As said by Benjamin Disraeli in Contarini Fleming, “Circumstances are beyond the control of man; but his conduct is in his own power.” Although this quote originates from 1832, centuries before Oedipus the King was published, its logic can still be applied to Sophocles’ play. Disraeli is saying that no one can help the circumstances they are born in, but everyone has the capability to live how they want. At face-value, this may seem true; in the end everyone has the ability to make a decision. Yet, it is their circumstances that drive the choices people make. This is best shown in Oedipus, whose actions were based on the circumstances surrounding him.
In Oedipus Rex, Tiresias visits Oedipus and tells him about the prophecy. Oedipus believes that it’s nonsense and says that he doesn’t know anything because he’s blind. Tiresias then tells him that he is blind to the truth. Oedipus doesn’t believe Tiresias
Hubris, extreme pride towards the gods, is one of the conflicts that Oedipus has to face. An inner conflict of Man vs Self is happening to Oedipus. Oedipus believes he can do no wrong, so Tiresias is wrong. Sophocles writes, “You’ve lost your power, stone-blind, stone-deaf--senses, eyes blind as stone” (Sophocles 422-423).
Every character in stories or in plays has their flaws and strengths; Oedipus is no exception to this. Oedipus has his strengths and weaknesses that shape him into the character he is perceived to be in the play. He is intellectual which is why the city looks up to him, he is caring, and tenacious. Like any other character Oedipus also has his flaws, he jumps to conclusions and makes rash decisions, he has anger issues, and hubris which eventually leads to his downfall.
Oedipus is a hero, but he represents most men at the same time. He has human characteristics and feelings, such as his curiosity towards the knowledge Teiresias possesses and his horror when he realizes his horrible actions. “If you know something about our pain tell us…Speak then! Tell us what will emerge.” P.13 Oedipus questions Teiresias, curious to know what he knows. “Oh gruesomely clear it has all unraveled… I was bonded with the people I should have never killed.” P.40 Oedipus sees what he has done wrong and feels vulnerable and horror. The audience clearly sees that heroes are very human and how real their limitations. Most people would have felt that same vulnerability if the gods had made us their plaything and tormented us, writing a prophecy of our doom.
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
In Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, the concept of sight and blindness is shown countless times throughout the play. In Oedipus Rex there is both literal blindness and figurative blindness. This play has a character who is blind, which is an example of literal blindness and a character who can see visually but unable to perceive the truth. The concepts of sight and blindness has a major role in Oedipus Rex. It lets the reader know that sight is not only based on what you see, but also based on one’s perspective, that the blind may see more than someone who is not blind, and that sometimes being able to see may not be a blessing but a curse. These are some of the roles of sight within Oedipus Rex.
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. In the earlier years Oedipus visits Delphi and learns that he was fated to kill his father and marry his mother. He then planned to never return to Corinth.
So when he starts telling him the truth Oedipus gets even more mad and taunts Tiresias about being blind. Then Oedipus accuses Ceron of being the murderer and that he is just trying to become king. If it was not for Oedipus’s temper he would not have killed king Laius and his men. Oedipus’s temper had a great contribution to his downfall and later his blindness.
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
Brilliantly conceived and written, Oedipus Rex is a drama of self-discovery. Achieved by amazing compression and force by limiting the dramatic action to the day on which Oedipus learns the truth of his birth and his destiny is quite the thriller. The fact that the audience knows the dark secret that Oedipus unwittingly slew his true father and married his mother does nothing to destroy the suspense. Oedipus’s search for the truth has all the tautness of a detective tale, and yet because audiences already know the truth they are aware of all the ironies in which Oedipus is enmeshed. That knowledge enables them to fear the final revelation at the same time that they pity the man whose past is gradually and relentlessly uncovered to him.