oedipus rex

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Oedipus Rex Oedipus Rex, written by the playwright Sophocles, is a story of a tragic hero who underwent many changes throughout his life. He fell from being sure and proud of where he stood to darkened and disgusted, wanting to ruin his own life. Oedipus learned who he was by experiencing knowledge, ignorance and truth.

The first step in Oedipus' self-awareness was new knowledge. When he heard that Polybus and Merope were not his real parents, he visited the Oracle at Delphi to seek the truth. The oracle did not tell him the truth about his parents; however, he enlightened Oedipus about the curse that he would murder his father and marry his mother. Upon hearing this, Oedipus ran away from Corinth, trying to avoid the curse. En route to Thebes, Oedipus unwittingly murdered Laois at an intersection. Because his actual birth parents were king Laios and Queen Jocasta, Oedipus was already following the path of the curse.

When Oedipus arrived at Thebes, his ignorance led him to continue through with the oracle's curse. He was so conceited because, as he said, he was "Oedipus, who [bore] the famous name" (4) for solving the Sphinx's riddle, yet ironically he was too ignorant to even think that he was the one who committed the crime of killing Laios. He began to deeply involve himself as the king of Thebes by trying to solve the mystery of Laios' death, and he cursed the person who committed this murder to suffer along with any host who housed him. Oedipus "[prayed] that that man's life be consumed in evil and wretchedness. And as for [him], the curse [applied] no less if it should turn out that the culprit [was his] guest [there], sharing [his] hearth" (13). Oedipus included himself in this curse, probably...