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Examine the use made by writers of innocence and/or ignorance, comparing the presentation of such elements and their effects on the individual works you have studied.

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Introduction

Comparative Commentary: Examine the use made by writers of innocence and/or ignorance, comparing the presentation of such elements and their effects on the individual works you have studied. Ignorance has impeded human progress, impeded human prosperity. This very characteristic has tainted the world with injustice and allowed ignorant ones to abdicate responsibilities. Within the Greek tragedy 'Oedipus Rex,' and the modern tragedy 'Death and the Maiden,' Sophocles and Dorfman have focused upon this universal trait to depict a microcosm of the world with the political and social issues stemming from ignorance. The central theme of the pursuit of knowledge has been highlighted through employing ignorance as the fundamental trait of the protagonists within both plays. A hierarchical society is portrayed within both plays and male protagonists dominate the peak. They have the ultimate power and power provides soil for ignorance. The male protagonists are ignorant to accept the truth. ...read more.

Middle

Furthermore, Lias' only surviving servant reported that they were attacked by a 'gang of thieves,' ignorant to divulge the truth that Oedipus murdered the entire crew individually. This very lie caused Oedipus to blindly suspect others and ironically curse the murder. 'You said thieves-...I cannot be the killer. One can't equal many.' Purely ignorance has formed the basis of the central conflict within Oedipus Rex. Ignorance is also presented as a foremost quality within Oedipus. Through the climax of the play, Oedipus evolves from an impetuous, ignorant tyrant to a man of denial, a man enclosed by darkness, a tragic hero. The potent truth has elicited self-realization within the protagonist. Gradual revelation of truth has caused a gradual eradication of ignorance within Oedipus. He learns to accept his destiny. Ignorance is eliminated at the resolution of the play and the town of Thebes is redeemed from sin. ...read more.

Conclusion

Roberto too is ignorant. At the climax of the play, Paulina says 'But I'm not going to kill you because you're guilty, Doctor, but because you haven't repented at all.' Dr. Miranda's ignorance has triggered the cycle of sin. His ignorance forbid him to repent. Therefore he could not be redeemed or forgiven. His consequences are left unrequited and Dorman depicts a rhetorical resolution. A parallel is drawn to the consequences of the country when oppressors do not repent. Through employing ignorance within the characters, Dorfman underscores the central theme of pursuit of truth. Within the two plays, 'Oedipus Rex' and 'Death and the Maiden,' the writers use ignorance as a powerful characteristic within the characters. The ways in which this trait is presented, however, is different. Oedipus grows and accepts fate while Roberto refuses sin. Sophocles and Dorfman have depicted a microcosm of reality comprising the social and political problems. Through ignorance, the writers have conveyed to readers that this trait has implanted sin within the society. Physical and spiritual wounds must be healed for human prosperity. ...read more.

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