The truth is hard to admit, especially to ourselves. The way we as humans deal with it, is by blaming others and finding scapegoats with or without reason. Whether it is blaming our parents for ruining our weekend and not letting us go out because we haven’t cleaned our room in a month, or a manager blaming his or her their employees team members because they lost the million dollar contract due to the managers lack of communication, these are common aspects of our lives in which we let our fear of criticism blame others.
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Sophocles’ play, Oedipus the King, embodies this exact mindset within the main character Oedipus. The play revolves around the mystery of the murder of the previous king of Thebes, Laius. While Oedipus, the new king of Thebes, is trying to find the murderer of King Laius, he uncovers that the person he is searching for is himself.
Throughout the play, Oedipus displays hubris. After talking to the blind prophet, Tiresias, he is told that the murderer is himself. In denial, he accuses his brother-in-law Creon, the man who met with the prophet earlier. Confronting Creon, he is repeatedly found ignoring Creon’s explanations of the situations and blaming him without cognizance. Creon notices Oedipus’ disregard and comments, if he thinks, stubbornness without sense is a good gift [he is] not wise (Sophocles 140). Creon explains that for Oedipus to think he is justified to make such a grave accusation without any proof or reason, is foolish. Even so, Creon still gives him the benefit of the doubt and advises him in answer to [his] words hear a fair replay, and then judge for [himself] on knowledge (Sophocles 140). No innocent person would blame his brother in law of treason without evidence, but Oedipus was refuting the truth. Towards the end of the play, Oedipus begins to confront the truth. The herdsman is on the dreaded brink of speech while he tells Oedipus the truth. Oedipus responds, and I am of hearing; yet must I hear (Sophocles 157). At this point, Oedipus has finally agreed to listen to the truth no matter what it maybe: in opposition towards him or for him. Denying the truth and blaming others was wrong; either way he was forced to confront the truth. He was still burdened and tormented by it to the point where he blinded himself due to his incapability of looking at his wrongdoings.
This aspect of the play has even occured in my own life and has the same foolishness to it. My family was about to leave from vacation, and my sister could not find her Beats headphones, after claiming that she has checked everywhere. She persisted that she had left the headphones on the bed side table before the housekeeping ladies came and that they must have stolen it. After reporting a lost item, the hotel security came in to talk to us and take a final check of our luggage as a part of their protocol. Ironically enough, the headphones were hidden between the clothes in her messy suitcase. Similar to Oedipus, my sister was stubborn and believed she could not possibly be wrong. She assumed someone had stolen her headphones without any proof and did not thoroughly look through her suitcase. All the commotion could have been avoided if she had just been more mindful of her headphones and less stubborn to think she may have been the problem.
Within social media, everyone knows the name Jake Paul. He is a Youtuber, and his channel consists of doing crazy things that you wouldn’t see any normal person doing for views: losing a $100,000 watch, getting arrested, destroying his neighbors and his own house. His audience being between the ages of 8 to 16 are definitely influenced by him and his antics. He believes that his content on Youtube inspires kids to stand up to their bullies and think positively about negative situations, but contrarily tells them that teachers are bad and conveys that his viewers should force their parents to buy them his merchandise. Jake Paul’s denial of his deceitful power and influence over his millions of subscribers is wrong and to tell skeptical parents that they don’t necessarily understand his movement if they haven’t really looked into and researched what [he] is doing and just kinda reading headlines, is far from the truth. Obviously, the headlines is what people pay attention to and not so much to the hidden positive messages in the videos. The kids who watch his video want to be him and if doing exactly what he tells them to do is what it takes that is what will happen. To blame the parents for not understanding their movement is just a cover up for what his videos actually mean. Just as Oedipus blames Creon for his mistakes, Jake Paul blames the parents of his views for not understanding his videos.
Confronting the truth is something we all have to do during our lives. No matter how much better we feel after transferring the blame onto someone else, ultimately it won’t help us learn from the ramifications of our mistakes. Oedipus denied the truth, blamed Creon without any proof and seemed foolish because of it. In the end he was forced to face the truth and dealt with the consequences. Ironically, Oedipus trying to pass the blame onto Creon for wanting the throne, gave it to him anyway after being banished.
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