Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Comparing Divine Punishment in Oedipus Rex and Leda and the Swan :: comparison compare contrast essays

Divine Punishment in Oedipus Rex and Leda and the Swan        Ã‚  Ã‚   Divine punishment is an irreversible occurrence that creates distinct attitudes in characters.   In Yeats' poem, Leda and the Swan and Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, Divine punishment plays a crucial role, and is the basis for the actions of both Oedipus and Leda.    Yeats and Sophocles explore the idea of Divine punishment in various ways.   Yeats shows Leda's attitude towards the experience of the rape, and the result of the rape leads to Leda's attitude towards the Gods, which then leads to many more travesties.   In a similar way, Sophocles shows Oedipus' reaction to Divine punishment when Oedipus realizes that he has killed his father and married his mother.   It was these actions that drove Leda and Oedipus to experience Divine punishment.   As a result, each has suffered even more.    In Yeats' poem, Leda and the Swan, Yeats explores the idea of Divine punishment in using the result of Leda's rape as his subject.   The offspring Leda produced represents the Divine punishment of the story.   In the story, Leda is raped by a swan, which represents Zeus, the most powerful Greek God.   The consequences of this rape includes two children, Helen and Clytemnestra who later marry and experience the fall of the Trojan empire and the killing of Agamemnon, Clytemnestra's husband.   The story of Leda and the Swan creates a vivid portrait of a rape between an all-powerful swan and Leda, the Spartan Queen.   It is peculiar that two such powerful individuals are the subjects of the horrendous act of rape. Zeus is the most powerful of all gods, and Leda herself has great power, being the Queen of Sparta.   Aside from this however, lies another topic, which Yeats attempts to explore, and that is the idea of Divine punishment. The mere thought of punishment from the Div ine, meaning God, is the reason why Leda allows the Swan to continue the rape without a great deal of fight.   Yeats writes, "Being so caught up, so mastered by the brute blood of the air, did she put on his knowledge with his power before the indifferent beak could let her drop?" (Kuehn 140).   Here, Leda must choose whether or not she should put all of her power in Zeus, knowing that he has harmed her.   Her action to not resist the force leads to the Divine punishment.

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