The Burden Of Knowledge Essay

The Burden Of Knowledge Essay

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The Burden of Knowledge
We live our lives based upon discoveries that others have made before us. The words of our elders influence the decisions we make. In 1597 Sir Frances Bacon claimed that knowledge is power and his words are understood by generations upon generations after. The more a person knows, the more aware they are of the world around them. It is rare that someone would not want to bear knowledge and wisdom. After reading Oedipus Rex’s first play, one can see why a person would be content not knowing the whole truth. Until now, it always believed the more a person knows, the more satisfying of a life that person will pursue. The unfortunate events of Oedipus’ life makes the reader look at the concept of knowledge from a whole new perspective. This play makes the reader wonder if knowing a painful truth or living a lie in peace is better. Living blindly in ignorance will allows Oedipus to be sheltered from harsh truths, focus on the positive things, and live an overall more fulfilling life.
The truth can set a person free, but it may also hurt them. As children we are always seeking to learn new truths and discover facts about the world we live in and ourselves. Our parents sheltered us from the harsher truths even if we were avid to get new answers. As adults we are expected to shelter ourselves from the facts that we don’t want to know. In Oedipus’ situation, he sought new information but embodied the younger and over curious self he used to be. The curiosity lead him to a truth that damaged him more than it helped him. At the end of the play, his pain hurt him significantly that he questioned if there was “a sorrow greater” than his own (Fitts/Fitzgerald 71). His internal pain is so strong, that he will never be ...


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...pus would have still been living his fulfilling life. Living blindly in ignorance may not sound fulfilling, but it is finer than hating himself for the rest of his life.
Being sheltered from bitter truths, focussing on positive things in life, and living a happier and fulfilling life is the result of not bearing the truth. During a discussion in class, a student mentioned that the point of life is to live happily. Knowing reality does not always guarantee eternal happiness. In Oedipus’ case, he will forever have to carry the burden of what he has done. He will hate himself for the rest of his days, and will never fully be content again. Living a peaceful and pleasurable life is more important than feeling comfortable because a person longs the need to have answers. If Sir Frances Bacon still believes knowledge is power, he has not yet read Oedipus Rex, or this essay.

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