The Blindness in Oedipus Rex

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  • Topic: Oedipus the King, Oedipus, Blindness
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  • Published : February 24, 2001
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The Blindness in Oedipus Rex

In the play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, the minor character of Tiresias is responsible for foreshadowing Oedipus' fate, developing the theme of blindness, and also illustrating dramatic irony. Tiresias is responsible for further developing the theme of blindness, by using his own physical blindness to reveal to Oedipus his mental blindness. Lastly, Tiresias is ultimately responsible for imposing dramatic irony because of his great knowledge of the truth of Oedipus. As a fortune teller, Tiresias is able to see the fate and destruction of Oedipus' life. Tiresias uses his great ability to reveal to the reader the downfalls in Oedipus' life that will soon occur because of his quest to know his fate. The character of Tiresias demonstrates the use of foreshadowing in order for the reader to be aware of Oedipus' fate.

Tiresias also foreshadows the self-mutilation and destruction of Oedipus. The following quotation clearly displays the use of foreshadowing by Tiresias, " I say you know not in what worst of shame you live together with those nearest you, and see not in what evil plight you stand." (Sophocles, pg 14). The preceding quotation foreshadows the self-destruction that Oedipus will commit because of the blindness that he holds towards his past and his fate. Tiresias explains to Oedipus that even though he can physically see now, in the future he will be blinded because he learned the truth of his life. Tiresias clearly utilizes foreshadowing to illustrate the downfalls that will occur in Oediups' fated life.

Tiresias further develops the theme of blindness in Oedipus Rex. Tiresias is a blind man who can actually see the fated outcome of Oedipus' life. Even though Oedipus has full use of his physical vision, he is completely blind of his and his fate. Tiresias uses his own blindness to make Oedipus aware of his own mental blindness towards the truths of his life. Tiresias reveals to Oedipus that it is Oedipus'...
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