English Oedipus essay - Brian Resnick Oedipus The King, is...

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Brian Resnick Oedipus The King , is paradoxical and unclear in its meaning, and that is why it is great. Charles Segal, a professor at Brown University contends this point in his essay “On the Greatness of Oedipus the King.” Here he observes the central themes of the play: “… the search for the origins and meaning of our life, our balance between one and many selves, our recognition of the large areas of darkness about who we really are, and the effort to explore the essential mystery of selfhood.” Segal then takes these themes and discusses what meaning they might have. However, none of those essential points of the play have any concrete answers. Oedipus’s world and life are mysteries. They are not connected to any one solid theme. Neither fate, self-choice, random circumstances, the will of the gods, nor moral integrity, can truly explain the outcome of any life. Sophocles in this work certainly put forth many questions but, he didn’t bother to answer many of them. The play is clear and observant. However, if a reader begins to ask the question, “why?” the plot will become unclear. The reason why the story line comes to its tragic fruition is simply beyond human comprehension. Why life turns out the way it does is what we search for, though it is something that can never be understood. Sophocles uses various characters which have different view points on those elusive answers. By doing this he makes a keen observation about the world—there are many proposed answers the question “why?” but none of them are correct. The different characters of the play illustrate the different schools of thought
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This note was uploaded on 04/20/2008 for the course ENGL eng234 taught by Professor Nome during the Spring '08 term at University of Delaware.

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English Oedipus essay - Brian Resnick Oedipus The King, is...

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