Oedipus The King Research Paper

642 Words3 Pages
If He Had Only Known Swollen-foot, or Oedipus, is a classic example of not knowing your true identity. Oedipus the King was a playwright, written by Sophocles in Ancient Greece in 429 B.C. Oedipus’ situation in the play reminded me of the temple at Delphi, which had “Know thyself” carved over the entrance. “Know thyself” means to figure out who you really are before you do something potentially harmful. Although it seems that Oedipus knows who he is, he is mistaken about his true identity. If Oedipus really knew his identity, he would know that he was from the royal family in Thebes. Had he known this, he would not have harmed Thebes with a plague and he would not have hurt himself by gauging his own eyes out. Before Oedipus was born,…show more content…
After hearing this prophecy, they pinned their son Oedipus’ feet together and sent a servant to leave him on a mountain. The servant didn’t want to leave Oedipus to die on the mountainside, so he gave the baby to a couple, Polybus and Merope, after explaining the prophecy to them. They raised Oedipus as their own child without telling him he was adopted. Years later, he heard about the prophecy. Because he thought Polybus and Merope were his true parents, he ran away from them to avoid this fate. After he ran away, he killed an old man who happened to be both his father and the King of Thebes. This murder brought a plague upon Thebes. The city of Thebes grew fond of Oedipus and he eventually married the queen, Jocasta. As king, he needed to find a cure for the plague. He learned that the purge…show more content…
He thought he was a leader from a Corinthian heritage when really, he was born into a Theban blood line of the king and queen. If Oedipus knew his heritage, then he wouldn’t have killed Laius and married Jocasta. “Oh, what have I done? I think that I have laid a dreadful curse on myself and never knew it.”(716, 717) he cried after he found out that he had killed his father and married his mother, thereby making the prophecy true. He then spent the rest of his life wandering around to places where no one would know his name (1390), gaining knowledge to compensate for a lack of knowing himself. All of this supports that if he would have known his true identity, perhaps Thebes would not have had its plague and it wouldn’t have lost multiple rulers over such a short time

More about Oedipus The King Research Paper

Open Document