The plot of Oedipus the King begins when a plague strikes Thebes and its citizens turn to their king, Oedipus, for guidance. To find out what is causing this plague, he consults with the oracle at Delphi and discovers that it is punishment from the gods for an unsolved murder that took place in Thebes. Unbeknownst to him at the time, this murder was actually carried out by him years ago when he killed an unknown man on his way to Thebes. Throughout his search for justice and truth, he learns more and more about who he really is and how he unknowingly fulfilled an ancient prophecy by killing his own father and marrying his mother.
At multiple points throughout the story, Oedipus ignores what may be true or rejects evidence presented to him which could help him discover who killed his predecessor, Laius. He chooses instead to focus on other possible suspects or events that may have led to Laias’ death rather than accepting what might actually be true—he himself was responsible for Laias’ murder. Similarly, even after hearing countless stories confirming that he had killed a man while traveling years earlier, he still denies it until finally realizing it is true when confronted with physical evidence—the very same pin used in Laias’ murder was found in his possession after all these years.
Sophocles emphasizes how dangerous it can be when individuals choose not to accept what is true or ignore evidence because this comes with significant consequences for both themselves and those around them.