Truth In Oedipus The King

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Truth is not intended to bring contentment but make people face the realities of their lives which can be unsettling for some. In Oedipus the King,by Sophocles this is demonstrated. Oedipus is given away as a child because his parents were told that he inevitably would kill his father and marry his mother. This same prophecy follows Oedipus as he grows and leads him to run away from the kingdom that raised him. On his road away, he ends up killing a group of men which leads him to another kingdom. There he marries the dead king's wife, little does Oedipus realize he had killed his father and married his mother. Sophocles uses the blindness motif in this play, in order to explain how the truth can be too much for people to bear …show more content…
Oedipus believes that he is married to a woman he has no relation to, and that the parents he left behind are in fact his own. Teiresias, no longer willing to allow Oedipus to be blind says, " he shall be proved father and brother both to his own children in his own house; to her that gave him birth, a son and husband both; a fellow sower in his father's bed with the same father he murdered" (535- 539). Oedipus himself was ignorant to the fact that he married his mother and then is by blood the father and brother to his children. Regardless to the fact that, Oedipus is unaware of such circumstances they are still the true. In fact ignorance can not inhibit truth from being true. There is only so long Oedipus could be blind to the facts in front of him before he is truly able to see. After Teiresias' words Oedipus begins to question his wife, Jocasta, about her previous husband's murder. All she says leads him to fear that in fact he killed him. Jocasta mentions a shepherd who was still alive that witnessed the murder, so Oedipus decides that in order to figure out if he was the murder he would question the Shepard. In refrence to questioning the shepherd, Oedipus says to Jocasta, "I'll tell you; if I find that his story is the same as yours, I at least will be clear of this guilt" (974-975). Oedipus has guilt inside himself because he is aware that he killed the king. His …show more content…
Once the truth is uncovered that Oedipus is in fact the murder of his father and married to his mother, his mother kills herself. In seeing this, Oedipus makes the decision to blind himself physically in order to not have to see the results of his sins. "A brothers hands which turned your father's eyes, those bright eyes you knew once, to what you see, a father seeing nothing, knowing nothing, be getting you from his our source of life" (1670- 16730). Oedipus' words are to his daughters once he has blinded himself and wished to be banished. Oedipus himself points out that in fact he is their brother and father. Also that in that realization he blinded himself with his hands in order to "see nothing" and "know nothing". In having the metaphoric blindness removed from Oedipus in him knowing the truth, he physically takes it upon himself to put the blindness back by stabbing his eyes. Oedipus believes that if he is incapable of seeing anything, then in fact that truth which he knows to be true does not exist. The idea that the truth is too overwhelming for him to handle, "to this guilt I bore witness against myself with what eyes shall I look upon my people" (1560). Therefore, not having eyes makes it impossible for him to witness the reactions of the people he governs, once they know the truth. Keeping himself ignorant not only to what he has done, but to

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