The importance of truth and knowledge (especially self-knowledge) as a theme of Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

As part of the requirements of this course, you will write a research paper related to our study of drama. You should select one of the plays we are studying as the basis of your paper and research the subject by locating appropriate, reliable, and relevant material from expert authorities to inform your understanding and support your ideas. I will expect your paper to be correctly organized with an introduction that sets up your discussion and presents a thesis about the chosen play, followed by in-depth analysis and support that incorporates your research material, and ending with a conclusion that emphasizes the significance of your points. You should follow these guidelines in creating your paper:

1). The paper will be 6-8 pages long (1500-2000 words).

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2). You must use the current MLA format for the citations and works cited page.

3). There must be a minimum of 7 sources (including the play itself as one of those sources). All the sources must have an author or authors identified by name.

HERE ARE SOURCES TO USE (One more required)
Champlin, Marjorie W. “‘Oedipus Tyrannus’ and the Problem of Knowledge.” The Classical Journal, vol. 64, no. 8, 1969, pp. 337–345. JSTOR,

This text examines the elements of knowledge in the play, and explores its thematic relevance. In detail, Champlin conveys knowledge as a fundamental part of the sense of sight. She explains this correlation between the Greek mind, sight, and acquiring knowledge. She describes Oedipus’s main conflicts to be derived from human limitations, his lack of knowledge. She also describes the theme of truth and its correlation to having intuitive knowledge. This is relevant as it explains the connection between self-discovery, truth, and Oedipus’s quest for knowledge. will use this source to explain the significance of truth and knowledge in the play.

Hathorn, Richmond Y. “The Existential Oedipus.” The Classical Journal, vol. 53, no. 5, 1958, pp. 223–230. JSTOR,

This text reveals the theme of existentialism and its correlation to self-discovery and knowledge. In detail, he explains how man, unlike other animals, has the capability to have knowledge about the past, present, and future. He reveals that a flaw of Oedipus revolves around the failure to look deep within ourselves for truth, answers, and evil. He describes this blindness to one’s inner self as “a failure to recognize his own involvement in human condition” (1). This is relevant as it reveals the theme of knowledge through Oedipus’s flaws and existential crises. I will use this source to examine the theme of self-knowledge and truth in the play.

Hoey, Thomas F. “On the Theme of Introversion in ‘Oedipus Rex.’” The Classical Journal, vol. 64, no. 7, 1969, pp. 296–299. JSTOR,

This text explores the play’s focus on introspection and self-knowledge. In detail, it reveals the theme of introversion and being introspective to solve problems of one’s [Oedipus] identity. He explains introspection to be a key factor in Oedipus and quest for self-knowledge, and his development as a character. This is relevant as it aids with Oedipus’s character development and self-discovery. I will use this source to explain the significance of self-knowledge in the play.

Kekes, John. “Self-Knowledge and Convention.” Philosophy, vol. 61, no. 237, 1986, pp. 313–329. JSTOR,

This journal examines Oedipus’s downfall as a result of self-knowledge. In detail, he explains how Oedipus is led to self-disgust and as a result of self-discovery, specifically of his own horrors and evil. He furthers this by arguing that constant self-reflection and evaluation leads to the discovery of the barbaric sides of ourselves. This is relevant as Oedipus’s downfall is linked to his quest for knowledge, and finding his inner truths. I will use this source to examine the pursuit of self-knowledge and its effects on Oedipus’s character.

Versényi, Laszlo. “Oedipus: Tragedy of Self-Knowledge.” Arion: A Journal of Humanities and the Classics, vol. 1, no. 3, 1962, pp. 20–30. JSTOR,

This journal conveys the play as being a tragedy of human knowledge. He furthers this by arguing that the characterization of Oedipus revolves around the subject of his “sight” (5) or quest for knowledge is nothing other than himself. He asserts that it is “inverted sight and self-direction” is the path to Oedipus’s self revelation. However, he also claims that this ultimately leads him on a path of self-destruction. This is relevant as it explains the events that lead to his downfall, and how his search for truth/knowledge plays a pivotal factor. I will use this to explain the overall theme of self-knowledge and truth as it appears in the play.

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