Ignorance In Oedipus The King

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Sophocles’ play Oedipus Rex depicts a story of a young, prideful man who becomes the King of Thebes; meanwhile ignoring an inevitable prophecy of killing his birth father Laius and marrying his mother Jocasta. During the play, the author emphasizes Oedipus’s tragic flaw of being unaware of himself or his true identity. His ignorant and stubborn behavior both contribute to the irony behind the words inscribed on the temple at Delphi: “know thyself “. Oedipus does not know himself because he is oblivious of the identities of his parents, unaware of Laius’s murderer and in denial of Teresias claims. In the beginning of the play, evidence of Oedipus’s ignorance is portrayed when discussing his parents. Previously in the story, the …show more content…
However, Oedipus is unaware of his biological parents and his birth story throughout most of the play and desperately searches for answers, information about their identities. He says, “My parents again! ---Wait: who are my parents” (Sophocles 23)? Oedipus is oblivious of who his real parents are and feels anxious when Teiresias mentions the word parent, impatiently searching for clues that will lead him to them. Unsatisfied with the little knowledge he has about his parents, Oedipus goes to the oracle to ask about his parents; the oracle says he is destined to sleep with his mother and kill his father, without naming any names. Oedipus refuses to accept the prediction and runs out of town to avoid harming any family member. This behavior shows how …show more content…
Oedipus’s ignorance of his relation to King Laius of Thebes ultimately leads to him killing his birth father, when trying to avoid the prophecy about his parents. Instead of avoiding or ignoring the prophecy, Oedipus gets in the way of it and fulfills his destiny. While traveling to Thebes, Oedipus argues with a driver causing the two cars to collide, killing King Laius who is also his birth father. When it comes to investigating King Laius’s murderer, Oedipus cannot put the puzzle pieces together because he is unaware of his own identity, his parents’ identities and therefore the effect of his own actions. Instead, he remains shunning the unknown murderer, by warning him or her of the consequences. In the play, Oedipus pledges his goal on finding the murderer and having him punished by the

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