Physical blindness is a disability, though what is worse is a blindness to the truth. This form of blindness is one of the key themes of Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex, a story of how fate always finds a way regardless of how much one blinds themselves to it. There are several instances of this irony throughout the story, exemplified in various characters and situations they encounter.
Sophocles’ tragic play, “Oedipus the King”, or “Oedipus Rex” as it’s known by its Latin name, is the Athenian drama that revolves around the events which lead to the demise of Oedipus Rex. The King Oedipus is forced down a preordained path that throws his entire world into a spiral of tragic providence, in this trilogy of a Theban play. Sophocles assigns the tragic hero to a downfall with the impossibility of changing the written fate; perhaps the views of today’s society would feel sympathy for the predicament that Oedipus is forced into, however, the publics of ancient Greece would accept that the path laid before them was a creation of the Gods. “Oedipus the King” reflects the ancient Greek credence in the belief that a person can do nothing to avoid their destiny, an idea that contrasts with what society believes today.
In the story of “Oedipus the King” by Sophocles portrays theme, symbolism, and imagery. With these in mind, they had influence the character to do a few things we wouldn’t normally be doing in today’s society. By showing us the way he acts leads us to knowing the difference between what is right and wrong. Back in the day, we never knew what was shown as being truthful unless someone told you. So not realizing the importance role Oedipus plays is has a significant impact on the audience’s reactions.
When we consider a blind person and a person with eyes, we usually deem the latter to be more knowledgeable. This is because they have the gift of sight and can therefore perceive the world around them and have more knowledge. This assumption is proven wrong in the play Oedipus Rex by the Greek writer Sophocles. The plot is about a baby who is born to the king and queen of Thebes with a terrible prophecy hanging above his head. The oracle of Apollo had predicted that the boy would grow up to kill his father and marry his mother. Afraid of the prophecy, the parents decided to kill the boy. But, he survives and lives to fulfill the prophecy. The main part of the play is his quest for his identity and what he does when he learns the truth about his life. The thesis of the play is that sight is not a prerequisite for knowledge. Three characters from the play that can be used to prove the thesis are Teiresias, the shepherd, and Oedipus.
“…they will never see the crime I have committed or had done upon me!” These are the words Oedipus shouted as he blinds himself upon learning the truth of his past. It is ironic how a person blessed with perfect physical vision could in reality be blind to to matters of life and conscience. During his prime as King of Thebes, Oedipus is renowned for his lucidity and his ability to rule with a clear concept of justice and equality. The people loved him for his skill and wit, as he saved Thebes from the curse of the Sphinx. As a result, Oedipus became overly confident, and refuses to see that he may be the cause of the malady that is plaguing his kingdom. Although physically Oedipus has full use of his eyes, Sophocles uses sight to demonstrate how Oedipus is blind to the truth about his past what it might me for both him and his kingdom. Upon learning the truth, Oedipus gouges out his eyes, so he won’t have to look upon his children, or the misfortune that is his life. Once physically unable to see, Oedipus has clear vision as to his fate, and what must be done for his kingdom and his family
Sometimes in life people can be “blind” to the truth. The answer to their question or solution to their worry or problem may have been obvious yet, they could not “see” the answer. Therefore, they were blind to the truth. This blindness is not one in a physical sense but another kind of sight or vision. In Sophocles’ writing, Tiresias is a blind prophet that presents the truth to King Oedipus. Tiresias reveals that Oedipus has been blind to the truth his whole life and when he finally does find the truth, he loses his physical vision by saying, “so, you mock my blindness? Let me tell you this. You with your precious eyes, you’re blind to the corruption of your life.”(Sophocles) In this case, those who are blind ultimately do have a higher vision- the truth. The theme of sight versus blindness in Sophocles’ work
Throughout the tragedy Oedipus the King, Sophocles' repeatedly brings up the idea of sight. He uses sight as a metaphor for insight and knowledge. The protagonist of the
The word blind has multiple meanings. Blind means unable to see or lacking sight. It also means unwilling or unable to perceive or understand. The story of Oedipus is about blindness and being “blinded” to the truth. Oedipus and Jokasta were “blinded” to the truth that was before them. Because of their blindness, Oedipus forfeits his sight, and Jokasta forfeits her life. The blind prophet, Tiresias, knows the truth and presents the truth to the King and Queen. It is said the physically blind lack sight but have vision. The truth is fundamentally in those who are blind.
It is said history repeats itself and almost every individual can agree with this statement. When someone looks back on world history, it is clear to see that wars, plagues, and many other catastrophes have left their mark on the world’s existence. These have been both man-made and natural accruing in their nature. Even at this present time, the twenty-first century, humanity is still faced with many of the same crises experienced since the dawn of mankind. With so much going against mankind, the human race has been working to better their conditions for centuries. With this comes, innovations, inventions, and discoveries in the sciences ranging from biology, chemistry, philosophy, and many more. The Greeks are credited with incredible amounts of discoveries in almost every area of human life. One of these areas being the field of philosophy. From Aristotle, Thales, and many more men, Grecian philosophy grew. Even in drama, one of the Grecian forms of entertainment, many philosophical ideas were explored and explained to the Greeks. One such drama written by Sophocles of Athens is Oedipus The King. In this Greek tragedy, Sophocles shows how blindness may not always be physical, and its effects can ruin a person’s life, mental state, and all those around them.
People can be “blinded” to the truth. The answer to their question or solution to their problem may have been obvious. Yet, they could not "see" the answer. They were blinded to the truth. Associations have been made between being blind and enlightened. A blind person is said to have powers to see invisible things. They "see" into the future. The blind may not have physical sight, but they have another kind of vision. In Sophocles' King Oedipus, Teiresias, the blind prophet, presents the truth to King Oedipus and Jocasta. Oedipus has been blinded to the truth his whole life. When he does find the truth, he loses his physical vision. Because of the truth, Oedipus blinds himself. Jocasta was blind to the true identity of Oedipus. Even when she found out the truth, she refused to accept it. In this case, those who are blind ultimately do have a higher vision - the truth.
Sight. Sometimes even though you can see, it is not good enough. After all, the eyes can be deceiving. Sometimes it seems that life is an illusion. The moment you think you’re seeing the right thing, the image shifts on you. In Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, when Oedipus tries to see and control to his destiny he is blind but is blinded by his pride, and only when he is really blind does he see.
Throughout Oedipus the King, Sophocles employs one continuous metaphor: light vs. darkness, and sight vs. blindness. A reference to this metaphor occurs early in the play, when Oedipus falsely accuses Tiresias and Creon of conspiracy: Creon, the soul of trust, my loyal friend from the start steals against me... so hungry to overthrow me he sets this wizard on me, this scheming quack, this fortune-teller peddling lies, eyes peeled for his own profit—seer blind in his craft!
Blindness and vision are used as motifs in the play "Oedipus Rex," which are also the tragic flaws of the hero. Vision refers to both literal and metaphorical blindness. The frequent references to sight, light, eyes, and perception are used throughout the play. When Oedipus refuses to believe Tiersias, Tiersias responds by saying "have you eyes" and "do you not see your own damnation?" Tiersias also says "those now clear-seeing eyes shall then be darkened." The reference to sight has a double meaning. Oedipus is famed for his clear-sightedness and quick comprehension. He was able to "see" the answer to the Sphinx's riddle, yet ironically, he lacks the ability to see the truth about his own identity. Oedipus has become the very disease he wishes to remove from Thebes.
The play Oedipus Tyrannus, written by Sophocles, is a play filled with symbols and irony involving the aspect of both vision and blindness. This aspect of the novel takes on an important role in the life of Oedipus, the ruler of Thebes. He originally feels as though he knows and sees everything, nevertheless, as the motto of the Oracle at Delphi states, he does not "know thyself," as he will find out toward the end of the play. The notion of seeing and blindness becomes an important and ironic symbol in the tragic fall of Oedipus, a man who could not escape his lot or moira.
A simple process formed the backbone of most Greek philosophy. The ancients thought that by combining two equally valid but opposite ideas, the thesis and the antithesis, a new, higher truth could be achieved. That truth is called the synthesis. This tactic of integrating two seemingly opposite halves into a greater whole was a tremendous advance in human logic. This practice is illustrated throughout Oedipus at Colonus in regard to Sophocles’ portrayal of vision, sight, and the eye. In Colonus, there are many and varied descriptions of the aspects of the eye, whether the eye be human or divine. To Sophocles, the eye must have been a synthesis, both physical and spiritual, yet something apart from both.