Dr. Christopher Grignard
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...
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...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.
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.
"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.
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