Of what element does the chorus consistently remind the audience in the choric odes of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Although the chorus often speaks situationally, and there is significant variety in the choral odes of Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, it can be argued that the two most important themes, and ones that are related to each other, are the power of fate and the necessity of reverence for the gods and their divine laws. Typically, the chorus states:

 

... those laws engendered in the heavenly skies,
whose only father is Olympus.
They were not born from mortal men,
nor will they sleep and be forgotten.

 

No matter how wise and powerful Oedipus is as an individual, he is merely a mortal, and thus not exempt from fate or divine law. Thus no matter what he does, he cannot escape the curse on his house. The chorus serves to remind both Oedipus and the audience of this, and thus emphasizes the role of fate in the plot.

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