Oedipus The King : Blindness Essay

Oedipus The King : Blindness Essay

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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. Oedipus was not only just blind to the issues concerning Thebes he was blind to almost everything else. Then when the truth comes out blindness is even emphasized more with Oedipus blinding his self physically. His hubris is caused by many things one may be him thinking he has evaded his cursed prophecy, and even having his own townspeople pray to him as if he were one of the God’s. Blindness in Oedipus Rex was both literal and figurative. People can be physically blind as well as be blinded by the truth figuratively.
Oedipus was born with a terrible Prophecy. From the start it was foreseen that he would kill his father and sleep with his mother. His parents, Laius and Jocasta in an attempt to prevent this tragedy from occurring attempt to have Oedipus killed. Oedipus survives the attempted killing and is saved by a nearby Shepard. This all leads to Oedipus being “adopted” by another king and queen. “Messenger: Polybus was nothing to you, that’s why, not in blood. Oedipus: What are you saying—Polybus was not my father? Messenger: No more than I am. He and I are equals” (lines 1113- 1115). This quote once again shows Oedipus blindness and the problem of who his birth parents trul...


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...Oedipus’ blindness to the situation that was occurring in the city of Thebes.
When Oedipus finally realizes all the destruction he has caused in Thebes, Sophocles illustrates blindness even deeper by having Oedipus gouge out his eyes with his mother brooches. Oedipus figurative blindness and others physical blindness was a constant theme in the story of Oedipus Rex. In the story words like sight, and the mention of eyes were a constant reoccurrence. You could tell the theme from the start when Tiresias goes onto a stage blind physically but he still knows more about the situation than Oedipus or anyone in Thebes will know. Due to this act Oedipus was not only figuratively blind, but he has now become physically blind with the cost of his actions throughout his life. Through this story Tiresias, Jocasta, and Oedipus were blind but would eventually find out the truth.

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Oedipus The King : Blindness Essay

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