Seven Against Thebes
Aeschylus was a tragedian from Greece, whose plays are still popular among readers nowadays. He is referred to as the father of tragedy, since most genres were based on his works. The understanding of tragedies was mainly inferred from his plays that exist to date. Aeschylus expanded the play of characters to allow conflicts among them, since previously the characters interacted with chorus only. Initially, he brought four plays to the stage that are connected with the legend of Thebes. Aeschylus gained victory in the tragic contest over the other competitors. Seven Against Thebes is a mythic narrative found in Aeschylus’ plays with a classic statement concerning the conflict between the seven. These battles were led by Polynices Eteocles who headed the army of Thebes and his supporters as well as traditional the enemies. The septet opens with peril of war threatening Thebes. This paper will focus on fate, authority, which comes at the end regarding individual and community, as well as myth.
Fate, authority, and myth were constantly used as a reminder that life in these story lines was beyond the protagonist’s control. They give an impression that fate cannot be escaped, and the destiny is determined by gods. Aeschylus believes that fate and authority are predestined. Sophocles, just like Aeschylus, has a unique viewpoint about fate, myth, and authority. Fate and authority were often used together as though they refer to the same condition, but each is separate and distinct. Fate refers to the lack of choice regarding something that is predestined by gods or supreme power. Nevertheless, the current usage of fate has drifted from the religious emphasizes it had during the ancient time. Most people refer to fate as destiny within the religious context. However, believers as well as nonbelievers use the term ‘fate’ to mean whatever will happen, will do so without divine intervention. For instance, Sophocles and Aeschylus were not likely to assert world themes without gods, thus in all their misfortune they believed it was fate. In Aeschylus, play fate was differentiated into passive and active. Passive fate can be equated to happening as fate dictates without being defiant to the gods just like it happened to Oedipus. Active fate is what happened to Prometheus, since they had prior knowledge and he decided to pursue it. Whether fate is active or passive, its sense only occurs in the world where God exists. As a result, many are rewarded or punished by God.
The play Seven Against Thebes focuses on the tragedy of war and the fulfillment of fate. The story stems from the myth about King Laius, where he is said to flout an oracle about the flourishing of Thebes if they had no sons. The birth of Oedipus fulfilled the oracle with fratricide, and eventually Thebes demised. Seven Against Thebes can also be viewed as a culmination of Louis’ fate. The opening of the play with the invasion of Thebes and women singing chorus hysterically over the upcoming destruction of the city is fateful. However, the sense of sanity was restored by Eteocles, a calm and able leader. Fate predetermined that whether men win in war or are destroyed, women were losers regardless of the outcome. Women also gained nothing but for the agony and suffering. Fate also dictated Agamemnon’s choices of walking over the red tapestries as a sign of hubris.
Authority refers to the right to exercise state power. Moreover, it is inherent and institutionalized legal power in a specific position that enables the holder to successfully fulfill responsibilities. It is also the power that is delegated formally and may include rights to command, give orders, and commit resources as well as expect the delegated orders to be obeyed. Authority is accompanied by equal responsibility for the action or failure. In Seven Against Thebes, the king Laius had the authority to flout oracles to Thebes about how they would flourish if they had no sons. On the other hand, Eteocles had the authority to calm and bring to sanity the Thebes women who were singing hysterically due to the upcoming destruction of the city.
Aeschylus confers that the authority upon Athenian Areopagus court divinely blesses it with an authority of Athena. He also emphasizes on human institution hailing all the achievements. The Persians may have been Aeschylus’ soonest surviving. It is true that Athens was a gleaming tribute to the wonderfulness as a majority ruled government or a quality ethical story against hubris. The city had everything to do with Aeschylus’ comprehension of destiny and predetermination. It is true that it was about the overcoming of an Athenian realm really taking shape and having the authority. It is accurate to say that it was noticed by the Athenians that the royal propensity that started to develop ended the same route as the Persians who overcame and consequently bound to end shockingly. The Dalian Association was in its initial development in 470s. Since Persians were initially organized around 472 BC (undoubtedly, Aeschylus could not have anticipated the island of Naxos’ destiny in 471, the inversion of fortune in Sicily in 413 or the consequent breakdown of the realm in 404), Aeschylus was not prone to hold the prophetic influence to admonish Athens of their hubris. He could have known about the rising hegemonic force of Athens and may well be forecasting the issue of practicing force as Athens was doing around then.
There have been conjectures on the utilization of Persians as a purposeful publicity device to impact Athenian governmental issues in the middle of Cimon and Themistocles. Because of the segregation of Themistocles, which the play appears to support, Favorini does not trust in any plain backing by Aeschylus to either side, thus it appears to be more fitting to consider it a basic, profound quality story against hubris conceivably in the vein of Solon that the individuals who reach too far are bound to fall flat. It is intriguing that the apparition of Darius, who initially attacked Greece, was picked as the voice of reason who bemoaned his son’s indiscretion or hubris in attempting to do his unfinished crusade: “And tie the Hellespont with shackles like a slave. He in his mortal habit thought to overwhelm immortal divine being and the authority in him is demonstrated.”
Myth has been used in Aeschylus’ play to portray the ability to inspire cultural works remarkably. The most famous myth is that in Prometheus Bound of Aeschylus, the only surviving in his trilogy. In the course of the Greek history, Sophocles was amongst the most unmistakable writers continually barring Aeschylus and Euripides, who came rather later. His profession as a writer became animated after he won his first prize in the Dionysian theater rivalry over Aeschylus. Directly after his astonishing triumph, he got to be one of the vital figures in antiquated Athens and theater. All through fifty extraordinary years, Sophocles entered thirty rivalries winning twenty-four of them and failing to take not as much as the second.
The myth of Prometheus has demonstrated a wonderful capacity to move social works crosswise over more than two millennia. One of the most prominent variations of Prometheus myth is that of Aeschylus Prometheus Bound. The joining of writing, relevant history, and civilization are skillfully and broadly acclaimed. Thus, it is intriguing to think about the fifth-century adjustment of the myth with a modern one and to analyze how the incomprehensibly distinctive social and recorded setting of a twentieth-century essay is acknowledged in each. At the point of characterizing myth for the reasons of this exposition, it merits remembering Roland Barthes who broadens the customary meaning of myth and recommends that our gathering of myth is intensely contradicted by the way in which it is spoken to us: “What the world supplies to myth is an authentic reality characterized. By the route in which men have delivered or utilized it.” Given this augmentation, it is much more essential to relate every translation of the myth to the condition of its piece. It is doubtful that the mind-dominant part of contrasts between particular works is the aftereffect of the logical condition. The consideration of contemporaneous references expands the capacity of the gathering of people to identify with the play, which is a vital component in the accomplishment of every work. In assessing the adequacy of every content, it is accordingly imperative that every adjustment of the myth of Prometheus is identified with the authentic and social setting of the writer.
In conclusion, the three themes portrayed in the play are fate, authority, and myth. Of the three, authority is not based on superstition but rather on the usage of power to rule people. Hence, the execution of authority depicts democracy among the Athenians and empowering them against mental aspects of myths and fate. Furthermore, authority may be rejected, especially in case of tyranny by the Persians who seem to control people and even persecute them. In contrast, myth is a natural belief that is not ultimately true, whereas fate is a predetermined cause of events by gods.