Study Guide

Oedipus the King Wisdom and Knowledge

By Sophocles

Wisdom and Knowledge

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What could be better than wisdom and knowledge? Um. How about living?

In Oedipus the King, Oedipus is a seeker of knowledge and truth. He struggles to uncover Laius’s murder and his own identity, despite numerous warnings that he should leave the truth alone. His pursuit of knowledge and truth, however, results in ruin as Oedipus uncovers his destiny, which he was better off not knowing. This suggests that knowledge is futile and limited in its ability to bring happiness to those who seek it.

Questions About Wisdom and Knowledge

  1. In Oedipus the King is the pursuit of knowledge futile?
  2. Was it right of Oedipus to seek the truth about his identity despite warnings not to?
  3. Discuss the motif of blindness and sight in the context of the pursuit of knowledge in Oedipus the King.

Chew on This

Knowledge is a burden and ultimately a death threat to those who possess it in the Oedipus the King.