In the book Oedipus Rex, what can be learned from the way Oedipus responds and reacts to the self-realization he undergoes?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is difficult to be able to place oneself in the shoes of Oedipus, primarily because I am not certain if anyone would want to have borne the burden placed upon his shoulders.  Killing one' father and marrying one's mother might not be something anyone in their right mind would be eager to undertake.  Yet, in terms of how Oedipus handles realizations on this level, one might be able to take something from it.  Initially, Oedipus receives warnings about his condition, his fate, and the presence of it in his life.  This might be one way in which individuals could gain insight from Oedipus' predicament.  Namely, that humans must always be aware that insight and understanding arrive at times that might be found inconvenient or unpleasant, and their presence cannot be largely ignored.  At the same time, the ability to adapt and accept conditions, away from an idealized notion of the good to a more practical and workable one might be another way in which individuals can react in a more productive manner to self realization than Oedipus.