Theme Of Ignorance In Oedipus The King

2141 Words 9 Pages
Taran Bedi
Mr. Curnett
English 9
Feb 17th
The Correlation of Ignorance, Sight and Truth in Oedipus Rex Sophocles’ play Oedipus Rex was written over 2,500 years ago. Although this play may seem ancient and irrelevant to today’s society, its themes and actions are relevant to modern society. Sophocles’ play Oedipus revealed many ideas that are now used in western drama. Sophocles’ use of dramatic irony became a new method for artists who wanted to create tension in the plots of their work. Sophocles uses his irony to help him illustrate his creative themes that can be interpreted in many different ways. One theme that is significant in the play is that many characters such as Oedipus and Tiresias tend to be able to see different things. For example Tiresias, a blind man, could see the truth inside Oedipus, and Oedipus, a man with sight, is blind to his actions and ignorant to accept what Tiresias reveals about him. This kind of
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Peter Haugen claims that Oedipus is too proud to accept the truth in his life backed up by hard evidence. Today a modern word to describe this could be “ignorance,” yet it can also be called “hubris” which is a very old greek word.

In Peter Haugen’s article, Hamartia and Hubris in the story of Oedipus, claims that, “Oedipus himself, Laius and Jocasta are equally at fault. These three characters possess a tremendous hubris, that is, they are guilty of an overbearing pride that insists they can sidestep the fate decreed for them by the gods themselves,” (1). This is a pretty compelling claim except for the fact that “Laius” posses any signs of “being hubris”. Peter claims that Laius giving “Oedipus to the shepherd” where baby Oedipus will die shows that “Laius is being hubris,”

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