Blind By Ignorance Essay

1260 words - 6 pages

“You are your own enemy” (Guthrie, Oedipus Rex, 22:43). In the film adaptation of Sophocles’ “Oedipus Rex” (1957), Sir Tyrone Guthrie portrays the characters as truth seekers that are ignorant when trying to find King Laius’ murderer. On the other hand, Sigmund Freud’s hypothesis of Sophocles’ work introduces us to “The Oedipus Complex” (1899) which states that as we’re young we grow infatuated with our opposite sex parent and feel resentment towards our same-sex parent. These two pieces have adapted mirror like meanings of Sophocles’ tragic play. Sir Tyrone Guthrie and Sigmund Freud explore this through the use of ethos, irony, social distance, and the visualization of state of mind in order to show the manifestation Oedipus undergoes living with his “mix of killing and unimagined shame” (Guthrie, Oedipus Rex, 21:19). Though the answer is in front of Oedipus, he wears a mask that protects him from the answers he does not want to believe is true.
To begin with, Oedipus is his own tragedy since his actions and decisions are the reasons why he was not able to thoroughly see his mistakes. Sir Tyrone Guthrie places Oedipus in the middle of the town to begin the interrogation of finding the murderer of King Laius so the city can be unwind of its plague. Sir Tyrone Guthrie does this on purpose so the audience and the servants around him can see the foolish mistakes their great King achieves. Tiresias, the blind prophet who can see the past, present, and future, speaks to Oedipus, since Tiresias has the ability to only see the truth. Even though the audience can see that Oedipus is not taking any consideration of the prophet’s words when Tiresias directly yells to him that Oedipus is the “murderer [he] [seeks],” the ignorant side of Oedipus is shown. Oedipus begins to ignore all accusations against him (Guthrie, Oedipus Rex, 21:06). The prophet is credible for his abilities to see the truth but Oedipus believes that this one time he can be wrong. As another victim of Oedipus’s interrogation comes along more and more pieces to the story are shown in the film, which leads to the plot to reach its climax. In the same way, Sigmund Freud hypothesizes that the reason Oedipus tends to be so ignorant and ignore the truth is because his unconscious is trying to protect him from bringing up past feelings for his mother. Freud asserts this idea by studying his patients that lead him to believe that the psyches urge to love the opposite sex parent “has not changed for many thousands of years” (Jacobus 477). Oedipus decisions to ignore the accusations against him are just a defense mechanism of the unconscious because as human beings grow older we are conditioned to know that loving the opposite sex parent is morally incorrect.
Therefore, Oedipus’ strong desire to seek the truth is what leads him to his ironic downfall. Sir Tyrone Guthrie makes sure that everyone who has information belonging to the murder of King Laius or Oedipus true parents comes to Oedipus...

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