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Accepting Responsibility in Oedipus Rex

             In the tragedies of Sophocles, human responsibility plays.
             an important role to the significance of the characters. Oedipus accepts responsibility as .
             a tragic hero, as does Antigone. It seems however, that Antigone shows a greater .
             willingness to accept her responsibility.
             Oedipus" basic flaw is his lack of knowledge of his own identity.
             He starts out as a good king, and finds out laios is killed, threatening the killer to a severe .
             punishment. He doesn't know, however, that is was actually him that killed him until .
             later. Oedipus' unyielding desire to uncover the truth about Laius' murder and the mystery .
             surrounding his own birth, led him to the tragic realization of his horrific deeds. .
             Teiresias, Jocasta, and the herdsman tried to stop him from pursuing the truth. Take for .
             example a part of the last conversation between Jocasta and Oedipus. After realizing that .
             the prophecy had came true, Jocasta begs him to let the mystery go unsolved for once. .
             "No! By the gods, no; leave it if you care for your own life. I suffer." "Tis enough". Oedipus replies, I cannot yield my right to know the truth". He is unable to stop his quest for the truth, even under his wife's pleading. For it is in his own vain that he must solve the final riddle of his own life. At the end of this tragic story, when Oedipus gouges out his eyes, it shows his willingness to accept his responsibility. He fulfills his punishment to the killer of Laios as promised earlier, even though the killer is him. He seems to be very willing to accept his responsibility, since he does not commit suicide, instead gives himself a life of blindness and misery. However, in Sophocles" Oedipus at Colonus, he seems to pity himself greatly, and also his daughters, understandably. When someone mentions what he did, he does not want to hear it, and blames it on his fate, not of his choice. The chorus says "You sinned", and he exclaims, "No, I did not sin!" (114).

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