Vision And Blindness In Oedipus The King By Sophocles

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The play, Oedipus The King, is believed to have been written by Sophocles around 430B.C., and produced, in Athens, Greece. The overall tone throughout the play is tragic, similar to the other plays written by Sophocles. Also just like other plays written by Sophocles, the time of this play is in the mythical past of ancient Greece, and takes place in Thebes. The main character, Oedipus himself, is a Greek mythical king of Thebes. Oedipus was a tragic hero in Greek mythology who accidentally fulfilled a prophecy that he would end up killing his father, King Laius, and marrying his mother, Jocasta, bringing tragedy to his city and family. Throughout the play, Oedipus the King, minor characters contribute to the climax and revelation of the plot …show more content…
One particular character that makes this motif of seeing very clear is Tiresias. Tiresias is a blind prophet of Apollo in Thebes, and considering that he is blind, it is ironic how he can clearly see Oedipus’s horrific past, present, and future. Oedipus has perfect sight, but can 't see the fate that the gods put on his life which is what makes this situation ironic. His ignorance about his own fate is more ironic due to the fact that the king became known for his intelligent insight, by solving the riddle of the Sphinx. Oedipus actually becomes annoyed with Teiresias and questions his powers because he failed to see through the sphinx’s mind game, “trick devising quack, this wily beggar who has only eyes for his own gains, but blindness in his skill. For, tell me, where have you seen clear, Teiresias, with your prophetic eyes? When the dark singer, the sphinx, was in your country, did you. Speak word of deliverance to its citizens? And yet the riddle’s answer was not the province of a chance comer” (389-398). This is pure irony, due to the fact Teiresias is literally blind but knows Oedipus’ fate clearly, and Oedipus sees clearly but is metaphorically blind to his own fate. When Oedipus finally sees these terrible truths of his life, Sophocles continues to use dramatic with this metaphor by having the king Oedipus stab out his own eyes. Oedipus says he does this because he can no longer look at the horrors that his unwitting actions have

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