of Oedipus? hard life, and many misfortunes. Oedipus is thankful for Theseus? kindness. Theseus is shown in the next scenes as a strong ruler who reprimands Creon. Theseus brings back Oedipus? daughters, and he is very grateful. Theseus guides Oedipus to his place of death. He comforts Antigone and Ismene. In this epic, Theseus is portrayed as a kind, considerate person who would do anything to help out Oedipus and eventually his grieving daughters. He is a strong ruler who will make things right even when people are at their worst. He is so kind to Oedipus because he knows what he has been through. He knows what a hard life he has had and he wants to make his last moments the best and most peaceful that he can.
Theseus knew what a hard life Oedipus had, and that he married his mother and killed his father. Still Theseus was kind and respectful towards Oedipus. If Theseus would not have acted out of grief at his loss or anger and acted with respect and kindness that he demonstrated towards Oedipus, then he probably would not have had to go through the loss of his son. If Theseus treated Hippolytus how he treated the daughters of Oedipus, with so much kindness and willingness to do whatever they asked of him, then Theseus would have known that Hippolytus wouldn?t do such a thing. He gave more of his time to the daughters of Oedipus then his own son in Hippolytus.
In conclusion, there are many things about Theseus that are different in each epic, but Theseus can relate to Oedipus when he lost his wife because the same happened to Theseus.
oedipus at colonus