Oedipus Ignorance Analysis

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Ignorance and insight go hand in hand when analyzing themes in, Oedipus the King. Ignorance can occur from a lack of knowledge or information, and it can be caused by a person’s disregard for the truth. Oedipus is both unknowledgeable and oblivious. In opposition to the theme of ignorance, the theme of insight is presented in the play. While some characters are blinded, others know a tremendous amount of information, and this aspect creates conflict between individuals and pins those who know against those who do not. The author, Sophocles, brings up both knowledge and ignorance in the beginning of the play, during the conversation between the Priest and Oedipus. The Priest believes Oedipus does not know what actually is going on in the …show more content…
right well I knew/And yet forgot this: alas I ne 'er had come¨ (Sophocles, 24). Although what he has is a gift, it may also be a curse, and it is worthless when it can be of use. When Tiresias says this, Oedipus soon turns very curious of the real meaning behind the statement. Oedipus being ignorant, gets angry and insults Tiresias, saying that if Tiresias had eyes he might as well could have committed the crime.
When the Herdsman is brought onto stage, and declares that because he is of old age he cannot remember clearly. Before Oedipus turns angry again, the Messenger decides to intervene to help the Herdsman remember. After a brief summary of the past between the Messenger and the Herdsman, the Messenger states, ¨Say then, dost thou recall that unto me/A child thou gavest for my fosterling?¨ (Sophocles, 94). However, the Herdsman does not want to cooperate and asks why does the Messenger not keep quiet. Inferencing, the Herdsman and the Messenger know more than Oedipus, but the Herdsman wants to keep it a
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In short, he tells Oedipus that he and the Herdsman, a long time ago, would work together next to each other, even before the Herdsman found Oedipus, as a baby. Oedipus being the ¨young¨ one out of all the characters, excluding his daughters, is the one character that can physically see clearly. Compared to the rest of the elders, Oedipus is the only one that decided to ignore the truth. Ironically at the end of the play, Oedipus decides to stab his eyes, turning himself blind. Although he can no longer see, he now knows the truth, just like Tiresias at the beginning of the play. There is no reward for Oedipus. In essence, he saves the city of Thebes from the plague, but in doing so, he condemns himself to a life of misery. His punishment teaches him ignorance is a characteristic that someone should avoid because it causes blindness to

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