Saturday, February 01, 2003

What is Oedipus' hamartia then? Obviously it is not bad temper,
suspiciousness, hastiness in action -- for his punishment does not fit
these crimes; not ignorance of who his parents are -- for ignorance of
this type is not culpable; still less murder and incest -- for these
things are fated for him by the gods. No, Oedipus' blind spot is his
failure in existential commitment; a failure to recognize his own
involvement in the human condition, a failure to realize that not all
difficulties are riddles, to be solved by the application of disinterested
intellect, but that some are mysteries, not to be solved at all, but to be
coped with only by the engagement, active or passive, of the whole self.

Richmond Y. Hathorn as quoted in Asides: the Shakespeare Theatre 2001-2002
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