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Oedipus:the search for identity. Is he a hero or a fool - Term Paper Example

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Of all the complex aspects of the human mind, the one truth we cannot deny is that all humans seek for satisfaction, may it be in reality or a part of a fantasy. Happy endings are what we expect to see in a book, enabling us to turn the last page with a pure sense of satisfaction…
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Oedipus:the search for identity. Is he a hero or a fool
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Download file to see previous pages Of all the complex aspects of the human mind, the one truth we cannot deny is that all humans seek for satisfaction, may it be in reality or a part of a fantasy. Happy endings are what we expect to see in a book, enabling us to turn the last page with a pure sense of satisfaction. However, it is a fact that tragic endings and grief affect us much more than usual endings, leaving a throbbing pain and a lasting impact on the readers. The fact that real life is never always rosy, we tend to look for reality in what we read too. Some might intend to focus on the impact that a particular character might have while others might give importance to the meaning held by the storyline or may even intend for the character to be thought provoking. However, the easiest way to have a striking impact on the viewers would the conceptualization of a character that would never leave the mind of the viewers, keeping them bound to the grief of a tragic hero. Of the many tragic heroes that have been created, the hero of Oedipus remains a favorite who has earned a place as a memorable character. This paper will discuss his character in particular, analyzing how he goes through the various phases of tragedy, ending as a tragic hero. The Prophesy The play Oedipus Rex, is the tragic story of the life of Oedipus, which revolves around the games played on him by fate and his moments of self realization that taunt him through his life. The life of Oedipus is seen to be miserable as he does not know of his past and is completely ignorant about the consequences he will be forced to face for having lived a life free from the complexities of his true birth. Oedipus is the son a King Laius of Thebes and Queen Jacosta who give the child away to be taken care of by foster parents for fear that the prophesies stating that the king would be killed by his son would come true. Oedipus is aware of the prophecy, but does not know that he has been brought up by his foster parents. He leaves the city in an attempt to outplay the Oracle. However, this itself becomes the reason for the tragedies that occur in his life. In the course of the story, we see that Oedipus, according to prophesy, does kill the king due to circumstances that could not be handled otherwise, which set the stage for future Anagnorisism or self-realization and the resultant tragedy. The fact that he is unaware of being the King’s son will, on realization, bring much pain to Oedipus in the future. The second prophesy that he would marry his mother also comes true, when Oedipus is the only one to solve the Sphinx puzzle and has to marry the widowed queen before he can become the King of Thebes. “Oedipus with the answer, but only so that he may enter the grateful city, be hailed as its hero, and marry its widowed queen” (Smith 93). These events form the basis for the tragedy that is to overcome Oedipus when he discovers that he has killed his father and has married his mother. So, the actualization of the prophecies and the resultant events, initiated Hamartia or set the stage for Oedipus to realize his mistakes, and thereby setting stage for the tragedy. Onset of Tragedy It is the belief of the people in the kingdom that the onset of plague is the result of not having punished the King’s murderer. In the kingdom, there was onslaught of plague. He seeks advice from Teiresias, who is blind and yet seems to know about the events that have occurred and the future that Oedipus will have to face. He tells Oedipus about the prophesy and how it has taken shape in reality. Oedipus refuses to believe him and even threatens him but he is left speechless when Teiresias retorts by saying, "you with both your eyes you are blind: You can not see the wretchedness of your life, Nor in whose house you live, nor with whom….You don't even know the blind wrongs that you have done them." (Sophocles 92). This clearly shows that although Teiresias is physically blind, he has better vision of the future. “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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