Oedipus The King, By Sophocles

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The main character, Oedipus, in Sophocles’ play Oedipus The King is heroic in his search for the truth, just as scholar Bernard Knox states. Oedipus is faced with a decision: he can either seek out a potentially terrible truth, or ignore it and let the city of Thebes succumb to the plague that has befallen them. Oedipus chooses to search for the truth and does so heroically because he is doing it for his people rather than personal gain, he is transparent about new findings, and he will stop at nothing to find the truth.
Oedipus cares for the people of Thebes so much that he is compelled to find the truth to save them and not just for personal gain. Oedipus and the people of Thebes have a familial bond. His love for Thebes compels him to seek out the truth. Oedipus’ familial bond with Thebes is shown in the beginning of the play when Oedipus addresses the priests who are at his altar, “Oh my children” (1). This sentiment allows readers to understand the sense of attachment Oedipus has with the people of Thebes. He cares for them enough to call them his children. The Priests address Oedipus back as, “King of the land, our greatest power” (16). It is evident that the people of Thebes look to Oedipus as their hero, especially after he had already saved them once from the Sphinx. They also view Oedipus in the same light as he views them. Their caring relationship is shown again in the beginning of the play when the Priests tell Oedipus of the plague and beg him to do something.

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