INNOCENCE vs GUILT MEANINGS: Innocence n. ( n -s ns) –The state, quality or virtue of being innocent, as: a. Freedom from sin, moral wrong, or guilt through lack of knowledge of evil. b. Guiltlessness of a specific legal crime or offense. c. Freedom from guile, cunning, or deceit; simplicity or artlessness. d. Lack of worldliness or sophistication; naivete. e. Lack of knowledge or understanding; ignorance. f. Freedom from harmfulness; inoffensiveness. Guilt n. (g lt) – 1. The fact or condition of having committed a legal or moral offense 2. A feeling of remorse arising from a real or imagined commission of an offense It is advantageous if a person has full knowledge. Having that full knowledge can be useful to him/ her in many ways. One can use it to help his/ her own self and other people whenever problems are encountered. He/ she can devise ways to solve whatever problems he/ she or other people might face. He/she can come up with the most effective solutions to the conflicts because he/she already know the causes and effects, consequences and results of each problem and solution. But what is better in having full knowledge is that a person can find ways to avoid the problem; just like in the health posters, ‘Prevention is better than cure’. And if a person cannot avoid it, at least he can be prepared for it. Thus, he/she do not need to experience more pain and sufferings that the problem might bring. Another implication of full knowledge is that one can gain respect and self-esteem. Many people will look highly on him/her because of that full knowledge. They will respect him/her because he/she is a symbol of truth and knowledge. Choragos: This is Teiresias, this is the holy prophet In whom, alone of all men, truth was born”(Fitts and Fitzgerald: 485). Also, people will consider him/her as a great person, which may increase a person’s self-esteem. And because of this, there is a tendency that other people will make him/her leader or ruler of the group or society. And if not a leader, he/she might be regarded as their guide in their lives. But aside from all those advantages of full knowledge, it has also its disadvantage. Having full knowledge can be troublesome, too. First, it is because it might affect a person’s relationship with other people. Some people, if they know that he possesses full knowledge, might not approach him because they are afraid. They think that since he knows all, only their wrong doings and thoughts are the one to be noticed and as a result, they will be mocked or ridiculed by him. Also, people will be scared to face him because of his knowledge about other’s lives, and if they do something unpleasant to him, he might turn back on them. Secondly, it is troublesome because there are facts and situations that are hard to accept. If he cannot accept it, there will be some tendencies that he will become insane, or worst, end his own life. But even if the fact/ situation is already accepted, another problem still arouse, and that is when other people wanted to hear about it. It is hard to speak about what he knows because it may harm others. “Teiresias: How dreadful knowledge of the truth can be when ther’s no help in truth! I knew this well But made myself forget. I should not have come. (Fitts and Fitzgerald: 505). Having only partial knowledge has its own danger. If only partial knowledge is possessed by a person, he might make a mistake or do inappropriate actions. The assumptions he makes about a person or a situation might be wrong, which may lead to another, greater problem. Instead of being able to solve the conflict, it only become worst because the whole detail was not present. Another danger of partial knowledge is that the people will be having a hard time solving the conflict they are facing. And because of it, their sufferings will be prolonged. Choragos: The King was said to have been killed by a highwaymen Oedipus: I know But we have no witnesses”(Fitts and Fitzgerald: 485) One of the problems of Oedipus was that he did know his real origin. The statement “Know thyself” is significant because if Oedipus fully know himself, the crimes he had committed might be prevented from happening. Having known his own self, of course, include his real origin. It is because his origin was of his identity. But since he did not try to discover more about himself, the parricide and incest happened. In the beginning, Oedipus does not examine all of what he has done in his life so far. He only knew what good he has done to the people around him, and that made him too proud. And because of this he did not pursuit to acquire more information about his life. One can not fill a cup that is already full. Oedipus is a tragic character, but at the same time, a pathetic one. He is a tragic because he suffered so much especially when he learned that he is the murderer whom he seeks. He possesses wisdom, power and wealth but because of the crime, all of it went to waste. But Oedipus is also pathetic because he attempt to escape Corinth to avoid the prophecy, yet he ended up fulfilling the prophecy. It is because he did not first confirm if the mother and father that were in the prophecy were Polybos and Merope of Corinth; and he did not find evidences that they were his real parents. If he find evidences, then there is a possibility that his life would not lead to what the prophecy foretold. He’s pathetic because he became a victim (of the incidents that happened upon him), he could only do but to react. Oedipus came to life because of Laios and Jocaste, yet had been wished also by them to be destroyed that in the very beginning, Oedipus has not been given a choice. 3. Yes, Oedipus is morally and legally guilty of his crimes he has committed the action. And parricide and incest is against the moral values and law of the society. His ignorance of information/ knowledge does justify his crimes. Oedipus should have tried to discover more about him. He should have look for evidences that justify that he was the son of Polybos and Merope, especially when he heard what the drunken man have said about him. Oedipus: At a feast, a drunken man maundering in his cups Cries out that I am not my father’s son! ” (Fitts and Fitzgerald: 498) After he heard that, asked his parents about it and learned that it was a lie, he must be comforted and felt at ease already. But a strange feeling was still in his mind, right from then and there, he should have seek for evidences about the statements of the drunk man and his parents. “Oedipus: yet the suspicion remained always aching in my mind. I knew there was talk; I could not rest” (Fitts and Fitzgerald: 499) He should be the one to confirm if what the drunk man said was true or a lie. Even though he already went to Delphi, since he was dismissed, he should be more determined to find the truth about his origin. But since he did not do further investigations, even though he has suspicions, he ended up committing the crimes. On his way to a new journey, though he has a reason, it is still not righteous to slay a man and his guards just to claim a right of way. What is the value of that road compared to the lives of men? Reasonable or not, people decides for themselves thus people have choices and choices are followed by responsibilities.
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