Hobbes Essay Outline

Thesis statement: Oedipus King actually does not illustrate a failed ruler but evaluates the performance of not only a succesful sovereign, but an ideal one , which is none other than the very divine power that envelopes Thebes throughout the play.

Point 1: matching features of Hobbes’ ideal sovereign to characteristics of the divine power acting in Oedipus King

Paragraph 1: The greek gods are instituted by the subjects, instituted through faith. The same way as Hobbes describes in Leviathan: “that to whatsoever man, or assembly of men, shall be given by the major part the right to present the person of them all[…] authorize all the actions and judgements of that man, or assembly of men, […]to the end to live peaceably amongst themselves”. A common agreement from the citizens to be the god subjects, something that can be seen serveral times through prayers in Oedipus king.

Paragraph 2: The plague and the prayers illustrate two fundamental aspects of the sovereign. Greek gods can achieve these aspects because they have omnipotent absolute power unlike Oedipus, thus the citizens of Thebes will always fall back to prayers of the gods, and consider there true ruler the gods and not oedipus.

Paragraph 3: I speak about the methods the greek gods use to keep control of the state. I compare the Leviathan’s method in instilling fear to the god’s use of oracles and prophecies to punish Oedipus. And how there nature allows them to be so powerful that their methods are absolutely effective.

Point 2: On Liverty of Subjects and How it applies to Oedipus King

Paragraph 4: I argue that the greek gods are Hobbes ideal ruler because their power is so massive that they will always be in control of  a state and they will always be able to have it stable.

Paragraph 5: I connect this paragraph to the previous one, that although such ultimate power may seem unreasonably onmipotent, Hobbes form of liberty can still be transferred to the state in Oedipus King. Those making the similarities between the two stronger and thus proving that one equals the other.

Point 3: Assigning Oedipus a new role under this perspective

Paragraph 6: I continue to make similarities between the two states stronger, and thus showing that by having an ideal sovereign you are also creating Hobbes ideal state. To do this I reattach the missing piece, Oedipus, which seems to be without a role in the state as he no longer is a sovereign. Using Hobbes model for a state we make Oedipus fit in, and thus justify even more the punishment given to him by the gods.


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