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Title Of Essay: Paradox Of Truth Title: Oedipus Rex Author: Sophocles

1315 words - 6 pages

Socrates proclaims "The unexamined life is not worth living." Many men live their lives for superficial reasons, never bothering to search for self knowledge. Yet life must be closely examined and reflected, known and discovered by every individual. Some argue that life is far better and easier, without this search and revelation of true knowledge. Oedipus was blind to his fulfillment of the prophecy. He was in the dark, not knowing what lay ahead. Seeking knowledge does not come without pain, which few can bear. After a painful and damning search the light was revealed to him. With understanding, he rose above the average man to gain insight and humility. Oedipus Rex and Emily Dickinson?s ...view middle of the document...

? (1171-2) The messenger from Corinth announces that ?Polybus was nothing to you, ... not in blood.? (1113) Oedipus lives a life beset with confusion, because of the absence of truth. But all the horrible truth is revealed by the shepherd, and Oedipus knows that it is necessary. Emily Dickinson also urges people to ?Tell all the truth but tell it slant.? (1) She knew that the truth should be told, but not all at once. Humans can only grasp the truth when it ?dazzles gradually.? (7)With truth comes pain and suffering. Oedipus is told over and over again to relinquish his search for the truth. When a drunken man distorts his legitimacy as the son of Polybus, he questions the king and queen, ?they were enraged at the accusation and the fool who let it fly.? (861-2) They lie to Oedipus to protect him, but they are actually sheltering him from the truth that could save Thebes. They didn?t want to risk destroying everything they were accustomed to. Tiresias declares that, ?to see the truth when the truth is only pain to him who sees!? when being questioned about King Laius? murderer. (360) Tiresias is reluctant to reveal the truth, because of its harsh nature. He is constantly being warned or the pain that it would bring, but being hero he continues to seek the truth. Eventually the ?joy of his life was ground down to nothing.? (1333) He lost everything he cared for, including his kingdom, wife, and children. Emily Dickinson?s To Tell All the Truth states the truth is ?Too bright for our infirm delight.? (3) This pain is inherent in all humans, we have compassion and emotion, therefore we can?t, ?count no man happy till he dies, free of pain at last.? (Sophocles 1684)Oedipus is great because the revelation of the truth brings him insight and understanding. After realizing that he was the, ?curse, the corruption of the land,? he took on his responsibilities and blinds himself from the superficialities of the world. (401) He understood that, ?nothing human can penetrate the future.? (782) Eery king has to know how to make the best of every situation. Although there is no way to predict what will happen in the future, it is the choices we make when time has taken everything away that reveals the true heroes. He was once the king and savior of Thebes, now everyone knows that he has committed regicide and incest. He choose to accept the responsibilities of his actions, proclaiming that, ?It?s mine alone, my destiny.? (1457) It is hard for the average individual to admit error,...

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