Oedipus the King: Reason and Passion

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Oedipus the King: Reason and Passion In the play, Oedipus the King, there are dual parts of reason and passion. Oedipus primarily acts with both reason and passion at different stages in the play. There are several points in the play where Oedipus acts with reason. The first such point occurs when he is asked by his followers to help save Thebes. He acts with reason when he immediately decides to heed to their demands and find help for them. However, he may also have been deciding to do this through passion. His need for his land to be perfectly normal might have prompted this immediate decision. Reason also occurs through the character of Oedipus himself. He has a heroic confidence in his own abilities, and he has good reason for such confidence, both from his own sense of past achievements and from the very high regard everyone has of those achievements. He is conscious of himself as a great man. He feels he can achieve anything. The central metaphor in this play is blindness. For the tragic hero is, in a sense, blind from the start, at least in the sense that he is not alert to the fact that the way he sees his situation may not be true, may be only a partial take on the reality of things. Oedipus is not prepared to admit that he might be wrong. Why should he? He has always been right in the past; no one else in Thebes is acting resolutely to meet the crisis, any more than they were when the city was threatened before. His vision may well include a certain narrowness, and yet because he sees the world that way, he is also the one with the most confidence in his own sight and the one most ready to act in accordance with what he sees. The way he sees the world lies at the very source of what makes him now, and in the past, a great man. Those around him rely upon that confidence in order for the crisis to be dealt with. It is ironic that the only way that the curse will be lifted from Thebes is by finding the murderer of Laius. Oedipus starts on a powerful trip to find the murderer, and this ends up throwing him into a passionate search within himself to find the truth. Because Oedipus will not compromise, and will only go after the
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