Oedipus, a late response.

Oedipus the king is not straightforward, there is no “bad guy”, but the protagonist is Oedipus.  Oedipus may not be the ideal king, but he cares for his people like a parent to his children, he has very little foresight or wisdom and is quick to anger and jumping to conclusions.  Through his positive hastiness, Oedipus oft-times draws the wrong conclusion, and when the truth is told to him he denies it. It takes the entirety of the book for him to find the truth.  Oedipus fits the definition of a tragedy put forth by Aristotle.  Oedipus was a king of Thebes, who to his knowledge did nothing wrong in his life, and had horrible misfortunes.  Unknowingly caused by himself.

Antigone… an analysis?

Antigone is a tragedy for sure.  For both Antigone and Creon, both of which were noble people which did, for what we know, no evil thing.  They were completely good people.  But Creon was king and had laws and face to uphold, Antigone was a princess of sorts who had a strong sense of right and wrong.  But in accordance with some laws of the time Creon did not decide to bury the prince Polynices.  Who decided to wage war on his brother who was power hungry.  Polynices was then branded a traitor, and as such was not to be buried on Theban soil. But instead of being buried on foreign soil, Creon set in a law in which Polynices was not to be buried at all. Thereby violating one of the “unwritten rules” made by the gods.  Thus Creon was punished (i.e. everyone he ever loved dies horribly).  In such then the tragedy of Creon is not a tragedy, he instigated it.  Antigone is a different story. She was a young noblewoman, good head strong, supposed to be seen as the ideal lady.  But because she tried to bury her brother, Creon locked her up, later she hung herself, most likely thinking that her sister, Ismene, was sentenced to the same fate as she.  Hæmon, the son of Creon, was in love with and supposed to wed Antigone, but when she was banished he ran off and was later found with the dead body of Antigone. He then fell on his sword, which at the time was more of a move of ritual suicide than accident.  Hæmon´s only appearance was in the tragedy of Antigone.  I believe he was simply created to die, there is no other role that is played by him.  Eurydice is the wife of Creon, after hearing of the death of her last son she committed suicide on an altar.  All this leads to a depressed and shaken Creon who goes on to be king.  All this tragedy and death is brought to a slow end, and unlike Oedipus, nothing major happens to Creon himself, except for the death of everyone.  Interestingly enough Ismene is the only one of the royal houses of Thebes left except for Creon.  Through all of this as well as our talks of Oedipus before we know that women were considered deeply below males, but that men were also scared, to a degree, by women.  Women were supposed to be obedient.  In this way Sophocles was progressive, he made a main character that was a woman and also very disobedient and headstrong as well as morally strong, unlike her sister Ismene who was what was seen as a perfect nobility class woman.  Also through Antigone and Creon do the Greek stereotypes war, for Creon he stands for the men of the day, state, power.  Antigone stands for the women of the day and their social allotment, religion and family.  

SR Diary – The man who planted trees

The Man Who Planted Trees is an amazing story about a solitary shepherd who lives in the absence of trees on a hard landscape with very little water, the people there are bitter and violent constantly striving against each other.  All it seems but this man, who is quiet and kind.  He noticing the lack of trees begins to plant them.  Over time he plants hundreds of thousands very little of them survive sapling hood but that is still a great number. Over the years, more than 35 years, he built a forest.  Today this is called permaculture.  Permaculture is the practice of farming with nature, doing what nature wants to have life be pervasive, instead of leaching from the soil and monocropping. This man planted all the trees he could and if they didn’t survive he’d try a new tree or different spot.  Through this he created a microclimate bringing water back to the land.  This is what I’m doing with my family on my farm, to a certain extent.