King Oedipus by Sophocles

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Blindness is the downfall of the hero Oedipus in the play "King Oedipus" by Sophocles. Not only does the blindness appear physically, but also egotistically as he refuses to acknowledge the possibility of him actually being the murderer of Laius, the former King of Thebes. Coincidentally, he is also Oedipus's biological father. The use of light and dark in the play is strategically applied in order to better understand the emotion that lies within the characters. As blame is placed upon Oedipus for the murder of Laius, he blinds himself from the possible reality that he may be the killer. The people of Thebes are informed that there is an impending curse upon them as a result of the murder mystery of their previous king, Laius. In order to quicken the cure, Oedipus calls on Teiresias, the blind prophet to aide them. Excessive pride fuels his inability to believe the prophecy of Teiresias stating Oedipus is the killer, and that he has married his mother. "Until I came – I, ignorant Oedipus, came – and stopped the riddler's mouth, guessing the truth by mother-wit, not bird-love." Because he continually boasts about how he has saved Thebes from the Sphinx, he believes that no one could know more than he, especially if he is the one to be accused of a crime he "knows" he didn't commit. In response Teiresias argues, "You are please to mock my blindness. Have you eyes, and do not see your own damnation? Eyes and cannot see what company you keep." This is a pivotal component to the irony behind the idea of blindness throughout the play. Although Teiresias is physically blind, he is able to accept and "see" the truth, while Oedipus physically being able to see is left in the dark rejecting truth. The blindness of Oedipus leads to the darkness of Thebes also known as The City of Light. "We cannot believe, we cannot deny; all's dark. We fear, but we cannot see, what is before us" worry the townspeople. Dark, here, symbolizes the confusion that is placed upon the people of...
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