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Short Essays On Meno, Consolation, Oedipus, And King Lear

1372 words - 5 pages

According to Socrates virtue cannot be taught. It is argued that if it can be taught there must be teachers. It is agreed that the greatest of the men who possessed virtue would be the best teachers. The next argument is that if these men were going to teach it to anyone they would pass it on to their sons. One example is made of Themistocles. They conclude that his son, Cleophantus "certainly not"(Anytus 93 E) to be "a good and wise man in the way that his father was"(Socrates 93 E). Socrates asks "Do you suppose he grudged him this and purposely didn't pass on his own virtue to him?"(Socrates 93 D) The other suggestion is that the Sophists are teachers of virtue because they are "the only people who profess to teach it."(Socrates 95 C) this argument is shot down also as Socrates agrees with Meno that they also are not teachers of virtue. Since the only two examples of teachers of virtue are disproven, Socrates then goes on to deduce that "if there are no teachers, there can be no students either."(Socrates 96 B) and also that "a subject of which there were no teachers nor students was not one which could be taught."(Socrates 96 C). In the end it is concluded "whoever has virtue gets it by divine dispensation"(100 B).Oedipus tragic major tragic flaw is his pride and will to pursue the truth. He solves the riddle of the Sphinx to bring him the kingdom and he pursues the truth in himself. It is this truth about himself that ruins him. In the beginning of the play he summons a curse on the murderer to "drag out an evil death-in-life misery."(Oedipus 15). He is so sure that he is not the murderer he summons a curse on himself if he should "with my knowledge, share my house."(Oedipus 15). After Tiresias comes to tell him the gods say he is the killer, Oedipus is confident they are not true and berates Tresias' skill as a prophet: "When the sphinx chanted her riddle here, did you come forward to speak the word that would liberate the people of this town? That riddle was not for anyone who came along to answer-it called for prophetic insight. But you didn't come forward, you offered no answer told you by the birds or gods. No, I came, know nothing Oedipus, I stopped the sphinx."(Oedipus 27) After his conversation with Tiresias he goes on to accuse Creon of conspiring with Tiresias to steal his crown. This is absurd as pointed out by Creon as he argues "How could the throne seem more desirable to me than power and authority which bring me no trouble?"(Creon 40). An even better example of Oedipus' confidence is the decision to commit murder after receiving the prophecy from Delphi. Of course this murder is also committed out of Oedipus' pride. He is unwilling to concede the road to Laius. If one was told that they will murder their father, the sensible thing to do would be not to kill anyone. He pushes on to know even more terrible details about his life after he learns from the messenger that his parents are not who he thought they were. Jocasta urges...

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