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The Willingness to Ignore the Truth (Essay Sample)


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Oedipus the King- the willingness to ignore the Truth
Oedipus the King is an Athenian tragedy, which was first performed in 469 BC being composed by Sophocles. The play Oedipus the King tells a story of a man called Oedipus who becomes the king of Thebes and in the process fulfilling a prophecy that he would marry his mother Jocasta and kill his father, Laius. It all started when Laius learnt that he would perish by the hand of his son and he ordered the infant to be killed, but surprisingly Oedipus survived this ordeal (Sophocles; 1-2). This play is an example of a classic tragedy which emphasis on faults committed by Oedipus which contributed to his downfall. An analysis of Oedipus the King based on the theme willingness to ignore the truth reveals that the truth will always prevail at the end no matter how long it will take.
As a young man, one day when walking on the road he met an arrogant rich person who runs him over with his chariot. This causes a fight, which ended up killing the rich person, which turns out to be his father, but he was unawares. Oedipus vowed to find the murder of the pervious king and bring justice. Oedipus requested help from a local prophet known as Tiresias, who told the king to stop looking for the killer but upon the king's determination to know more the prophet told him he was the murderer (Guo; 45-49). Later, the shepherd who had saved Oedipus spilled the beans of the real identity of Oedipus confirming the truth that Oedipus had killed his father and married his biological mother.
Ancient Greeks viewed truth as a critical virtue, and the theatre was one place where ideas of truth and knowledge were examined. In the play, Oedipus character was transformed from a heroic king in the beginning of the play to a tyrant in denial in the middle of the play to a condemned man humbled by his fate at the end of the play. At the beginning when Oedipus solved the Sphinx riddle he appears to be confident and a hero gaining respect from the Thebans as expressed by a temple priest, "You freed us from the Sphinx; you came to Thebes and cut us loose from the bloody tribute we had paid that harsh, brutal singer.  We taught you nothing, no skill, no extra knowledge; still you triumphed ...
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