The Tragic Hero Of Oedipus And Tiresias And Oedipus The King Of Thebes Essay

The Tragic Hero Of Oedipus And Tiresias And Oedipus The King Of Thebes Essay

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Blindness unable to see, lacking sense of sight or unable to perceive or understand. This symbolic theme is common in many tragic Greek playwrights; the tragic hero begins at the center of his society and ends at the margins. This may be a familiar concept as it is an evident irony throughout many Greek plays, including Sophocles written play Oedipus Rex. This play begins in a condition of harmony that subsequently disintegrates by the end, leaving the main character Oedipus feeling destroyed and isolated. This play is filled with rising action as the king of Thebes Oedipus finds himself losing his power and sense of self as a series of events begin to unravel a murder mystery. The focus of this essay will be on exploring the theme of blindness between both Oedipus and Tiresias, as the play continues to progress and lead to the final situation.
Oedipus Rex is a classic playwright with an underlying theme of blindness throughout the play. The portrayal of blindness in both the outsider Tiresias and Oedipus the king of Thebes is a clear motif in both of these characters. Sophocles presents both protagonists as being figuratively blind to a personal truth, as well as physically blind; they are mirroring images of one another. There is a lot of irony throughout the play, is there a single definition for blindness? What is sight? Is it an understanding? Can a blind person see? Can the sighted really see? Sophocles presents the idea of blindness by conveying it in two different ways through the use of different connotations. Oedipus, whom is the main character of Sophocles’ play Oedipus Rex, could not see the truth, but Tiresias the blind man, saw it obviously. Both of these characters have to accept pain and loss of life. Tiresias ha...


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...by his knowledge. Knowing the truth about Oedipus allows him to be a very symbolic character and act as a catalyst for his fate. Oedipus is then exiled away from Thebes and gouges out his eyes, which reflects the theme and irony of blindness throughout the play.
Both Oedipus and Tiresias are figures throughout the play having something to offer to others, whether it is love, truth, healing or power. Both characters have power in a sense but are helpless at the same time and form a contrast of one another. The theme of blindness is a largely important throughout this play as it reflects the characters attributes. Although Tiresias is physically blind from the beginning, he is able to see the truth, while Oedipus who does have sight is blind to his fate. If only Oedipus didn’t have such a hubris attitude and need to find information then he himself would benefit.


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