Blindness As A Central Theme Of Sophocles ' Oedipus The King Essay

Blindness As A Central Theme Of Sophocles ' Oedipus The King Essay

Length: 1162 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Jennifer Marr
Dr. Christopher Grignard
English 2200
12 February 2015
Blindness as a Central Theme in Sophocles Oedipus The King
In the play Oedipus The King by Sophocles, blindness is a central theme and is constantly recurring. There are many examples of this shown throughout the play; however, the most prominent is seen through the characters of Oedipus and Tiresias. Oedipus is unable to see the truth in things even though he is not blind. Tiresias, the prophet is physically blind, yet is able to see more truth in actions and prophesies than Oedipus. The ongoing theme of blindness in Oedipus the King by Sophocles aids in the dramatic irony and tragic elements of the play.
Blindness can be seen to entail many different perspectives. People may be “blinded” from the world around them or they may be physically blind. People who are blinded from the world may not see things clearly. The answer or solution to their question or problem may be obvious and right in front of them; however, they are unable to see it. A physically blind person may not have actual sight but may posses a special gift of seeing without actually seeing. Physical blindness is shown through Tiresias, the prophet. Unlike Oedipus and Jocasta, Tiresias is physically blind, yet he is still able to see more in the present and future. When he presents the truth to Oedipus and Jocasta, Oedipus physically attacks his blindness due to him being blinded by the truth and these revelations his whole life. The physical blindness of Tiresias led to the physical blindness of Oedipus.
Oedipus has the unfortunate fate of being blinded both physically and metaphorically. He is blinded by the truth of his life due to the unknowing of who his parents were. This metaphorical blindne...

... middle of paper ...

...blishing the theme. Initially, Oedipus and Jocasta are not physically blind, but instead mentally and emotionally blinded by the events that have shaped their lives. Tiresias is in fact blind; however, is more thoughtful and contains more sight than any of the other characters.

Works Cited:
Sophocles. Oedipus the King. Trans. Robert Fagles. The Wadsworth Anthology of Drama. 6th ed. Ed. W. B. Worthen. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2011. 77-94. Print.

Works Consulted:
"Blindness and Sight in Oedipus the King - Lack of Vision :: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex." Blindness and Sight in Oedipus the King - Lack of Vision :: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex. Web. 1 Feb. 2015. .

"Oedipus the King Essay | Themes in Oedipus Rex." BookRags. BookRags. Web. 1 Feb. 2015. .

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Oedipus The King, Tiresias, The Blind Prophet Essay

- Many times people are blind to the truth that is right in front of them. The solution to their problems may have been blatantly obvious, however, they could not actually “see” their answer by their blindness to the truth. There have been instances where being blind is not actually a handicap, but more of a tool to see things to a deeper meaning. Although the blind may not have physical sight, they have another kind of vision. In Sophocles’ play, Oedipus the King, Tiresias, the blind prophet, addresses the truth of the prophecy to Oedipus and Jocasta....   [tags: Oedipus, Oedipus the King, Tiresias, Sophocles]

Strong Essays
977 words (2.8 pages)

Theme of The Country of the Blind Essay

- H. G. Wells uses ethnocentrism as a strong device in the short story ‘The Country of the Blind’ to generate the central conflict and to convey the theme: the perils of that deadly combination of stubbornness and blindness. The people of the country of the blind have been isolated from the outside world for fifteen generations, making it hard for them to easily accept the truth and facts about the real world. An accidental fall while climbing a mountain leaves Nunez stuck in a valley, which turns out to be the country of the blind....   [tags: H. G. Wells]

Strong Essays
733 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on Oedipus The King : A Tragic Hero

- A thunderous crash is felt when nobility falls from its ivory tower. A crash that is heard for generations. Sophocles’ Greek drama Oedipus Rex is just such a crash. It exhibits a noble king beset by unimaginable tragedy. Oedipus the King has elicited pity and fear from those who read it or watch it for many generations. How does one who is noble, and good, fall. It is “Aristotle 's demand that suffering be shown to have been caused, in part at least, by errors.” The plot, hero, diction and theme all lead to a final tragic event in the life of the noble king....   [tags: Tragedy, Sophocles, Oedipus, Poetics]

Strong Essays
1239 words (3.5 pages)

Oedipus the King Essay

- Sophocles' Oedipus Rex Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex has fascinated readers for over two millennia with its tale of a man who falls from greatness to shame. The enigmatic play leaves many questions for the reader to answer. Is this a cruel trick of the gods. Was Oedipus fated to kill his father and marry his mother. Did he act of his own free will. Like the Greeks of centuries past, we continue to ponder these perennial questions. Part of the genius of Sophocles is that he requires a great deal of mental and spiritual involvement from his audience....   [tags: Oedipus Rex, Sophocles]

Strong Essays
2144 words (6.1 pages)

Blindness Of King Lear By William Shakespeare Essay

- To see or Not so see Blindness can be interpreted in many different ways, whether being referred to in the forms of physical, emotional or spiritual. As a society when we think of blindness we often think of the physical inability of the eyes to see, however we learn that in King Lear by William Shakespeare that the idea of blindness is not always going to be associated with the physical ability to see but can be symbolic to the other various forms. Whether it is emotional, physical or spiritual, blindness is defined as unable to see; lacking the sense of sight; or just being sightless....   [tags: King Lear, William Shakespeare, Blindness]

Strong Essays
1261 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on Theme of Blindness in Sophocles' Oedipus the King

- Theme of Blindness in Sophocles' Oedipus the King Sophocles?s play, ?Oedipus the King. is one of the most well known of the Greek tragedies. The play?s interesting plot, along with the incredible way it is written are only two of the many reasons why two thousand years later, it is still being read and viewed. For those who are not familiar with the story of ?Oedipus the King?, it is written about the results of a curse put on King Oedipus which claims that he will murder his father and marry his mother....   [tags: Oedipus King Plays Sophocles]

Strong Essays
760 words (2.2 pages)

Oedipus The King : Blindness Essay

- In Oedipus the King, Sophocles uses Oedipus and various other characters to convey the theme of blindness. King Oedipus ruled over Thebes, after solving the Sphinx’s riddle. After Oedipus is victorious over the sphinx, Oedipus becomes swollen with hubris leading into his figurative and literal blindness throughout the book. The author, Sophocles uses a blind seer to convey the sense that a physically blind man can know more about the issues concerning Thebes over their respected rulers Oedipus, and Jocasta who were not physically blind like the blind seer....   [tags: Oedipus, Oedipus the King, Tiresias, Jocasta]

Strong Essays
1200 words (3.4 pages)

Blindness : A Painful, But Beneficial Flaw Essay

- Blindness: A Painful, But Beneficial Flaw The statement “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” seems like a ludicrous cliché that everyone says too often. Usually when people go through terrible times in their lives all they can see is the negative effect. The journey sucks and usually no one commends it for the newfound strength gained from it. It’s like walking through a rose garden. During the walk, all you can feel are the pricks of the rose thorns impaling themselves in your skin. The experience is horrible and quite excruciating....   [tags: Love, King Lear, William Shakespeare, Blindness]

Strong Essays
1971 words (5.6 pages)

The Theme of Blindness in King Lear Essay examples

- The Theme of Blindness in King Lear In the tragedy King Lear, the term blindness has an entirely different meaning. It is not a physical flaw, but the inability of the characters to see a person for whom they truly are. They can only read what is presented to them on the surface. King Lear, Gloucester and Albany are three prime examples characters who suffered most by having this flaw. Lear was by far the blindest of the three. Because Lear was the King, one would expect him to have superb reasoning skills, but his lack of insight kept him from making wise choices....   [tags: English Literature Essays]

Strong Essays
930 words (2.7 pages)

Blindness and Sight - Nothing and Blindness in King Lear Essays

- Themes of Nothing and Blindness in King Lear Many of the passages of King Lear, particularly those between the characters of Lear, Kent, the Fool, and Cordelia, all share a common theme. The theme of nothing, as well as the theme of blindness, echoes throughout the play. King Lear is in many ways about nothing. However, Kent, the Fool, and Cordelia make him more than nothing by serving faithfully, speaking bluntly, and loving unconditionally. The first occurrence of the imagery of nothing takes place between Lear and Cordelia....   [tags: King Lear essays]

Free Essays
802 words (2.3 pages)