The Blindness Of Oedipus The King By Sophocles Essay

795 Words Nov 22nd, 2015 4 Pages
The Blindness of Oedipus
Sight and blindness are two prevalent themes in the play Oedipus the King by Sophocles. However, these themes of sight and blindness are not in reference to the literal ability, or lack thereof, to see. The themes of sight and blindness are more often in reference to having knowledge or being able to see the truth. Oedipus the King is a crime drama in some sense, where Oedipus takes on the role of detective. Oedipus seeks to find out the truth about the murder of Laius, the previous king of Thebes. In his search, Oedipus ultimately becomes learns the truth, but loses his literal sight.
Teiresias’ introduction is the first event that calls forward the themes of sight and blindness and the connection to the truth. When Oedipus starts investigating Laius’ murder, he summons Teiresias, a blind prophet, to ask who Laius’ murderer is (283-289). Teiresias is physically blind, but he has a prophet’s knowledge. This allows him to see the truth of Oedipus’ origins and the actions Oedipus has performed. Oedipus repeatedly asks Teiresias to share his knowledge, but Teiresias refuses. Finally, Oedipus taunts Teiresias, saying that he could not save Thebes from the Sphinx even though he was a prophet and that it was Oedipus himself who stopped the Sphinx (390-398). Teiresias then loses his patience and denounces Oedipus, saying that Oedipus doesn’t know about his parents and the sins he has committed (408-425). Oedipus is starkly blind to what Teiresias speaks…

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