Oedipus Rex is a story that can be interpreted on many different levels of thinking. The ancient tale has existed for centuries and has been subjected to countless forms of analysis. What is it that makes Oedipus the King such a fascinating story? Is it the suspense of a developing mystery that captivates the audience? Or perhaps the wonderful feeling the readers get after vicariously experiencing the horror Oedipus feels? And if not that, could it be that the reader is intrigued at Sophocles' description of one man's disbelief in the gods? Whichever way one looks at it, Oedipus Tyrannus was, and remains, one of the "most highly admired plays of all time" (Wood, et al, 163).
Thesis: The completion and substance of Oedipus Rex allows Oedipus to live grief-stricken throughout his successful search for justice.
“The greatest griefs are those we cause ourselves.” (Sophocles 67) In Sophocles Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex, Oedipus and a majority of characters are responsible for their own grievances. A distorted version of the truth that destructively affects others arises from this. Oedipus reconstructs his reality in a way that leaves him ignorant to the truth, and ultimately leads to his downfall. This is demonstrated through decisions to run from fate, hubris, and recognition of the truth.
Last week, I had an opportunity to read Oedipus Rex, which was a fantastic play. Oedipus Rex presents different perspectives of a person’s life, and the impact they might have on his/her descendants. For example, Oedipus’s great grandparent committed a crime that affected Oedipus later on in his life. However, Oedipus isn’t even born when the crime take place. In addition, Oedipus Rex presents the notion of justice, which I agree with because I believe that justice is essential, and fair just, as it portrays in the play; however, I do think that justice can be unfair sometimes due to ones’ ulterior motives.
Oedipus the king is a play about a couple Laius and Jocasta who has angered the gods because they don't believe in fearing or respecting the gods. the gods set a prophesy upon their unborn son that he will kill his father and sleep with his mother. Not fearing the prophecy they had Oedipus, and gave him to a shepherd to kill but he ended up alive. the question is who's to blame when it comes to a chance to prevent his prophecy from being completed.
The Consequences and Tragedy of Ignorance
Not only does ignorance have a negative impact on people, it is also “the root and stem of all evil” (Plato), which can destroy a person. To start off, self-superiority can cloud a person’s judgment; making it evident that intelligence can easily be lost to arrogance. To add on, anger and the human tendency to make rash decisions can also contribute to ignorance, resulting in eventual downfall. Lastly, unconscious attempts to blind yourself from the truth can result in the committing of major sins.
Throughout Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, shame, equality, and blindness are all themes presented. Tiresias, a blind prophet attempts to convince King Oedipus that he has lived a shameful life by bringing light to the truth that Oedipus had no idea who his real parents are, and that he himself is the one who killed Laius. Tiresias, though blind, can clearly see the truth and shame that Oedipus lives in, while Oedipus, though he can see, is blind to the shameful truth he has brought upon himself and his family. Three quotes from Oedipus the King demonstrate how Tiresias attempts to show Oedipus how by not being able to see the truth about what he has done, he has unknowingly brought shame upon his family and will soon stare into darkness.
The Punishment of Oedipus the King
At the end of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, Oedipus, king of Thebes, ends
up banished forever from his kingdom. Additionally, Oedipus physically puts
out his own eyes, for several reasons which will be discussed later. The
question is: Did Oedipus deserve his punishments? There are many factors
that must be considered in answering this, including how Oedipus himself
felt about his situation. His blinding was as much symbolic as it was
In Oedipus the King, Oedipus seeks out knowledge and truth, even though he is warned not to mess with the oracles. However, he is determined to uncover the mystery behind the murder of Laius and to learn the origins of his own identity. But was he better off not knowing? Is ignorance bliss? People seek to understand things that go beyond their capability to understand. Obvious examples would be sudden deaths or unforeseen disasters. No one wants to feel like a victim of fate, but know one can answer questions like: is there a God? When someone believes they have an answer to a question that isn’t built on fact but rather on faith, then they are the epitome of arrogance. We see this today in religion, politics, science, and even relationships.
James Jarvis believes that he has wronged his family through ignorance and has a desire to repair his relationships and be pardoned. Jarvis feels that he knew little about his son and his work in the country, saying, “But I wish now that I'd known more of him. You see, the things that he did, I've never had much to do with that sort of thing” (Paton 175). He makes an effort to discover more about Arthur and what his values were by reading the works of his son. As he does so, Jarvis feels “with a sudden lifting of the spirit that here was a secret unfolding, a track picked up again. There was increasing knowledge of a stranger” (Paton 188). Jarvis’ determination to know his son and receive forgiveness for his disregard of Arthur’s life proves