Discuss how the play Oedipus Rex is a direct reflection of Greek culture. Then use specific examples from the play to defend your answer. 

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The play Oedipus Rex is a reflection of Greek culture because the play asserts the importance of the fate that  the gods decree and the inability of mortals to avoid that fate. Oedipus's fate is to kill his father and marry his mother, and though he tries, he cannot avoid the fate decreed to him. In the end, he realizes that the fate he tried to avoid has come true, and he wishes that he'd been killed instead of living out his fate. He says that if he'd been killed:

"I’d not then be my father’s slayer, nor called the groom of her whence I was born. Abandoned by the gods, child of sacrilege, sharing the source of those I myself sired. Were some evil greater still than evil, his, too, would be Oedipus’ lot" (lines 1383-1388).

In the end, Oedipus recognizes that he has been cast aside by the gods and that the only way to have avoided his fate was to have died before it came true. The inevitability of the gods' decrees and the inability of mortals to avoid the fate decreed by the gods are part of Greek culture.

In addition, Oedipus's downfall is brought about by his hubris, or pride or arrogance. When he summons Tiresias, the seer, at the beginning of the play, he begs Tiresias to tell him who killed Laius, the former king. Tiresias says that Oedipus is guilty of great evil, but Oedipus foolishly disregards what the seer says. When Tiresias says that there is strength in the truth, Oedipus responds, "There is, but not for you. You don’t have this, since you are blind in your ears and mind and eyes" (lines 390-391). Oedipus arrogantly refuses to believe what Tiresias says. However, Tiresias, as a blind seer, knows and sees more than Oedipus does. 

The blind seer was a reflection of Greek culture, which believed that a blind man could know more about fate and the future than a seeing man like Oedipus who is hubristic. Tiresias says to Oedipus, "You, even though you see clearly, do not see the scope of your evil, nor where you live, nor with whom you dwell" (lines 433-435). Tiresias knows that he can see more and know more as a blind man than Oedipus does, as Oedipus is a man with sight who is metaphorically blind to his own failings and to fate. 

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