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Oedipus The King Blindness Essay

807 words - 4 pages

Blindness plays a two-fold part in Sophocles' tragedy "Oedipus the King." First, Sophocles presents blindness as a physical disability affecting the auger Teiresias, and later Oedipus; but later, blindness comes to mean an inability to see the evil in one's actions and the consequences that ensue. The irony in this lies in the fact that Oedipus, while gifted with sight, is blind to himself, in contrast to Teiresias, blind physically, but able to see the evil to which Oedipus has fallen prey to. Tragically, as Oedipus gains the internal gift of sight, he discards his outward gift of sight. Sight, therefore, seems to be like good and evil, a person may only choose one.Teiresias, prophet of ...view middle of the document...

Oedipus, on the other hand, was not given such an easy decision. While gifted with an outward sense of sight, he lacked the knowledge of his own sinful actions - his hamartia, so to speak. Oedipus was seeing to others, but blind to himself. As he fled from Corinth, fearing a prophecy he received from an oracle, Oedipus showed complete blindness to the inevitability of his fate. The murder of his father, Laius, and the subsequent marriage to this mother, Jocasta, further elucidate the extent of Oedipus' blindness; blind in deed, reason, and consequence. Tragically, Oedipus' anagnorisis occurs simultaneously with his mother's/wife's suicide. With a heart full of despair and a pair of newly opened eyes, Oedipus makes his transformation complete as he exchanges his limited physical eyesight for the spiritual sight possessed by Teiresias. With this being done, Oedipus also seals his fate - he no longer can serve evil, so his life must hange in order to serve his new master, good.The legendary Sphinx was the only character that successfully possessed and maintained both types of sight....

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