Theme Of Ignorance In Oedipus

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The phrase “ignorance is bliss” is so widely used because of its universal applications. It implies that being unaware of something is preferential to being exposed to its harsh reality. However, this approach to the world only allows for superficial connections to surroundings and others, and even oneself. One may develop illusions of perfection about oneself that shields the world from insecurities and imperfections that they would rather remain hidden. Living with this illusion prevents one from discovering more about themselves and it causes them to present a mirage to the rest of the world. However, deep inquiry of one’s truest self can reveal some undesirable truths. These truths may lead to dissatisfaction that one may dwell …show more content…
Then, as he pursues the truth of his parentage and identity, he must endure some hardships before he receives the answers he seeks. Oedipus’ mission of discovering his identity includes mental turmoil and uncertainty, emotional sorrow, and physical and psychological pain upon the achievement of his self-realization. Oedipus’ first experience with suffering that contributes to his self-realization begins with his questioning of his true heritage. As a baby, Oedipus’ biological parents, Laius and Jocasta, who were the king and queen of Thebes, leave him in the hands of a shepherd. This is because they were informed of a prophecy that stated that Oedipus would grow up to murder both of his parents. Instead of killing him as he was instructed to do, the shepherd passes the baby along to the barren king and queen of another kingdom called Corinth. King Polybus and Queen Merope, in Corinth, raise Oedipus as their own son, and never divulge that he is not their blood kin. Unfortunately, Oedipus discovers a rumour that Polybus and Merope are not his real parents, dismantling their secret. So, Oedipus …show more content…
When Oedipus first questions his adopted family in Corinth, he asks an oracle for enlightenment. Rather than information about his heritage, the oracle delivers a prophecy that states that Oedipus will marry his mother and murder his father. This prediction leads him to flee Corinth in an attempt to prevent this fate. This news alone must trigger some emotional turmoil because of the horrific events it entails. Then, leaving his lifelong home where he was to eventually become king must have also inspired some sadness and regret, and fear at having to build a new life in a strange place without any familial support. Oedipus may also be feeling some anxiety regarding the prophecy, hence his desperation to prevent it. This emotional vulnerability and instability can be considered during Oedipus’ search of a new home. Along the way, he encounters King Laius’ caravan, unaware that he is a king and his father. After a confrontation, Oedipus attacks and kills the whole party except for one servant, who escapes Oedipus’ wrath. This abrupt and violent attack could be a result of Oedipus’ mental fragility, and his fear of being alone without support. Being faced with uncertain attackers could have activated his anger and fear, and triggered a fight-or-flight response, which was dealt with aggression. Finally, when Oedipus arrives in Thebes, he is anointed as king and adopts

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