Oedipus the King is a tragedy that was written by Sophocles that emphasizes the irony of an irony of a man who was determined to trace down, expose and punish an assassin who in turn became him. Oedipus the King is also known as Oedipus Rex or Oedipus Tyrannus. The art is an Athenian play that was performed in ages approximated to be 429 BC. Oedipus the King would later in the play fulfill the prophecy that he would kill his father and later on marry his mother. There is a twist of an event in the play where Oedipus is looking for the murderer of his father to bring to a halt the series of plagues that are befalling Thebes but only to find he is in search of himself (Rado, 1956). After thing coming to light, Oedipus feel horrified about the …show more content…
He has been blinded to the truth ever since his whole life while Teiresias is blind and got no sight, but he is capable to see clearly the past, present and even the future (Rado, 1956). This brings the comparison between the physical sight and vision. Blindness and vision are two different things as brought out clearly in the play. Knowledge is in no way attached to the physical sight as one can be able to see but they had no vision as in the case of Oedipus the King and Teiresias (Calame, 1996). Oedipus feels that Teiresias is inferior compared even to him and cannot cause any threat to him, however, much he has the sight advantage; he has no exposure to the knowledge which Teiresias has. Having been given many hints in his life, Oedipus cannot detect and know the truth. He is blind, to the extent that he could not even understand his life and does not even want to accept his origin. In this way, we get to know the contrast between eyesight and insight (Calame, 1996). After Oedipus realizing and coming to know the truth, he gets out his eyes so as to have the vision (Calame, 1996). He removes his eyes so as not to see his children and siblings who would remind him of his actions. He claims that there is no pleasure in seeing when it’s all pain that one has to …show more content…
It's great ignorance to have physical sight when you are ultimately blinded by the truth that you cannot see as in the case of Oedipus. The king makes ironical statement to Teiresias of how he cannot be hurt by Teiresias (Calame, 1996). This later turn to Oedipus equating physical blinded to ignorance as he removes his eyes so as not to see his terrible actions. The play displays Oedipus two encounters of blindness. The blindness of having the eyesight but cannot see and the blindness of poking his eyes so as not to see again the social evils that he had done (Calame, 1996). His metaphorical blindness came out of pride, ignorance and as a result of the people who knows the truth and hide it from him. The second bit of his blindness comes out of shame that makes him want to avoid seeing the cause of his actions. Comparing Teiresias and Oedipus the King, Teiresias has the insight and knowledge when Oedipus has eyesight without knowledge that is termed as ignorance (Calame, 1996). Oedipus out of pride and ability to see feels that he knows the truth while he is far from the truth. Teiresias is blind but knows the truth of the past, present, and future of Oedipus. The reverse occurs when the truth is revealed, and Oedipus seeks blindness to hide away from the same truth he claimed to have been aware
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
He finds out that his mother is his wife and that he killed his father, The former king. Finding all of this out, Oedipus becomes his own prosecutor, and then his own judge and punisher. This story suggests that knowledge is vain and constrained in its capacity to convey happiness to the individuals who look for it. Sophocles certainly wasn’t timid about the symbol sight vs. blindness; words like
1. In Oedipus Rex, the audience already knows that Oedipus killed his father, the king. Oedipus himself is still trying to figure out who killed the king of Thebes but he doesn’t know that he is the one who killed the king until the very end of the play. We as an audience already know the prophecy foretells that Oedipus will kill his father and marry his mother. An ironic quote is “Then hear, I’ll not be proved a murderer.
It is very common for myths to have a character who is either blind, mad, or acts impulsively. From some of the most ancient works such as The Epic of Gilgamesh, through Shakespeare, and even the most common fairy tales, these common character types appear. In works such as The Oresteia, “Oedipus the King”, and the Grimm Brother's telling of “Rapunzel”, there is at least one character whose blindness, whether metaphorical or physical leads to the downfall of either themselves, or others. In The Oresteia, more specifically the opening play “Agamemnon”, there are multiple characters who are blind in some way.
Sight and blindness play a major role in the play Oedipus The King. Oedipus believes that he knows what is best; while, in reality he is blind to the truth. Once Oedipus is no longer blind to the truth he realizes that attempts to change his fate are futile. The significance of being able to see both figuratively and literally is emphasized in the story of Oedipus. For example when Teiresias says, “ You have your eyes but see not where you are in sin” (I, 483), this quote expresses that they do not only mean physical blindness, but they refer to Oedipus’ ignorance as well.
The symbolic implication that comes of Oedipus blinding himself is he has seen too much evil and would rather see nothing than more evil. “What’s there left for me to see…?” P.44 Oedipus here say he has seen too much and that what he has seen will taint everything he sees thereafter. I do not find this courageous nor heroic, I believe blinded himself to not see what he had done, to not be reminded of his deeds, even by seeing his
The three points to my essay are as follows: the blindness in knowledge, blindness in truth, and lastly, physical blindness. Even though Oedipus is wise, he is extremely close minded. “There is, not for you, you sightless, witless, senseless,
While seeking to discover who killed the former King of Thebes, Oedipus, the newly appointed King inquires guidance form the prophet blind Tiresias. During their encounter, Oedipus is accused as the murderer. Not only that, but Tiresias also informs Oedipus that the former King was his biological father, and the woman he now calls his wife is his biological mother. The conversation escalates and Oedipus states “…if you weren’t blind, if you still and eyes to see with, I’d say you, and you alone did it all” (Sophocles 472-473). Referring to the murder of the former King, Oedipus’ ad hominine points towards the physical blindness of the prophet.
Many people know the story of Oedipus. His hero’s journey mixed with his tragic fate make for an unforgettable story. While many people realize that theme of blindness and sight is impossible to ignore throughout the text, there is perhaps a harder to find, deeper meaning behind this theme. While the most memorable part of the play continues to be Oedipus blinding himself, the theme of blindness shows up countless other times. This theme of blindness versus sight does not just simply encompass physical sight, but also metaphorical sight.
Not just physical blindness, but intellectual blindness as well. The issue of blindness is utilized as an effective contrasting technique for Oedipus at different points in the play. Simply talking about blindness, however, is a little ambiguous. It can be broken down into two components: Oedipus 's ability to "see" (ignorance or lack thereof), and his willingness to "see". The word "see" can be used in both contexts here.
Oedipus experienced blindness figuratively and eventually literally. The concept of sight and blindness in Oedipus Rex teaches many lessons. One lesson is that seeing something is based on one’s perspective, therefore it will not always be experienced the same way among different people. It depends on the way people perceive the information they receive.
Oedipus the King is one of the most ironic plays ever written. Sophocles, the author, is a famous philosopher of the ancient times The Play is about Oedipus, the king of Thebes, who kills his father and marries his mother. An oracle warned Laius, the king of Thebes prior to Oedipus, that his son would murder him. Accordingly, when his wife, Jocasta, had a son, he exposed the baby by first pinning his ankles together. The infant, who was adopted by King Polybus of Corinth and his wife was then brought up as their very own.
Jocasta encourages him to “not concern [himself] about this matter; listen to [her] and learn that human beings have no part in the craft of prophecy” (707-9). Their continual denial to admit the truth reflects the concept that knowledge does not exist for those who have power to act upon it. Moreover, in his closing speech, Oedipus acknowledges that he cannot be the ruler he wished he was when he is “seeing nothing, knowing nothing” (1484). By blinding himself, Oedipus removes any power he has from himself and acknowledges his ignorance. Ironically, at this point Oedipus proves to be more knowledgeable than at any other point in the play, despite his statement that he knows nothing.
Tiresias reveals that Oedipus has been blind to the truth his whole life and when he finally does find the truth, he loses his physical vision. Due to the truth, Oedipus blinds himself. In this case, those who are blind ultimately do have a higher vision- the truth. The theme of sight versus blindness in Sophocles’ work Oedipus the King is portrayed through
In Oedipus Rex written by Sophocles, the people of Thebes are begging their new king Oedipus to help end the plague. The only way to end the plague is to find their previous ruler’s killer. Throughout the play, Oedipus takes on the task to try and find him. Oedipus asks Teiresias, a blind prophet, for help as to who the killer is and is told about his prophecy that states he will kill his father. This leads to Oedipus finding out he was given away as a child to be killed to end the prophet.