how sophocles insite into human phycology
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Oedipus Rex unveils certain psychological issues and questions that are irrefutably timeless—they are no less poignant in a modern setting than in that of ancient Greece. In true existential form, Oedipus is forced into that eternal dilemma with the self, asking the question: who am I? For so long, he was able to reply, “Polybos of Corinth is my father. / My mother is a Dorian: Meropê. / I grew up chief among the men of Corinth…” (Scene 2, Antistrophe 2, 730-2) However, upon the first suspicions of his uncertain heritage, Oedipus is consumed by his need for a certain identity, refusing to accept the validity of the life he had lived for so long. This struggle for identity proves to be his downfall, as well as that of his wife and mother Iokastê’s. While observing these issues, the modern student may find that that they are undergoing a similar battle with their own self—although it is very unlikely they will have killed their father and slept with their mother as per prophecy, the question “Who am I?” is something everyone asks themselves during their formative years. Being able to relate to the tragic hero of Oedipus on such a personal level is striking and makes one consider their own identity while the character discovers his.