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
To release himself of his prideful ways, Oedipus took it upon himself to discard the eyes that failed to see the truth. To amend the situation he, “raised [the ornament] down straight into his eyeballs.” University of Pennsylvania Professor, Peter T. Struck, established a literary commentary in which he wrote, “by blinding himself, as opposed to committing suicide, Oedipus achieves a kind of surrogate death that intensifies his suffering.” Struck agrees that by committing this self-inflicted retribution, Oedipus is redeeming himself for his sins in a way that death would not allow him to do. Now that Oedipus is finally able to see the truth, he recognizes his mistakes and exclaims, “I don’t deserve to live among you…send me from Thebes”(p.80).
After finding his mother, Oedipus blinds himself and begs to be banished, which he is. Thus the prophecy became fulfilled. According to litcharts.com, “Oedipus, a man of action, describes blindness as an inability to see. Tiresias, the seer, describes it as an inability to see the truth. In calling Tiresias a false prophet, Oedipus shows his willingness to fight against any prophecy he disagrees with” (Study Guide).
A main theme throughout The Odyssey is the idea of fate vs. free will, which is also largely consistent throughout Oedipus Rex. However, instead of exclusively exploring the involvement of both fate and free will in the human condition, Sophocles analyzes the limits of human free will and the consequences of ignoring or attempting to avoid fate. Throughout the play, we see both Oedipus and his parents constantly running from their fate. They make almost every possible move to avoid their inevitable fate. Through this presentation of free will, Sophocles suggests that although humans have the independence to make their own choices, these choices will ultimately result in whatever condition they were predestined to encounter.
Oedipus became blind by trying to escape his fate, as well as the pride and arrogance he had developed. In the text the author states, “And if this killer lives within my house, and if I know him, then may I myself receive the curse I just now laid upon his head” (43).
Mythology reveals details about the social, religious, and philosophical beliefs of early civilizations. Myths also expose flaws of human nature. Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold reveals that it is easier to accept a distorted sense of self and reality rather than face the truth. Orual insists that her struggles are caused by the gods, but in the last section of the novel, the main character, also the narrator, reveals the role she plays in her own painful journey. The protagonist finally “faces” some difficult truths, and holds herself accountable for the hardships she causes or endures.
But, he was also a good man, father, husband, and king, and for this reason he is mourned over for his loss of fortune. One of the themes in Oedipus Rex is physical and metaphorical blindness. In Greek culture, those who were physically blind were said to have metaphorical "vision" and were messengers of the gods. For example, In the beginning, Oedipus is blind, not physically, but metaphorically because he does not know the
This personal tragedy for Oedipus was discovering the truth and becoming blind because of it. It completed the prophecy that Oedipus had received from Tiresias, the blind prophet. Tiresias told Oedipus that he had come into Thebes with his sight but would leave Thebes without it. The physical blindness that Oedipus had also left him with wrongs of his life, with nothing to look at Oedipus was forced to think about his life, wrongdoings, and what had happened. Essentially he was forced to deal with it.
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
Throughout the play Oedipus the King by Sophocles, there is continual use of vision and blindness foreshadowing the events to come near the end of the play due to Oedipus’ ignorance. Ironically, most of the main characters with their sight still intact are blind to the truth and revelations that come to pass while the few that are blind see what is to come and what becomes of those spoken of in the prophecy. In a paradoxical trend, sight in the play can equal deception or ignorance while blindness represents truth or revelation. Oedipus is a brash man.
Blindness is also a motif recited numerously during the story, from times before the story right down to the end, reflecting the wise and ignorance in the characters of Oedipus Rex. Sophocles, interestingly, seems to have grouped the characters of the play into two distinctive groups, the ones who can “see” and the ones who can’t “see”. This contrast of seeing and not seeing is becomes overt when the prophet Tiresias enters the stage. Tiresias is literally blind, but he can see clearly of not only Oedipus ' past, present, but also the horror in his future. Oedipus ' eyes works fine, but he 's completely blind of the ugly fate that gods have placed upon him.
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.
Oedipus’ blindness, figuratively speaking, was based on his perspective. He may not be entirely at fault for the reasons behind the plague on Thebes, but it was due to his ignorance which led him to his downfall. In Oedipus’ perspective, it was logical to leave Corinth after hearing about the prophecy due to the fact the he believed that his parents were the king and queen of Corinth. His blindness to the idea that they were not his
Oedipus The King by Sophocles Theme of Blindness Sophocles was a prolific writer and his long life enabled him to have a prodigious literary output. There is always a deep philosophic content at the back of Sophocles’ plays. Men suffer in the tragedies of Sophocles, characterisation always charged with emotion and poetry guesstimates the growth and development of his dramatic genius. One of the main underlying themes in Oedipus Rex is blindness.
Introduction The story of Oedipus the king is gloomy, yet captivating. Going from a child bond around the feet and abandon by the mountainside, to marrying his mother, his story is intriguing. In search of the truth about the prophecy and putting an end to a plague Oedipus, search for king Laius’s killer, did somethings inadvertently, making him a tragic hero. His search for truth in the death of Laius the king, as well as his birth led to the ultimate destruction and downfall of his life.