Blindness And Blindness In Oedipus The King By Sophocles

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The play Oedipus the King written by Sophocles deals with the urge to discover the truth, which in Oedipus’s case, is shrouded by blindness. Oedipus’ impulsive personality, combined with the fact that he is a human, allows him to have the compulsion to know the truth about who killed King Laius. Once Oedipus finds out who the murderer of King Laius is, the way in which he carries himself morphs from arrogant to sympathetic and self-aware. Furthermore, Oedipus causes himself to be physically blind once he finds out the truth. This fulfills Tiresias’s prediction of being literally and metaphorically blind, but Oedipus suffers in pain after learning the truth. While it might be easier to live in ignorance, the play suggests that the impulse to …show more content…
Before learning the truth, Oedipus boasts “You all know me, the world knows my fame: I am Oedipus,” which is said in a very arrogant tone. He is acting as if he is above the Thebans. It doesn’t demonstrate as much caring as the leader of the city should show. As well as unsympathetic, Oedipus does not control his actions or words. For example, Oedipus accuses Creon of lying to him, in the sense that Creon is scheming to dethrone him. Oedipus remarks, “And this is the man you’d try to overthrow? You think you’ll stand by Creon when he’s king?...If you didn’t look so semile the last would teach you what your scheming means!” Oedipus speaks with anger in the heat of the moment, thinking that there was an elaborate plan to overthrow Oedipus, just so Creon can reign with power. Though, Oedipus is in for a personality check once he does learn the truth; morphing into a different individual. He clearly becomes more compassionate, shown while he is being sent away by Creon: “No- don’t take them away from me, not now! No no no!” Oedipus doesn’t want to say goodbye to his daughters, finally realizing how much he loves them. The truth revealed this caring and human side to him, since Oedipus wouldn’t be sent away if he didn’t know the truth. As well, the truth has allowed Oedipus to become self-aware of his actions and words. He realizes he is …show more content…
Tiresias, a blind prophet, presents the truth about their family to Oedipus and Jocasta at the same time, and they both learn that they committed incest. Afterward, the messenger presents a detailed account of what he has just perceived, "We saw the woman [Jocasta] hanging by the neck, cradled high in a woven noose." Not able to live with the fact that she slept with her son and married him, Jocasta commits suicide. After Jocasta hangs herself, Oedipus cries, "You, you 'll see no more the pain I suffered, all the pain I caused! ... Blind from this hour on! Blind in the darkness-blind!" Oedipus cannot bear to perceive the horrors that his own actions have created, so he gouges out his own eyes with her brooches. He becomes literally blind, being in the same position of Tiresias of not physically seeing, but seeing the truth. However, Tiresias describes how he would rather live in a state of happiness and oblivion, rather than knowing the harsh reality. He agonizes, “How terrible- to see the truth when the truth is only pain to him who sees!” The truth causes much pain; even Tiresias admits it. Oedipus was certainly not aware of the amount of suffering that came with the knowledge of the truth. The intense pain that Oedipus endures makes him realize that everything doesn 't need to be figured out; living in oblivion

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