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Oedipus Rex - From Light to Dark.

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Oedipus Rex - From Light to Dark.

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  • November 13, 2003
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Oedipus Rex - From Light to Dark

The tragedy of Oedipus Rex, a drama text by Sophocles, follows the moral underpinning Greek tragedy theme throughout - that people learn through suffering. The plot is developed around a light verses darkness theme. This theme is best demonstrated through Oedipus' pride, his encounters with Tiresias, and his wife Jocasta.

The irony of sight in this play can be marked by Oedipus' inability to realize that which is evident to the reader. From the very beginning, Oedipus was in darkness by pride. With the city of Thebes dying, Oedipus vows to do everything in his power to find Laius' killer. The leader of the chorus advises Oedipus that no one knows the identity of the murderer, and that the god Apollo should name him to the people. Oedipus replies "to force the gods to act against their will- no man has the power."(320) He has called on the blind seer, Tiresias, who can "see" what Oedipus can not though he suffers of old age and physical blindness.

Tiresias, who is able to see the truth of the downfall of Oedipus thorough the oracle's prophecy even in his own blindness, becomes the comparative image from which Oedipus is judged, both by himself and by others. Throughout the conversation between Oedipus and Tiresias, he will not divulge the information King Oedipus is longing to hear. Tiresias says, "I'd rather not cause pain to you or me. So why this...useless interrogation? You'll get nothing from me" (321). This enrages Oedipus and he blames him for the murder, and then for conspiring with Creon to take his throne. These accusations Oedipus makes are caused by his fear of the truth he is too blind to see. This blame causes an argument between the two.

During the argument, Oedipus insults Tiresias' of his blindness. It is ironic that Oedipus, who is disrespectful to Tiresias because of his blindness, is spiritually blinded from the truth himself. Tiresias comes back denoting Oedipus' blindness to the truth, but assures...