Character Analysis Of Oedipus The King

1419 Words6 Pages
Prabesh Adhikari
Mrs. Long-Goldberg
Honors World Lit/Comp
26 September, 2017
Ignorance Can Lead to Great Agony
Plays were of great importance in early Greek culture. Plays were the main source of entertainment, and one of the most prominent examples is Oedipus the King written by Sophocles. The drama is uplifted by the character development and excellent structure Sophocles has put forward. Interactions between characters and each character’s motivations generate brilliant themes throughout the play. Sophocles uses a technique called recognition, which illustrates a character’s turn from ignorance to the truth. The play is about the city of Thebes which is racked by a plague and a crisis that is quickly wiping humans from the earth.
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Oedipus does not want to put any effort into studying the truth because his domination is his top priority and he wants his people to see him as a savior. Moreover, when Tiresias reveals that Oedipus is Laius’ killer, Oedipus fumes in anger and states “Blind,/ lost in the night, endless night that nursed you!/You can’t hurt me or anyone else who sees the light-/you can never touch me” (425-428). Oedipus does not think about what Tiresias is saying, as soon he hears his name being misused he became enraged. Oedipus does not think about his involvement in the whole incident, instead his ignorance leads him to think Creon and Tiresias are plotting against him. Oedipus is the king and he thinks he is the most powerful man ever. He thinks Tiresias can not hurt him because he is blind. The combination of Oedipus’s ego and selfishness steers him to become completely blinded to the truth and does not want to even think about taking responsibility. Oedipus’s main motivation for ignoring Tiresias’s prophecy is the authority he has over the citizens. Consequently Oedipus refuses to see the truth when it’s right in front of him. His selfishness and ignorance propels him to only think about his position as the king rather than logically. As the play continues, Oedipus goes through a phase of recognition in which he is forced to accept the truth as he learns more about his origin, but his ignorance is still his weakness. Additionally, after the
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