Greatness In Oedipus The King

889 Words 4 Pages
Rylie Talmadge
English 10
Oedipus Paper: Prompt 2

Sophocles’ Oedipus entails the many misfortunes one particular man faces along his misguided quest towards enlightenment in search of the truth that can unlock the key to saving the city from terrible plague. His struggles reach much farther than his kingly duties as he is faced with the slow realization and terror of his own actions and what pain they have caused to those around him. Throughout Oedipus the King, he is confronted with the horrific truth and suffers many adversities through his journey of consciousness and true vision. His life crumbles in front of him, spiraling downward into the dark abyss of blindness. Though through all of his wrong turns and misjudgments,
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Dodds wrote about this statement, arguing that regardless of the dark and desperate nature of humanity, Oedipus Rex is a tale about “human greatness” as well. Though Oedipus has what seems like little happiness- certainly much less than before, as the king who had previously saved the city from the Sphinx- he still withholds an irrefutable amount of greatness. The chorus even goes as far to repeat itself over, saying, “Who could behold his greatness without envy?” (251) Oedipus’ greatness does not come from his kingly position, rather from his inner strength to take responsibility for his actions and pursuing the truth despite the consequences. He represents the human need to know and the desire for knowledge and glory to raise himself due to human’s nature of curiosity. The little happiness he still retains, directly correlates with his ignorance and cynicism, supporting the argument that happiness is just an illusion. “Oblivion- what a blessing… for the mind to dwell a world away from pain.”(243) This quote said by Oedipus is directly after he gorged his eyes out and stumbled around physically blind but now with the capacity to visualize his mistakes and the happiness he had before …show more content…
Where they are wrong is that the only reason they know better than he does, is because of the story’s revolvement around dramatic irony. Another reason people don’t give him credit is a human’s need to take time to adapt to the situation. Tiresias, though reluctantly, explains to Oedipus that he is the murderer. The accusation seems so alien that he rejects the idea, causing dissonance within himself and like much of the play, goes into stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and eventually acceptance though his version is blindness. He takes so long to recognize his guilt and admit to it because he needs tangible evidence and time to process it. He is never really given that luxury as he is forced back into a slew of depressing turn of events. His response was intended to help him frame and identify his feelings but only resulted in confusion and

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