Thus far, we"ve seen how the greeks define themselves against the gods. In theogony, although humans were not created, they were defined by their limitations (need food to survive, work hard to sustain fire, by woman (reproduction) the fact that we have to reproduce ourselves to survive as a species) In oedipus the king, again humans are defined by their mortality. know thyself, we have to know ourselves and yet, how can we know ourselves? (oedipus asks himself this question) suggests that for humans, it may in fact be impossible to know ourselves, and if we did that knowledge may destroy us. repeatedly throughout the play, we see that he cannot know himself, and that the search ultimately destroys him. Irony that anytime oedipus tries to control his destiny they end up fulfilling it. In the course of fulfilling it, oedipus comes to destroy himself.