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Oedipus Rex: The Search for Truth

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THESIS STATEMENT

Throughout Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, Oedipus frantically searched for the truth, but due to his pride, remained blind to his own connection to the dire plague that infected Thebes.

PURPOSE STATEMENT

Through critical analysis of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, the work Oedipus Rex, and other research it is affirmed that Oedipus searched for the truth but due to his pride could not see his connection to the plague that infected Thebes.

INTRODUCTION

Everyone desires to know the truth. It provides peace of mind, reassurance, closure, and a knowledge of what actually matters and what is superficial. Without it, we cannot be sure of anything and we will live in true indecision. Naturally we strive to discover the truth and occasionally we will go great lengths to gain knowledge. Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex dealt with Oedipus’ hopeless struggle to find the truth of his origin to free himself and his city. “The plot of the Oedipus Rex is a search for knowledge, and its climax is a recognition of truth.” (O’Brien 10). Oedipus knew the truth but he continued his fruitless search. His tragic flaw of pride or hubris, a staple of Greek drama, caused him to ignore the truth even though it was directly expressed to him. This search led him on many roads but he finally realized that all roads led to him.

Oedipus was willing to die to uncover the truth. Closure was needed for Oedipus the individual and Oedipus the king. Despite this need for closure, Oedipus remained blind to the clues in his path, plainly dismissing the ideas of other characters. Oedipus’ passion for knowledge was at least as strong as his blindness to the clues in his path. This blindness can be attributed to his pride. This pride gradually developed from h...

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...s Rex. Ed. Micheal O'Brien. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 1968. 43-45. Print.

O’Brien, Micheal. “Introduction.” 20th Centruy Interpretations of Oedipus Rex. Ed. Micheal O'Brien. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 1968. 8-10. Print.

Owen, E. T. "Drama in Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus." 20th Centruy Interpretations of Oedipus Rex. Ed. Micheal O'Brien. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 1968. 33-35. Print.

Reinhardt, Karl. “Oedipus Tyrannus: Appearance and Truth.” 20th Centruy Interpretations of Oedipus Rex. Ed. Micheal O'Brien. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 1968. 51. Print.

Segal, Charles. Oedipus Tyrannus: Tragic Heroism and the Limits of Knowledge. New York: Twayne, 1993. Print.

Sewall, Richard. "Richard Sewall." 20th Centruy Interpretations of Oedipus Rex. Ed. Micheal O'Brien. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 1968. 112. Print.
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