The Three Thebans Plays – Oedipus The King Personal Response

Towards the end of story, “absurd” was the most powerful word that rung to me about Oedipus The King. This is most evident in our main character’s suffering, Oedipus. Despite being a hero by challenging the Sphinx attacking Thebes and respected by the citizens, I often finds it hard to believe that a man like him had to go through such great tragedy in his life. Therefore, I firmly believe Oedipus falls into the category of a “tragic hero”.  The play also highlights an important notion of “the truth”. “The truth” can be defined, in the context of this play, as Oedipus’s search for his roots: how he was born and who his true parents was. In this search, Oedipus had prepared himself mentally for what was about to come, but never have expected it was right under his nose: that he killed his father at the crossroads a long time ago and married his mother unnoticed. This has led to his gruesome death at the end of the play. By being exposed to this particular notion, I have realized that “the truth” can be, more often than not, hurtful and unexpected.

I have found this play to connect strongly with a school of thought by Albert Camus, Absurdism. This philosophical school of thought implies that: any search for the meaning of life is meaningless, for we can never know why we exist inherently, therefore, absurd. Again, we can link back to Oedipus’s fate, that he have suffered for no reason.  But when we extend our views broader, this philosophical idea makes more sense than we thought. If we consider the tragedies that happened in our life, we will find that sometimes, things happen for reasons that we can never understand. Despite how much we reason our way through, we will soon to meet the conclusion that things do happen, for no reason at all. Then, what we can really do at those moments of life is, to stare into the deep, endless hole of absurdity itself.