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Blindness, Sight And Eyes In Sophocles' Oedipus The King

680 words - 3 pages

The Deeper Meaning of Sight and Eyes in Sophocles' Oedipus The King

In Sophocles' play, "Oedipus The King," the continuous references to eyes and sight possess a much deeper meaning than the literal message. These allusions are united with several basic underlying themes. The story contains common Ancient Greek philosophies, including those of Plato and Parmenides, which are often discussed and explained during such references. A third notion is the punishment of those who violate the law of the Gods. The repeated mentioning of sight and eyes signify the numerous ancient Greek beliefs present in the story.

During the Theban Trilogy, there are two major philosophical ideals present. The first, and most significant is the ever present concept of Fatalism. After Oedipus learns of his fate, he spends his time trying to avoid it. Through his misfortunes, Oedipus unknowingly fulfills his destiny. The tale acts as a lesson, one that intends to dissuade people to deviate from their given course in life. When the fated attempt to violate the God's rules, he becomes an example of why those rules exist. Just as Oedipus acted as a concrete example of the Fatalist theology. In the story, those who lived by the God's rules will live a good live, and those who followed the laws of man, such as Creon in Antigone, shall be damned.

The other philosophies present come from two people, Parmenides and Plato. Parmenides theorized that things do not change, and therefore that man's senses were inaccurate and unreliable. A blind prophet Tiresius informs Oedipus of what has happened. Abhorred, Oedipus did not even consider that Tiresias was telling the truth. Instead, he accused the soothsayer of lying and insulting him by stating that "your riddance is a blessing." (41) Oedipus is truly the blind one, as he restricts himself to the literal meaning of the tale of the oracle. Unwilling to see what was before him, the overwhelming evidence of his crimes, Oedipus looked for others to blame. Another parallel to being sighted, but blind, is present in...

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