Oedipus Rex or Oedipus the King

Scene II

In trying to console her husband and assure him that he could be guilty of Laius's death what does Jocasta say that alarms Oedipus?

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Throughout the “Letter,” Dr. King is careful to measure his tone, to avoid validating any knee-jerk anxieties that his audience might feel. And yet he does not carry this restraint to the point of apologizing for encouraging tension. Instead, he embraces and justifies the importance of tension. The allusion to Socrates is important, since Western civilization treats the Greek thinker as an archetype of wisdom. In truth, King is concocting a syllogism – if Socrates is good, and Socrates was right to create tension so that the mind could grow, then tension is good for inspiring mankind to grow. He is careful to stress that the tension he supports is “nonviolent,” but he does not make his intentions unclear. Similarly, the passage slyly integrates the stakes of inaction into its construction. In its final lines, Dr. King implies that proceeding without tension is going to leave man in “the dark depths of prejudice and racism.” It is a passive, implicit warning that addressing segregation without tension would be not only ineffective, but dangerous.