A Vision of Blindness

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A Vision of Blindness

According to Plato, anyone who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eyes are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light, which is true of the mind's eye, quite as much as of the bodily eye; and he who remembers this when he sees any one whose vision is perplexed and weak, will not be too ready to laugh; he will first ask whether that soul of man has come out of the brighter light, and is unable to see because unaccustomed to the dark, or having turned from darkness to the day is dazzled by excess of light. This describes the main cause of Oedipus’ downfall. The theme of being blind is repeated over and over again. In fact, anything having to do with sight or even the eyes is repeated. Oedipus was metaphorically blind, but he would soon be brought into the light and give up his own sight.

In the beginning of the play, Oedipus has perfect physical vision, while Teiresias' disability heightens the aura of his wisdom. Oedipus himself recognized this fact as he greeted Teiresias – “… all heavenly and earthly knowledge are in your grasp." It was evident by Teiresias’ line – “I refuse to utter the heavy secrets of my soul – and yours” that he already knew who the killer of King Laius was. Teiresias was shown to be metaphorically sighted – he knew the truth, yet was physically blind. This fact could be contrasted with Oedipus who was “in the dark” about the true identity of the murderer. He had sight but was blind to reality. Oedipus denied Teiresias 's accusation of having – “eyes wide open for profit but blind in prophecy” and “Shameless and brainless, sightless, senseless sot!” However, the audience knew that Teiresias was the one who had a vision whilst Oedipus was ignorant. Teiresias was angered and retorted, “Have you eyes and do not see your own damnation?” Oedipus had eyes of sight but not eyes of knowledge and therefore, was unaware that he had...
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