Theme Of Ignorance In Oedipus Rex

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Oedipus Rex is a tragic tale of a man whose fate betrays him. In this play Oedipus is involved in a prophecy that for his whole life his was ignorant to. Oedipus knows about the prophecy, and tries to avoid it by leaving his home. By doing this, Oedipus unknowingly fulfills the prophecy. Oedipus later has to deal with the repercussions of these actions. Once he accepts what he has done, Oedipus gets a sense of clarity even though he is still in pain. The various symbols throughout Oedipus Rex help to illustrate the theme that ignorance will lead to a downfall but the truth will bring clarity, even if painful.
The first symbol, blindness represents ignorance and how it can affect one’s life in a negative way. Truths are revealed to the characters,
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Oedipus does not like what the truth that was revealed has done to his life. His wife has just killed herself, and he does not handle this well; he is suffering greatly. Sophocles writes, “O God. Again the pain of the spikes where I had sight, the flooding pain of memory, never to be gouged out… You suffer it all twice over, remorse in pain, pain in remorse” (Exodus. 1269-1274). Now that Oedipus knows what he has done, he cannot get it out his head. Charagos tells Oedipus to embrace the pain; even though it hurts that is the only way he will truly get through it. Even though Oedipus has done wrong, Chargos still feels sorry for him. It is not Oedipus’s fault that he was cursed with his prophecy, but he does not feel this way. Oedipus states, “Do not counsel me anymore. This punishment that I have laid upon myself is just. If I had eyes, I do not know how I could bear the sight of my father, when I came to the house of death, or my mother: For I have sinned against them both so vilely that I could not make my peace by strangling my own life” (Exodus. 1315-1322). Oedipus is sorry for what he has done. He thinks the only way to make up for him fulfilling the prophecy is to endure the pain he bestowed upon himself. He is ashamed to see his parents in the afterlife, which is why he is somewhat glad he does not have eyes anymore. Oedipus knows the wrongdoing he brought upon

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