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Academic Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences, 2023, 6(10); doi: 10.25236/AJHSS.2023.061016.

From Odyssey to Oedipus the King—Reflections on the Balance and Disequi Librium between Divine Order and Human Will


Cheng Kai

Corresponding Author:
Cheng Kai

College of Literature, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, 730100, China


The Odyssey and The King of Oedipus are two enduring masterpieces that examine such timeless themes as fate, free will and the role of the gods in human affairs. Although they are both imbued with fatalism, they are represented differently in these two works. The Odyssey presents God as a guiding force, depicting the oracle's predetermination of the protagonist's fate and Odysseus's own review, efforts and contract with God during the hero's journey, reflecting the balance between the divine order and human beings. The King of Oedipus reflects God's control and manipulation of human nature through the oracle, and human's efforts are rendered as useless and futile struggles. God's order and human are presented as a complete imbalance. However, behind the dramatic effects of tragedy, the purpose is not to deny the human will, but to question God through dramatic effects, to improve the attention to human nature and the role of God in human affairs. Therefore, the difference between the two works is not the denial of the value of human nature, but the reflection on the relationship between man and God. This shows that in the context of ancient Greece, people gradually see themselves in the established laws of God and emphasize the will of human beings.


Oedipus, Odyssey, Tragedy of fate, Divine order, Human will

Cite This Paper

Cheng Kai. From Odyssey to Oedipus the King—Reflections on the Balance and Disequi Librium between Divine Order and Human Will. Academic Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences (2023) Vol. 6, Issue 10: 87-92. https://doi.org/10.25236/AJHSS.2023.061016.


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