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The Pursuit of Truth and Oedipus In Sophocles Oedipus the King the character of Oedipus is painted as a curious and intellectual man who is tragically tainted by the Fate into which he was born The era in which the story takes place was one rich with the constant conflict between the controversial quest for knowledge and truths and the generally accepted and encouraged passivity of unconditional reverence to the Greek pantheon of gods He illustrates this conflict by showing his audience or readers in a modern sense a tragic hero whose apparent hamartia lies between the realms of hubris and impiety The impiety however is subtly disguised as cunning intellect and is less blatant than Oedipuss glaring pride Ultimately his downfall characterizes the natural fallacy of human logic--especially when one is faced with personal dilemmas While it is his pursuit of truth and answers that rewards Oedipus with the kingship of Thebes it is that very search that leads to his tragic downfall His famed sight proves utterly useless and even baneful While Oedipus seeks his own answers Sophocles also leads the audience on a journey which comes only to one conclusion--that very axiom that plagues Oedipus--that no truth no answer is available to anyone through sight and searching alone Any end arrived upon in this manner by utilizing human logic and reasoning is consequently a narrow-minded conclusion that simply reflects preferred outcomes and presuppositions leading one only on a path of denial Oedipuss quest for truth begins early in the play after solving the cursed Riddle of the Sphinx when the citizens of Thebes beg him for his assistance regarding the plague that afflicts the city He vows to arrive at some solution no matter what the cost setting this resolution in stone once Creon returns to Thebes with news from the Oracle at Delphi A murderer is poisoning the city of Thebes Oedipus sets forth on his noble crusade to find
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