The Absence Of Truth Leads To Chaos

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The Absence Of Truth Leads To Chaos In King Lear And Oedipus Rex Essay, Research Paper Throughout history, the absence of truth has caused turmoil between various groups. However, when a false sense of reality is established, the revelation of the truth brings further turmoil to the involved parties. In King Lear, William Shakespeare conveys the concept that the absence of truth causes a state of disorder. Sophocles further elucidates the chaotic nature of a false sense of reality in Oedipus Rex. Deceptive actions lead to future turmoil. An atmosphere of disorder is also created by the inability to see present truths. The unwillingness to accept the true order of events further creates a state of chaos. Failure to seek out truth creates chaos. Deception impairs the pursuance

and recognition of truth. Oedipus is incipiently shown to be an honourable and righteous king. He wants the best for his kingdom. He shows his distinction by listening to the needs of his people. Oedipus searches for the truth concerning the murder of the former king. He believes punishing the assassin will restore order. His admirable intentions are shown when speaking to the chorus, “You shall see how I stand by you, as I should, / Avenging this country and the god as well, / And not as though it were for some distant friend, / But for my own sake, to be rid of evil.” (Sophocles, 138-141). Oedipus desires the best future for his kingdom and is willing to fight to eliminate the problem causing the disruption in order. Upon the will of the gods, he is determined to seek the

murderer of Laios and bring him to justice. He does not realize that he is the chaotic figure, whose unpunished act of regicide has angered the gods. Although he pledges to seek out the truth, others deceive him. The king and queen who raised him do not tell him that he is adopted. Oedipus is therefore unable to quickly see the truth of his heritage. He is raised under a false pretext, which leads to future disorder. When a drunken man negates his legitimacy as the son of Polybos and Dorian of Corinth, he questions the king and queen, “they stormed, calling it all the slanderous rant of a fool” (749-750). They lie to Oedipus to protect him, but they are actually sheltering him from truth that could save Thebes. His kingdom is in a state of chaos due to his inability to

recognize the truth. Angered at the unpunished murder, the gods create a state of turmoil in Thebian society and in nature. Infants die, herds are plagued with infirmity and there is no trust within the empire. Although Oedipus’ pursuit of truth has honourable intentions, the deception of others causes the reality he seeks to seem even harsher and more unbearable. In contrast to Oedipus, deception in King Lear leads to the pursuit of truth. The Earl of Gloucester proves his righteous nature by respecting both his sons in equal measure, even though his youngest, Edmund, is a bastard. His pursuit of truth is made evident when Edmund hides a letter from him, claiming it to be of no importance: “No? What need then that terrible dispatch of / It into your pocket? The quality of

nothing hath not / Such need to hide itself. Let’s see. Come, if it be nothing, I shall not need spectacle” (Shakespeare I, iv, 32-35). Edmund’s deception causes Gloucester’s curiosity for the truth. Gloucester seeks the true nature of matters and believes that everything of importance should be made evident, in order to avoid chaos. Although his intentions are honourable, he is blinded by Edmund’s deception. His son relates falsehoods concerning Edgar’s supposed plot to kill his father and assume his position as Earl. Gloucester hesitantly believes his bastard son and passes harsh judgement on his other son, causing Edgar’s isolation from society. Further disruptions of order later occur, such as Edmund’s ascent into the position of Earl. The turmoil leads to