From ignorance to knowledge: a Foucault’s reading of Oedipus, The king

Fabiano Incerti


The aim of this paper is to verify how the problem
of knowledge is developed in Foucault’s readings of the
tragedy, Oedipus the King. Between the discovery of himself
and the revelation of truth that liberates Thebes, it happens
in Oedipus the passage from ignorance to knowledge, which
delimits, throughout the entire play, a complex game of knowledge:
listening and vision knowledge; distance and presence
knowledge; kings knowledge and the slave hut background
knowledge; prediction and testimony knowledge; knowledge
that voluntarily withdraws from the enigma and knowledge
that lurks beneath the fear and only the threat can extract
it. For Foucault, Oedipus holds an excess knowledge which
determines his character, his mode of action and destiny.


Knowledge; Oedipus the King; Michel Foucault; Greek Tragedy


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