Oedipus: The Danger of Knowledge

Sophocles' play, Oedipus the King demonstrates the importance of knowledge and the respect it deserves.While Oedipus a man that is revered for his knowledge, he becomes a man that must learn about knowledge in a painful way.Oedipus learns many things other than his heritage; he learns that self-knowledge comes with a price.In discovering things about himself, he also learns about the world around him and those in it.He learns that he does not know everything – especially when it comes to other people.Those who tried to convince him to stop looking for the truth are the ones he pushed away.He also learns that he can be wrong.Oedipus also learns that he can only blame himself for everything that has occurred.This is perhaps the most painful thing about himself that he must learn.No one likes knowing that they are responsible for the suffering of those they love and for their own suffering and the extreme measures that Oedipus takes demonstrate the severity of this kind of knowledge.Oedipus learns many things on his journey; the most important thing he learns is that knowledge can be fatal.
Oedipus' journey to self-knowledge includes other people and his perceptions of them.Creon, Tireseus, and Jocasta are individuals that he must reconsider with his newfound knowledge.In his last moments, Oedipus realizes how much everyone tried to prevent him from discovering the truth.They were concerned with the well being of Thebes and they were not defying him as he once thought.After realizing the truth behind his birth, Oedipus asks wheat he can now say to Creon, since he "wronged him so, just now, in every way" (696).Similarly, Jocasta, was sincerely attempting to convince Oedipus not to search for the truth because she loved him and their life together.He chastised and belittled her only to discover she was sincere.His realization drives him to a point of madness from which he can n…


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