Nearly everything Oedipus says reveals his lack of knowledge. Oedipus says, “Whoever murdered him may also wish to punish me” (139-140). In this one phrase, Oedipus shows the audience that he does not know who killed the king, for he would not come to punish himself. He says he will search out the answers “as if for my own father” (329), when ironically that is precisely what he is doing. When talking about the fate of the searched-for murderer, Oedipus says it will not be cruel. However, the reader finds out later that he creates for himself what may be considered a more severe punishment- scarring his eyes. Perhaps the most ironic and two-fold example of irony is that Oedipus criticizes Tiresias for being physically blind. The man may not
Sophocles states that “But the hand that struck my eyes was mine, mine alone--no one else-- I did it all myself!” (Oedipus-1469-1471). Oedipus is owning up to his own actions and establishes his own sense of moral responsibility because he does not blame the gods for what happened, but himself. He says that “the hand that struck my eyes” were his own, expressing that he chose to blind himself due to the great moral responsibility he feels to own up for the action he did. The drive of curiosity and the consequences of complex minds do not just apply to Oedipus. Sophocles provides an excerpt from Teiresias stating, “Alas, how terrible is wisdom when it brings no profit to the man that 's wise! This I knew well, but had forgotten it, else I would not have come here” (Teiresias, 342-345). The pursuit of wisdom or knowledge is driven by curiosity and Teiresias expresses that wisdom brings no good to man. The urge of curiosity is so strong that even Tiresias, a prophet that can see everything, forgets about the “no profit” disadvantage that comes along with the pursuit of knowledge that is caused by
Oedipus is a brash man. With the heroic light the people of Thebes have him under, he gladly baths in it. In an obstinate fashion he tells his subjects he will rid the kingdom of the plague by finding King Laius’ killer and goes forth to do so. This leads him to look to Tiresias, a prophetic man without sight. Oedipus then commands to get answers that will help him uncover the mystery of the death of the previous King. Tiresias respectively rejects to answering the questions remembering his place but Oedipus forges on his path for answers and an argument ensues: “…You are blind in mind and ears as well as in your eyes” (Sophocles 391-392). “…You have called me blind, but you have your eyes but see not where you are in sin. Do you know who your parents are? And of the multitude of other evils between you and you children, you know nothing” (Sophocles 432-452). In a rage Oedipus denies Tiresias’ words and claims to not know what he talks about due to
He blinded himself as a punishment for what he had done in his life. It is ironic that he blinded himself to hide acts of violence before him when he himself committed horrific acts of violence within his own life (Haque and Kabirchowdhury 117). Oedipus’s self-harm came from his failure to recognize the truth of his own existence. His constant denial of everything that he could not physically see was due to his hubris. When Oedipus was figuratively blind, he could not accept his fate. When he became physically blind, he was able to learn to live with the truth of the prophecy (Haque and Kabirchowdhury 118). Oedipus demonstrates his final acceptance of his fate given by the gods in his final conversation with Kreon- “Give me what I ask for...drive me out of this country as quickly as may be to a place where no human voice can ever greet me” (Sophocles 1268). Oedipus lost his ability to see, and along with it his hubris. All he was left with was a forced exodus and a complete reliance on the gods. The figurative blindness led him to the truth and the literal blindness compelled him into a total spiritual
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).
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
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
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. Another lesson is that a blind person may see more than someone who is not blind. But sometimes being able to see visually can block out the clues and information that can lead someone to take the wrong path. The last lesson is that seeing and insight can sometimes be harmful. The truth may sometimes be too much to handle. Oedipus Rex teaches many lessons of sight and another is that sight should not be taken for
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.
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
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. Conversely, Tiresias, who is actually blind, is a prophet and can see truth and understand it. The chorus suggests that Tiresias can tell Oedipus the truth because “he is the man who sees most eye to eye with Lord Apollo” (Sophocles 17). Being blind to the world actually heightens Tiresias’ sensitivity to the truth and allows him to see past the deceptiveness of the world. He can comprehend real adversity, which is a prerequisite to understanding the hard truths in the prophecies.
Oedipus, King of Thebes, has sight but is blind to truth. Since he is born Oedipus was living in the lie. He never knew who were his real parents and what was the real story hidden behind his entire life until it was reavealed to him. Oedipus was born to be a king. Being a king in a certain way helped him discover the truth about his life. Thebes was suffering and Oedipus, as a king, was responsible of solving the problem to save his people from the burden they were carrying. Theiresias, the prophet, is then called to help solve the problem. The solution is given to Oedipus. Theiresias says the truth to Oedipus about his life, but he is malcontent of it and continue in his blindness, "I say that you have
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. Sophocles uses dramatic irony to show the ignorance of Oedipus Rex as he cannot see the truth. Oedipus cannot see the truth because his hubris is encouraged by the people and himself. Oedipus’ ignorance is also clearly displayed after an effort to save his city. Although Oedipus is a fictional character created thousands of years ago, his actions can easily connect to many people in today 's society. The theme conveyed in Sophocles play Oedipus Rex is hubris often results in one 's ignorance.
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. This blindness towards doom is made even more ironic by the fact that he was made king by his knowledge and insight. Oedipus was known as the person who solved the famous riddle of the Sphinx, a monster which terrorized the citizens. As the play proceed, we can see how much of a contrast between the two groups of character there is, even the messengers knows stuff that the king doesn’t. Sentences like “My son, it is clear that you don’t know what you are doing” (Sophocles 55) salutes to the ignorance of the supposedly “wise” king. Using words like “son”, Sophocles gives an sign that even the messenger It illustrates the flaws that exist in Oedipus, amplifies it by comparing him to other who are supposedly
Even people that have great vision and can have the physical capability to see, can still be blind to truth and complete understanding of it. Throughout the tragedy Oedipus the King, Sophocles ' repeatedly bring up the idea of sight and uses it as a metaphor for insight and knowledge. The protagonist of the play, Oedipus, is "blind" to the fact that the fate that he had tried so hard to avoid, had come true without him knowing of it, while the physically blind prophet Tiresias was the one who can actually "see" and understand the