Blindness In Oedipus The King

analytical Essay
717 words
717 words

Blindness plays a two-fold part in Sophocles’ tragedy “Oedipus the King.'; First, Sophocles presents blindness as a physical disability affecting the auger Teiresias, and later Oedipus; but later, blindness comes to mean an inability to see the evil in one’s actions and the consequences that ensue. The irony in this lies in the fact that Oedipus, while gifted with sight, is blind to himself, in contrast to Teiresias, blind physically, but able to see the evil to which Oedipus has fallen prey to. Tragically, as Oedipus gains the internal gift of sight, he discards his outward gift of sight. Sight, therefore, seems to be like good and evil, a person may only choose one. Teiresias, prophet of Phoebus, was stricken with blindness to the physical world, but, as a result, gained the gift of sight into the spiritual world. This great gift allowed him to become a superior prophet, praised by the people as “god like'; and as a person “in whom the truth lives.'; Therefore, it was no surprise that Oedipus asked the old prophet to come before the people to enlighten them as to who or what the cause of the plague decimating their country was. What Oedipus was not expecting, however, was that the sin he could not see himself was to blame for the judgement being poured out upon the country. The sin so hidden from Oedipus’ and the peoples’ eyes was quite visible to Teiresias. What Teiresias ...

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how blindness plays a two-fold role in sophocles' tragedy “oedipus the king.
  • Analyzes how teiresias, the prophet of phoebus, was stricken with blindness to the physical world, but gained the gift of sight into the spiritual world.
  • Analyzes how oedipus was gifted with an outward sense of sight, but lacked the knowledge of his sinful actions. the murder of laius and the subsequent marriage to jocasta further elucidate the extent of the blindness.
  • Explains that the legendary sphinx successfully possessed and maintained both types of sight, which he used to wreck havoc on the people of thebes.
  • Concludes that the theme of sight dominated sophocles' tragedy “oedipus the king.
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