Justice And Justice In Oedipus Rex By Sophocles

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Oedipus Rex by Sophocles is a work heavily focused on justice. Oedipus, as the king of Thebes, discovers that the only way he can save his beloved city and its people from a rampant plague is to seek and accordingly punish his predecessor’s killer. Oedipus is determined to find justice for the city by harshly punishing the murderer, which he is successful in, but he in turn is penalized with harsh and irreversible consequences. The most pronounce theme in the play is that human beings are relatively powerless before fate and the gods. Although Oedipus tries his entire life to do what is right, by running away from home to save his adopted parents, killing the sphinx, and chasing a murderer, he ultimately faces a horrible end caused by his …show more content…
He even makes an oath to the gods that he will bring this slayer, even if it is himself, to justice which highlights Oedipus’s sincerity because he would not make such an oath lightly because he is dedicated to his gods, as demonstrated by his lifelong faith in what oracles, the servants of the gods, foresee. He apparently is so set on saving his people and bringing justice that, even when he was told “you weave you own doom,” he forces the truth out of a reluctant and, at that point, angry Tiresias. This again makes clear Oedipus’s determination, whose source is Oedipus’s excessive pride in being the “king of wisdom”, because he puts his own happiness and future at stake if it means he can save his people and solve the mystery, as he did once before. However, throughout Oedipus’s life he has personally made it his mission to defeat evil. This lifelong quest is represented in part by Mount Kithairon which, much like the quest, is always looming high above Oedipus and is a constant reminder that Oedipus can never reach godly perfection and defeat evil once and for all. Oedipus’s first trial …show more content…
However, Oedipus doesn’t immediately believe the truth that he, himself, is the murderer, even after he forces Teiresias, who has never lied before and by all accounts is never wrong, to tell him. He in fact, becomes angry with Teiresias because he believes Teresias is lying and in league with Jocaste’s brother, Creon. This demonstrates Oedipus’s hubris, his excessive pride, because he is unwilling to listen to those who have always been faithful and honest simply because he does not like the tone and content of the anwser. It is at this point where the irony of Tiresias 's literal blindness and Oedipus’s figurative blindness is put “out there where we’ll find it.” (Foster) Tiresias is obviously telling the truth, as he always has, and is definitely not in league with Creon, as Oedipus suggests. In this way, Tersias proves his spiritual sight. And even though Oedipus mocks Tiresias for his physical blindness, it is clear that until Oedipus accepts the truth, he will be blind in a more terrible way than Tiresias could ever be. He is blind to his own unforgivable evils even though he is able to see the world around him. Due to his lack of acceptance, Oedipus continues searching for the truth and learning more about the mysterious circumstances of the murder because he is so set on finding justice. It is only after an eyewitness exposes the events of the murder that Oedipus is forced to accept the truth and at the same time learns

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