What Is Blindness In Oedipus The King

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Many people in today’s society are blind to their past, they are unaware of how the results of certain events affect them. They believe that the only proper solution to this figurative blindness is through finding out the truths of their past, thus leading to a more content life. Oedipus Rex is one of these people. In Oedipus the King, by Sophocles, Oedipus is portrayed as a man driven by knowledge of his fate, through the use of the blind prophet Tiresias. His fate includes the death of his father through his own hands and marrying his own mother, yet this knowledge does not stop him from doubting and ignoring the truth resulting in him being figuratively blind. Perception in the form of literal blindness and blindness in the form of sight…show more content…
Oedipus is first known famed for his intelligence, quick comprehension and clear-sightedness, however it becomes evident that he has been blinded to the truth all along even though the odds say otherwise, as the prophet Tiresias says” Since you are the unholy polluter of this land” (l.366-367). He sticks onto the single detail in hope of exonerating himself that king Laius was murdered by “strangers” rather than one man, as Oedipus had solely killed men at the same crossroad. Both Oedipus and Jocasta do not doubt the servant’s story, for the alternative would mean that the prophecy had been true “It’s best to live at random, however one can. Do not worry you will wed your mother, for many mortals already have lain with their mothers in dreams” (l.1001-1004). Perhaps this is a reason why Jocasta tells Oedipus of the prophecy of her son murdering his father, leading Oedipus to also share his similar prophecy. Neither character feels the need to remark on the coincidence emphasizing how desperately they do not want to face the truth, contributing to their blindness. Oedipus’s eyes function just fine, however he is entirely blind to the awful fate the gods have placed on him, making it the main topic of blindness, as he was known for his keen insight. By choosing to avoid his destiny, his blindness is first shown making Tiresias his inverse “You, even though you see clearly, do…show more content…
Tiresias’s physical state warms up the audience to the idea that leads Oedipus into blinding himself. His blindness proves the better solution as Tiresias is more aware of the source of the curse upon Thebes than even the king himself. When Oedipus realizes that he is the reason for the devastating state of Thebes, his solution is to blind himself through his own hands, following in Tiresias’s footsteps “Alas, alas. It’s all come out so clearly. Light, let me see the last of you now, surrounded by those I ought to avoid” (l.1205 -1207). In this way, the literal blindness illuminates the point that metaphorical blindness overcomes those who choose ignorance over the harsh truth, those who refuse to believe the truth about themselves once spoken aloud. Hence as a victim of this case, Oedipus blinds himself, as a response to a rage of penitence and proving to himself and those around him, that he has finally faced the truth and is accepting total responsibility. There is more strength in his fierce and dominating grief as well as in his solution of exiling himself which in end results in saving Thebes from the curse, as he says “But his prophecy was made clear: destroy the patricide, the accursed, me!” (l.1453 - 1454). He literally becomes the thing he’s always been: blind. Through this, he unravels his life to its

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