Master of Tragedies Neil Gaiman once said, “There’s none so blind as those who will not listen.” This quote relates to the theme of sight and blindness in “The Tragedy of Oedipus Rex”. King Oedipus was a man who would not accept the truth about himself. Physically he was not blind but in truth he was. There are three examples of Oedipus’s metaphysical condition of blindness which will be listed as follows. First his denial of being the source of the plague. Second, his egotistical abilities that will form his plot to change his fate. And lastly, the consequences of his denial that will lead him to his physical and emotional destruction. It would seem that in this case, Oedipus’s fate is his own enemy. In the beginning, there is a plague and …show more content…
In response, Creon makes an alleged statement of how Oedipus understands nothing. Oedipus’s lack of vision explains his foolishness in thinking that he is in power, and that he has or is in control of anything and everything. He fastens himself onto the value of hope in exonerating himself. In other words he yearns for the feel of being free from such a shameful intimate prophesy. As the story goes on, it continues to emphasize the aura of desperation that is within Oedipus. Considering the circumstances and analyzing the evidence that will lead to the obvious truth; it is certain that Oedipus will do everything in his power to make change his …show more content…
When the great king of Thebes was revealed the dreadful truth he cries out, “O God! It has all come true. Light, let this be the last time I see you. I stand revealed - born in shame, married in shame, an unnatural murderer” (89). During that time, Jocasta commits suicide. Oedipus discovers the body and is in so much grief he uses the golden pins that held Jocasta’s dress and “spears the pupils of his eyes” (93). This unbearable mishap is the last article of the proclamation that Oedipus carries out. Furthermore, in an attempt to keep his children, Creon advises him to “not be the master in everything. What you once won and held did not stay with you all your lifelong” (107). Oedipus was once a man that was not physically blind but in truth he was. But now in a reversed position, Oedipus is a man that is physically blind but in truth is not. All things considered, Oedipus was in denial and was blinded from truth. As he came closer to the truth he finds himself praying that the prophecy will not come true. His earnestness causes a panic within him that leads him to abuse his power into changing his destiny. But as a result, all thing must come to an end especially Oedipus’s physical sight. Oedipus learns that you can’t control everything in life and also things come and go, they never stay. So instead seeing the truth and believing the lies, it’s best to see the lies and believe in the truth. Otherwise
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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).
Blindness Vs. Sight In the stories Oedipus the King and Antigone, the kings who ruled Thebes are very troublesome men. Oedipus is the main character in Oedipus the King, whom is blinded by killing his father. In the end, he marries his mother and punishes himself for his sins.
After Oedipus realizes that he fulfilled his fate of killing his father and marrying his mother, Oedipus declares,”I have been saved for something great and terrible, something strange. Well let destiny come and take me on its way”(323). Then Oedipus gouges out his own eyes so that he cannot look upon his parents in the underworld, his children, or the city he once ruled. He then asks Creon to return him to the place he should have died as a young child, the mountain. The statement reveals that Oedipus fulfilled his fate and that Oedipus truly believes destiny set him on the path of destruction.
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
Everyone tries to convince themselves that it is all lies when you receive bad news about anything that you don’t believe in. In the play Oedipus the King, written by Sophocles in 430 BC, Oedipus is in denial about who killed the previous king, Laius. The town has asked Oedipus to save them from the disease that has spread killing all the life in town by finding the person who killed Lauis. Oedipus tells the people he will find the culprit and do whatever he needs to do to punish them. When he is given the truth, he is unwilling to accept the truth.
Oedipus was a tragic hero he was seen as a great man and was king,but he fell to misfortune because of his disability to see past his pride and anger which led to his demise. By not being able to see past his pride and anger Oedipus was not able to to avoid his prophetic destiny. He was blinded by his pride and anger so much that it became his tragic flaw ultimately leading him to his
Oedipus the King, by Sophocles, is really a story about the necessity of placing more faith in others and their counsel than in oneself and one’s own beliefs. Repeatedly the titular character is pleaded with to listen to and accept the advice of those around him and each time he refuses to obey. Ultimately, Oedipus’ tendency to do perform the actions he would prefer to do rather than to allow his family to help guide him leads to his downfall and loss of the throne. A common characteristic of Greek tragedy is the “fatal flaw” of the main character and how this flaw leads to the character’s misfortune.
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
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
Although throughout most of the play Oedipus is not physically blind, he is blind to the fact that his fate has come to fruition. When questioned about the former king of Thebes’ death, Oedipus claims that “[he] never saw the man” (Sophocles 7). However, it is later revealed that Oedipus killed the king and that he was his father, thus fulfilling the prophecy. Oedipus’ sight prevents him from seeing the truth and from accepting his fate.
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.
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 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 Rex Henry Rollins once stated, “Weakness is what brings ignorance, cruelty, and pride, all these things that will keep a society chained to the ground, one foot nailed to the floor.” In Sophocles play Oedipus Rex, Oedipus, the king of Thebes, weakness is his fate. Throughout the play, Oedipus is trying to outrun his fate because he feels the gods are subordinate to his powerful figure. Oedipus is seen as a god throughout Thebes because he defeated the mighty Sphinx, who was once haunting over the city. After defeating the Sphinx, Oedipus took over as king by killing his father and coupling his mother as his hubris blinded him from reality.