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What new understanding does Oedipus show as a result of his acceptance of his guilt at...

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rlzillinger | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 13, 2011 at 9:50 AM via web

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What new understanding does Oedipus show as a result of his acceptance of his guilt at the end of the story?

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 13, 2011 at 10:16 AM (Answer #1)

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The brazen and brash nature of Oedipus that had marked his character throughout most of the drama is all but gone in its last moments.  One of the most powerful understandings that the reader or audience is left with is how Oedipus laments all of those who are connected with him.  The fact that Oedipus prays that sensitivity and compassion are shown towards his children, who he feels must pay the ultimate price for his own sins and transgressions.  The result of his tragic flaw is intense suffering, one that will be revisited for some time.  Yet, the fact that he begs everyone for sympathy for his children is reflective of both how much he has changed and how much Oedipus has suffered.  In the end, I think that this becomes a reflection of how Oedipus' understanding has changed.  It is this revelation that enables Oedipus to gain some level of transformation and change as a result of his tragic condition.  In this, Oedipus' pleading for his children represents how a new dimension to his characterization is evident at the end of the drama.

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