The Tricks of Truth Truth is a firm foundation of which we place many if not all of our beliefs.Without truth we have nothing to base our words or our actions on.Therefore out search for truth in life is our most important goal.
Truth itself is a great goal to move towards, but even more important is to know the truth about ones own self.Aristotle taught that knowing the truth about ones self is the highest truth.Clearly borrowing from this idea was Sophocles in his play “Oedipus Rex.”In the play the main character, Oedipus, is on a search for the truth about the murderer of King Laios, in the process he begins to become easily angered which seems to contradict his normally pompous and well tempered attitude, however he does not know that this truth will also reveal the truth about himself, or the ultimate truth. A horrible plague is set on the city of Thebes because of the murder of King Laios twenty years earlier, and it was up to the city to take revenge on the killer.So the noble King Oedipus took it upon himself to find the killer.He issued a decree to the people of Thebes to tell the unknown murderer saying, “I pray that that man’s life be consumed in evil and wretchedness”(p14).Oedipus was diligent in his search for this truth about the killer; he was so very serious that he himself would also undergo the same punishment if he were found guilty.
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- Structure and Outline
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Oedipus would stop at nothing in his search for the truth about this murder.He decreed that anyone who knew anything about the murder had to tell what he or she knew to him by saying, “If any man knows by whose hand Laios, son of Labdakos, Met his death, I direct that man to tell me everything”(p 13).Oedipus himself questioned those who knew anything; and did so in an interrogation style of questioning.
Oedipus was not perfect, and while being accused by a blind seer, Teiresias, he lost his temper and became very angry.Teirsias accused Oedipus of being the cause of the plague by saying, “You yourself are the pollution of this country”(p18).After hearing this Oedipus accused Teiresias of conspiring against him, with his own brother in law, Creon.Oedipus was very quick to jump to the conclusion that Creon was behind Teiresias’ “plot”.Oedipus did not use any evidence when convicting Creon.This shows that Oedipus is.