Importance Of Oedipus And Teiresias' Conversation In Scene One Of Oedipus Rex

1087 words - 4 pages

Oedipus Rex, a classic Greek play, was written almost 2500 years ago by a famous playwright named Sophocles. The play focuses on finding Laius' killer but through the process, Oedipus finds out who he truthfully is. In Scene one lines 284-448 Oedipus is speaking to Teiresias a blind prophet, he asks Teiresias to reveal Laius' killer. This passage has defining characteristics that are important to the play as a whole, which can be simply conveyed on stage. This passage helps develop and make the play more intriguing by showing how blind to the truth Oedipus really is.Before the beginning of the play Oedipus saves the people of Thebes from the curse of the Sphinx and becomes king virtually overnight. He proclaims his name proudly as though it were itself a healing charm "I have come myself to hear you-/ I, Oedipus, who bear the famous name."(Prologue 9-10) what Oedipus does not realize is that he had killed Laius son of Labdakos on the way to the Sphinx. The play is based on finding the killer of Laius. Oedipus wants justice done and for the murderer to be banished from Thebes. Oedipus does what he can to make this happen. This includes a conversation with Teiresias.The passage starts off when a boy leads in the blind prophet Teiresias to Oedipus. Oedipus then begins to beg Teiresias to reveal who Laius' murderer is, but Teiresias answers only that he knows the truth but wishes he did not. Puzzled at first, then angry, Oedipus insists that Teiresias tell Thebes Thebes what he knows. Provoked by the anger and insults of Oedipus, Teiresias begins to hint at his knowledge. Finally, when Oedipus furiously accuses Teiresias of the murder, Teiresias tells Oedipus that Oedipus himself is the curse on Thebes that he is in search for. Oedipus dares Teiresias to say it again, and so Teiresias calls Oedipus the murderer. Oedipus criticizes Teiresias powers wildly and insults his blindness by saying "You child of endless night! You can not hurt me or anyone who sees the light" (Scene I, line 359-360), but Teiresias only responds that the insults will eventually be turned on Oedipus by all of Thebes. Driven into a fury by the accusation, Oedipus proceeds to concoct a story that Creon and Teiresias are conspiring to overthrow him.The leader of the Chorus asks Oedipus to calm down, but Teiresias only taunts Oedipus further, by saying" I can say that you, with both your eyes, are blind: You can not see the wretchedness of your life, Nor in whose house you live, nor with whom. Who are your father and mother? Can you tell me? You do not even know the blind wrongs that you have done them, on earth and the world below."(Scene I, line 399-404)This statement both infuriates and intrigues Oedipus, who asks for the truth of his parentage. Teiresias answers only in riddles, saying that the murderer of Laius will turn out to be both brother and father to his children, both son and husband to his mother. Teiresias is then led out by his page and Oedipus enters the...

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