Essay on Tiresias from Antigone and Oedipus the King

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The purpose of the character, Tiresias, in both “Antigone” and “Oedipus the King” is to introduce new information to the audience. When the blind soothsayer makes an entrance, some truth will be revealed and the plot will take a new course. In both plays, the main characters, Creon and Oedipus are both overly confident and proud. At this time, some calamity occurs in the plot, and they seek a prophecy from the blind soothsayer. To their demise, both men challenge the foretelling, thus promoting the logical and and significant transformation to the plot.

In both tragedies, the character of Tiresias gives the audience an opportunity to experience a foreshadowing of events. Tiresias is revealing a “truth” or advised course of action
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Tiresias is led away.

Although Tiresias allowed those who stood "on fate's thin edge" (Antigone, 102) the aid of his wisdom, the audience watches as Creon seals his fate by choosing free will. Creon refused to “see” the truth of the blind soothsayer’s words and did not release Antigone. Because of this, his wife, son and Antigone all commit suicide. Creon’shas destroyed himself because of his pride.

In the play, “Oedipus The King,” Tiresias plays the same role. The city of Thebes has been struck by a plague and is in dire need of help. Only by identifying the killer of the King Laius will the plague end. Oedipus calls upon the blind prophet. Once again, a boy leads in Tiresias. The soothsayer is very hesitant to identify the killer for it is Oedipus himself who is the murderer and has brought the curse upon the city. When he does reveal the information, Oedipus, as Creon in the play before, becomes wildly angry. But Tiresias does not back down and gives him more information about his lineage. Oedipus heatedly refutes his words and attacks Tiresias’ credibility and calls him a fraud.

The two men argue with references to truth and sight thrown back and forth. Oedipus cruelly jeers ^ Tiresias because he is a blind man. The audience knows, however, that this is merely a physical limitation, that Tiresias always “sees” the truth. In response to Oedipus’ taunt, Tiresias makes fun of how the ruler once in brilliance solved the riddle of the Sphinx

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