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Oedipus the King: Quest for Self-Knowledge

Siyu Chen

School of Foreign Languages, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, Shandong Province 266000, China.

*Corresponding author: Siyu Chen

Published: September 5,2022 How to cite this paper


The theme of Oedipus the King is the conflict between Oedipus' desire to know himself and his opposing desire to conceal the truth that will bring disaster. In response to the doom suffered by such a hero who has done countless good deeds for his people and his country, the author voices doubts about the justice of God, complains about the injustice and cruelty of fate, and praises the strong will and heroic behavior of the main character in his struggle with fate. It’s his complex character and conflict over self-knowledge that makes the tragedy a rich source of inspiration for psychoanalytic concept formation and provides a deeper understanding of emotional and cognitive development. Fate and Oedipus both lose, with fate inviting criticism and disgust for its evil and irrational nature, and Oedipus inviting suffering for his active resistance; at the same time, both gain a win-win situation, with the inevitability of fate making people realize the finite and tragic nature of life, and Oedipus' resistance making people realize that man's destiny is actually in the process of self-writing, not in the end.

KEYWORDS: Oedipus the King, Self-knowledge, Sophocles


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How to cite this paper

Siyu Chen. Oedipus the King: Quest for Self-Knowledge. OAJRC Social Science, 2022, 3(1), 86-90.

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