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Oedipus Rex: The Search For Truth

2527 words - 10 pages

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 his first arriving in Thebes. Due to his initial success in Thebes, Oedipus developed the fatal flaw hubris which would directly lead to his downfall. Oedipus’ hubris was most visible in his dealings with the other characters, especially the wise seer Teiresias. Oedipus insulted and ignored the prophet’s vision. He did not realize that he was dealing with a wise man who knew the truth that he desired. Because of his hubris, he remained innately blind. “It fulfills the prophesy of Teiresias that ‘He that came seeing, blind shall he go,’ clinching the ironic theme of the blind seer who could not and the King who would not, see” (Sewall 112). Oedipus was innately blind, his encounter with the outwardly blind Teiresias was used to contrast the characters. Oedipus was like any one of us, we frantically search to discover the truth but, because of a certain flaw, we remain blind to our own connection to the mystery.
TRAGIC SEARCH, CONTINUED BLINDNESS
Oedipus was the son of King Laius and Queen Jocasta of the City of Thebes. Laius was cursed because of his transgressions. This curse stated that the son of Laius would kill him and marry his wife. When Oedipus was born, Laius ordered that his feet be scared and...

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