What moral values are emphasized in The Theban Plays - Essay Example

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Many of these are displayed through the characters in the play whose actions are designed to show the significance of various moral values. Among…
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What moral values are emphasized in The Theban Plays
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Download file to see previous pages despite the fact that many of the main characters feel confident in their own power; this power is based on the lack of knowledge concerning the truth. In the play, Oedipus the King, Oedipus is seen as a man who is confident in his own power since he considers himself the savior of the city of Thebes after he killed the Sphinx, which was terrorizing it. He proudly states, “You all know me, the world knows my fame/ I am Oedipus” (Oedipus the King, 8-9). While this is the case, he does not know the truth concerning his own heritage; that he is a man who is cursed because he killed his father and married his own mother. This knowledge is revealed to him by the seer Tiresias, and this revelation destroys the confidence with which Oedipus carried himself. He comes to the realization that he had committed, albeit unknowingly, some of the worst sins known to man, namely, patricide and incest. The truth is so painful for the king that he chooses to blind himself so that he ceases to see the world that has brought him so much pain. Therefore, it can be said that truth is a powerful force in the play because it not only makes Oedipus realize the emptiness upon which his power is based, but it also creates a vivid picture of how the other characters respond to it. While truth is a good thing to have, it also ends up having a negative effect on the city of Thebes that loses a strong ruler to be replaced by chaos from civil war.
Justice is one of the moral values that are displayed in the Theban Plays and it is used to reflect how the people who hold power tend to deny it to those who have none. Furthermore, in the plays, chastisement is seen to be meted out in agreement with the crime that was committed. The justice that is displayed in the plays is one that is based on crime and punishment, so that when characters commit an injustice, their punishment takes place swiftly. Justice seems to be the domain of the gods, who decide the people that are to be punished for the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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