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The Search for Truth in Oedipus, and Hamlet 1984

Truth is perceived differently among different people. Some subscribe to the idea that the truth hurts. In such case, they prefer to live without pursuing the truth and avoid getting hurt. On the other extreme, there are people who believe that the truth sets people free. This is the stance taken by several people in the society as found in Hamlet written by Shakespeare, Oedipus by Sophocles and 1984 by George Orwell. The pursuit of truth can lead to various outcomes. The thesis of the essay is to discuss and prove which character (Oedipus, hamlet, Winston smith) bears the greatest personal loss.

Oedipus
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The journey of life makes or breaks people because of the choices they make. However, satisfaction is gained in living with a peaceful and conscious heart. Like the journey of life, the pursuance of truth is a challenging and satisfying affair. For instance, Prince Hamlet wants to know who killed his father. He wants to ascertain the truth so that he can avenge for his father’s death. Unfortunately, the findings are hard to bear. He realized that his uncle was the killer who had eventually married his mother. Just like Hamlet, Oedipus wanted to find out why people were dying in his kingdom so that he could save them from the plague. Indeed, lack of the truth creates curiosity, which can make or break people. For instance, the rumor that Oedipus was not the biological son of Polybus and the wife caused him a lot of curiosity, and he decided to find out the truth. He also wants to find out whether king Lauis was killed by thieves or he was responsible for the death. Unlike Oedipus and Hamlet, Winston smith wanted to know why his party did what it did for the sake of knowledge. In addition, he pursues the past truth in order understand what transpired in the past to gain a better understanding. From the different protagonists, it is clear that the truth can be liberating and enslaving.

The immediate action after finding out the truth is taking action. In this regard, Hamlet plots to kill his uncle Claudius. However, he realizes that killing the king would be a difficult task and plots a scheme in order to conceal his true intentions. For example, he decides to feign madness in order avoid suspicion from his ‘parents’. In addition, he decides to stage play the purported cause of his father’s death to gauge the innocence of Claudius. The play depicts how the player king is killed with poison in his ears. From Claudius’s reactions, Hamlet discovers that he was guilty. In addition, he forsakes Ophelia and his love forever. In the same manner, Oedipus inquires the truth from the parents whether they were his biological parents, but they do not tell him. He decides to consult from the Delphic oracle. The oracle tells him of his destiny to kill his own sire. He decided to flee the area to avoid the foretold fate. He also calls for Tiresias to tell him about the murderer but does not tell him the truth. He sends for a shepherd who survived the attack but refuses to say the truth until he is threatened with torture. He realizes he was the murderer, and his parents were Jacosta and Lauis. Oedipus realizes he was the cause of the plague and had slept with his mother. After the intrigues of the omnipresent government, Smith develops a lot of curiosity. For instance, he decides to find out the truth by talking to the elderly people who lived before the revolution for they could know what it was like. Smith decides to join hands with society. He also expressed his thoughts to Mr. Charrington. Evidently, the actions taken in response to the truth may be more damaging and frightening than the truth itself.

The actions taken by people may lead to more damage than good. For instance, Hamlet kills Polonius instead of Claudius because of the haste created by anger he had towards Claudius. The death of Polonius causes hamlet to flee from his home. Moreover, his actions lead to the death of his mother and his love Ophelia. In addition, hamlet eventually dies. While on the way, Oedipus gets into an argument with king Laius-his father and kills him. Upon finding out the whole truth, he blinds his eyes and begs to be exiled from the kingdom. Moreover, he loses his wife and mother who commit suicide. He faces abandonment of children form Jacosta as well. From 1948, the government realizes the motives of people and scrutinizes its monitoring. For instance, it sets up hidden mini cameras and microphones to monitor people’s moves. The truth kills Smith from within as he loses his love Julia. In addition, he suffers mentally and physically after losing his individuality.

Indeed the consequences of people’s actions tend to follow them up to the grave. Some may pay with their belongings, assets, wives while others pay for the truth with their own lives. For instance, Smith loses his love while Hamlet loses his own life. Out of the three characters, Oedipus bears the greatest lose in his pursuit of truth. This is because he does not hurt anyone in his search for truth. However, Hamlet causes loss of lives such as his love Ophelia while Smith is ready to kill people in search of the truth. Oedipus seeks the truth for the greater good of the society.

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