Oedipus Rex - Bliss in Ignorance

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One of the most memorable and meaningful Socratic quotes applies well when in context of Sophocles' Theban Trilogy. "The unexamined life is not worth living," proclaims Socrates. He could have meant many things by this statement, and in relation to the play, the meaning is found to be even more complex. Indeed, the situation of Oedipus, king of Thebes, the truth of this statement is in question. Would Oedipus have been better off if he was blind to the knowledge of his birthing and the fate which was foretold to someday befall him? Truly though, his life would have been a far better and easier path had he never known about his true origins. His life in Corinth would have been long and prosperous, and Thebes would have lived on under King Laius. In fact, everyone would have been better off in the long run if Oedipus had not ventured out beyond the walls of Corinth. So is it worth living an examined life? Socrates had made this statement long after the creation of the Theban Trilogy. In the context of his own time, this was meant to imply that life must be examined and reflected upon, known and discovered by each individual philosopher to better enrich life for all. Yet in terms of Sophoclean drama, specifically Oedipus Rex, this was meant in a vastly different way. The unexamined life was one that was in the dark, unknown as to what fate lied beyond every turn and irony of living. Oedipus, up to the point in which he heard the comment in the tavern in Corinth, lived an unexamined life. To Socrates, he was an unfulfilled man, one who deserved to know more, one who not complete. However, in a much less metaphysical sense, Oedipus' life was complete, in that he had all that he needed, and was living a happy and fruitful life. As the drama progresses, he finds out more and more, learning exactly what the implications of his birth was, he suffers the fate for examining his life. So what Socrates had meant, that the life which was not rich with self exploration and...
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