The Search for Knowledge Essay

The Search for Knowledge Essay

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In Oedipus Rex by Sophocles and A Doll House by Ibsen, the characters that the authors develop have been accused of making impulsive decisions and being of unscrupulous character when it comes to their quest for knowledge. However, what many fail to observe is that the characters are not acting impulsively. Rather, they are acting because of their convictions. They understand that the search for knowledge is an important factor in improving the lives of those that they care about, allowing themselves to go through a process of self discovery and revealing a greater truth. This can be surmised by the actions and statements that the characters make.
In “On Misunderstanding ‘The Oedipus Rex’” by Dobbs, he approaches the fact that some people think that Oedipus’ actions were dictated by his unscrupulous character. He does this by saying, “The arguments of this group turned upon the character of Oedipus. Some considered that Oedipus was a bad man…” (37). However, what many do not consider is that Oedipus’ quest for knowledge was dictated by the fact that if he gains the knowledge that he requires, he will succeed in helping his people, he will go through self discovery and reveal a deeper truth.
In Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, the play begins with Oedipus consoling the people that have congregated on the steps of the palace. He says to them, “I was not sleeping, you are not waking me. No, I have been in tears for a long while and in restless thought walked many ways” (Prologue. 66-68). It is in this statement that Oedipus establishes that his search for knowledge is important in improving the lives of the people of Thebes.
He does this by first establishing an unrequited emotional tie to the people of Thebes through his initial stat...


... middle of paper ...


...n opinion and Oedipus wants to discover his biological roots. Finally, they both act to reveal a greater truth. Oedipus reveals the truth that his wife is his mother and he killed his father, while Nora plans to understand the laws when it comes to legality and morality.








Works Cited
Dodds, E. R. “ On Misunderstanding the ‘Oedipus Rex’.” Greece and Rome (1966): 37-49. JSTOR. Web. 18 Apr. 2011.
Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll House. 1879. Literature: Approaches to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Ed. Robert DiYanni. 2nd ed. McGraw: Boston, 2008. 1105-53. Print.
Sophocles. Oedipus Rex. 430 B.C. Literature: Approaches to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Ed.
Robert DiYanni. 2nd ed. McGraw: Boston, 2008. 959-98.Print.
Templeton, Joan. “The Doll House Backlash: Criticism, Feminism, and Ibsen.” Modern Language Association 104.1 (1989): 28-40. JSTOR. Web. 4 Apr. 2011.

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