Research Paper On Oedipus The King

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“Oedipus is, as it were, only a tragic analysis. Everything is already in existence, and has only to be unraveled.” Throughout the history of literature, there has been perhaps no other character quite as complex and convoluted as Oedipus. Whether it be the reality of his parents abandoning him to die or the mere fact that he married his own mother Jocasta, Oedipus has been continually analyzed and processed by scholars in an attempt to discover the means by which Oedipus arrived at his eventual outcome. To summarize, Oedipus, being originally from Corinth, travels to Thebes in search of his true heritage. After a series of events, Oedipus becomes the king of Thebes and soon discovers the truth. Once thorough deliberation has been given to …show more content…

Neither could plead ignorance or innocence without denying the very validity of the oracle” (Weil). Mr. Herbert Weil presents Oedipus’s reality in simple terms: Oedipus cannot be innocent of fault if he did, in fact, know the prediction that was made for his destiny. One could argue that fate has been in control the entire time, but once the facts are taken into consideration, it becomes apparent that this understanding is not entirely true. Oedipus the King gives a detailed account of the nature of each prediction and both men disregarded the warning. If Laius would have never been married, there would have been no son to become the murderer. Also, if Oedipus would have never murdered any man, there would have been no danger of fulfilling the prophecy. Although fate has given the prophecy of what is to come, Oedipus and Laius had ample opportunities to change the outcome of their lives. Furthermore, Oedipus not only ignores his responsibility of keeping the prophecy from becoming true, he also blatantly disrespects Tiresias while he is giving his own decree. Oedipus is given his desired answer from the very beginning of the play, but because he himself wants to search for knowledge, he ignores Tiresias’s insight. If Oedipus would have accepted the truth that “[he was] the corruption of the land” (Sophocles 401), and that “[Oedipus is] the very …show more content…

However, consumed by his desire to seek knowledge, Oedipus ironically ignores all of the signs that point toward the truth. One such instance is when he is speaking to Jocasta, and she mentions how “[Oedipus is] doomed / – may [he] never fathom who [he is]!” (Sophocles, 1173-1174). Regardless of how closely related and similar both his and Laius’s predictions from the Oracle of Delphi are, Oedipus ignores the absolute truth. Another such instance is when Jocasta mentions how Laius had been “killed by strangers,/ thieves, at a place where three roads meet” (Sophocles 789-790). Although Oedipus recognizes that he had also killed a man at a crossroads, he refuses to believe the truth. Mr. Weil mentions how, despite most scholars believing Oedipus journeys from ignorance to knowledge, “his ignorance is self-willed. Oedipus has been told the truth and he has refused to recognize it-or even test it” (Weil). Anyone can see the validity of this statement once all of the hints and comments of Oedipus’s heritage are presented. He is consistently given the opportunity to accept the truth but he rejects any possibility. “The play is a tragedy not of divine fate but of human knowing”

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