Knowledge And Suffering In Sophocles's Play Oedipus The King

Knowledge and Suffering While some people associate an abundance of knowledge with satisfaction and dominance, this does not apply to all situations. Surprisingly, in Sophocles’ play Oedipus the King, the opposite prevails. Oedipus’ lack and pursuit of knowledge serve to bring suffering upon his immediate family members, emphasizing that wisdom does not always lead to happiness and success. As a product of his desperate attempts to gain awareness of his past, Oedipus causes Jocasta to go through an insurmountable level of misfortune. Oedipus first exposes her to this anguish when revealing inadvertently that he is her son. In response, hoping to save him from her own source of torment, she pleads, “Stop-in the name of god, if you love your …show more content…
Oedipus calls them his “poor helpless girls,” emphasizing his sorrow he feels for them, knowing the hardship he has forced upon them that they will soon discover (1603). He also shows this awareness when stating that the curse “wounds [them] all together” (1638). When Oedipus asks them, “What more misery could you want?” it emphasizes the level of suffering his daughters will experience as a consequence of his greed for wisdom which may have been better left undiscovered by him and the rest of Thebes (1640). Oedipus knows that nothing could possibly match up to the pain he has caused his daughters, as everyone will now know their father’s curse. No one will want to marry either of his daughters, as their spouse would have to “Risk all to shoulder the curse that weighs down [Jocasta and Laius]” (1636-1637). This would be an extremely unappealing burden for anyone to …show more content…
Oedipus is unbelievably harsh towards him when Creon brings Tiresias, the blind prophet, to Thebes, who claims Oedipus killed his father. Jumping to conclusions due to his lack of knowledge, Oedipus believes Creon is just trying to steal the throne from him: “You-here? You have the gall to show your face before the palace gates? You, plotting to kill me, kill the king-I see it all, the marauding thief himself scheming to steal my crown and power!” (594-598). Creon has no intention of taking Oedipus’ place, yet Oedipus refuses to believe this, continuing to berate him and cause him torment like the rest of his kin. Oedipus also tells Creon, “Learn your fill, you will never convict me of the murder” (643-644). This is ironic, considering Creon has learned the truth from a prophet unlike Oedipus, who seems to believe he already has enough information about the situation to come to his own conclusion. The Chorus urges him to stop attacking Creon, reminding him, “That man’s your friend, your kin, he’s under oath-don’t cast him out, disgraced, branded with guilt on the strength of hearsay only” (731-733). Yet Oedipus refuses to listen, still retaining his bitterness toward

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