Oedipus Rex Essay

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  • Topic: Oedipus the King, Tiresias, Truth
  • Pages : 2 (604 words )
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  • Published : October 3, 2011
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In the Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex, blindness is a reoccurring theme which is used in many different ways in the play. Blindness is used quite often and is emphasized with the prophet Tiresias who is literally blind can see the truth unlike Oedipus who is blind to see the truth about his past and the crimes he has committed. It is ironic that the prophets Tiresias who is blind can see better then Oedipus in a metaphorical sense. The prophet Tiresias is physically blind but is able to see much more clearly than anyone else in the play. The fact that Tiresias can see more then Oedipus even though he is blind shows us how ignorant Oedipus is because even though he is not blind physically, he can still not see the truth about himself while the “blind” man can. The fact that Tiresias is blind but can see the future makes it seem like he has much more power than a normal prophet because the irony of the play makes it seem like he knows much more. Apparently Tiresias became blind because he accidentally saw Athena naked, and she covered his eyes with her hands, thus rendering him blind. When Tiresias' mother Chariclo asked Athena to restore her son's sight, the goddess could not undo her own action but gave him the gift of prophecy as compensation. Tiresias also mentions about Oedipus blindness and that him not wanting to know the truth will cause him his own downfall. Listen to me. You mock my blindness, do you?

But I say that you, with both your eyes, are blind:
You cannot even see the wretchedness of your life,
Nor in whose you live, no, nor with whom. (Oedipus Rex, Scene 1, Line 195-198)

Oedipus Choice to be blind really makes us understand everything and makes us feel that all of this was told to us in scene 1 when Tiresias foreshadowed the fact that he Oedipus might have eyes but he is the one who is truly blind when Oedipus mocked his blindness “Listen to me. You mock my blindness, do you? But I say that you, with both your eyes, are blind (Oedipus Tex,...
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