“Sea of Love” by The National is a song about a person’s experience with love. The narrator compares a sea to love; people fall in love similarly to how people are swept by a wave, unexpectedly. People “slide into the sea” because they “can’t stay here anymore”, meaning that people fall in love because the loneliness is unbearable. The narrator specifically mentions a person named Joe and that he doesn’t want to be dragged down by her. Joe is supposedly a negative influence on the narrator as the narrator speaks in a condescending tone towards her. The lyrics “What did Harvard teach you?” suggests that although Joe went to a prestigious college, she is not a very bright person. The narrator believes that her vices will cause the downfall of him. He thinks that if he stays with her trouble will find him and he’ll never be able to leave. In order to prevent trouble from finding him he must get away from Joe, however Joe has fallen in love with him. In the tragedy Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, Laius is faced with a dilemma of either dying or killing his son. Similarly, the narrator in “Sea of Love” knows he must either break Joe’s heart and leave her or face the consequences of her negative influences.