Impact Of Justice In Oedipus Rex

1416 Words 6 Pages
Sophocles’ tragic play, Oedipus Rex, effectually illustrates and portrays the impact of justice not only throughout the work as a whole, but also independently within the live’s of the characters. Oedipus Rex seeks to develop the theme that mankind consists of remarkable individuals, yet even the best of us are flawed and will inevitably be reformed by order and justice. Oedipus, in particular, is significantly influenced and impacted by the forces of justice and his opinions of justice throughout the work; as a result of his self-destructive completion of the prophecy, he realizes the inevitability of his actions as well as the justice associated with his newfound social status within Thebes. First and foremost, Oedipus is introduced as a …show more content…
“Mock me with that if you like; you will find it true”(1325). By saying this, Teiresias addresses the fact that justice must be brought down upon Oedipus for his foolish actions and his particularly imprudent curse. While arguing with Teiresias, Oedipus scorns Teiresias’ use of riddles. Therefore, Teiresias mockingly reminds Oedipus of his encounter with the Sphinx and his ability to solve her clever riddles. Oedipus, then, boasts of his great ability to solve riddles through the use of his vast knowledge. However, Teiresias points out that Oedipus’ knowledge has kept him blind to the most devastating mystery of them all: Oedipus, in his search for justice, has damned himself into his own ruin and destruction. This exchange between Oedipus and Teiresias displays the difference between wisdom, which Teiresias possesses and respects, and plain knowledge, which Oedipus values and attempts to manipulate while obtaining justice. Furthermore, Teiresias reveals that it is Oedipus’ arrogance and faith in knowledge that leads him right down the path of justice and to his ultimate destruction. Although the downfall of Oedipus is undeniably tragic and full of misery, it can be observed that he brought his own undoing unto himself by trying to do the right thing. Not only does Oedipus unknowingly curse himself, but he also blatantly …show more content…
Justice, specifically the justice that Sophocles sought to portray through Oedipus Rex, is a force that can not be controlled by mortal man, but it is an elusive power that influences everyone including the knowledgeable, clever, and essentially innocent

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