Oedipus Symbolism

Topics: Meaning of life, Symbolism, Truth Pages: 3 (986 words) Published: December 6, 2011
Oedipus Symbolism
Many stories from ancient times as well as present times use symbolism to prove a point or to help with the understanding of the story. Symbolisms are used in stories and plays of all kinds to help get a point across or to help clarify the meaning of the story, and the play, Oedipus the King, is no different. There are many things throughout the play that are symbolic and very important to the understanding of the play. Two of the major symbolic things in the play are blindness and binding. Both of these things have a deeper meaning than simply the literal meaning of the words used to describe them. Blindness is used as a symbol to understanding, and is seen as a physical blindness and well as a spiritual blindness with both having equal importance in showing that just because a person can see something does not mean that they understand what they are seeing or what they are supposed to see. The binding is used to help show that the prophecies of the gods will be fulfilled regardless of what man does to try and stop them. The physical binding is used to symbolize that regardless of what types of interventions are implemented, some things are just destined to be. These symbolic meanings are what make this play such an intriguing and memorable one.

The first of the two symbolic things is blindness, which is used as a symbol to understanding. There are many references throughout the play about sight, seeing, blindness, and vision. Even though all of these words can essentially refer to the physical sight created by the human eyes, that is not what all of these words refer to in the play. Teiresias was a man who was physically blind and unable to see the things around him through his eyes, however when it comes to spiritual sight he could see everything clearly. Teiresias understood everything that had happened and he warned Oedipus that he did not want to know who killed his father, but Oedipus kept prying. Oedipus was the exact opposite of...

Cited: Wilkie, Brian, and James Hurt. Literature of the Western World Volume I: The Ancient World
Through the Renaissance. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 2001, 1997, 1992. Print
“Oedipus the King.” Wikipedia.org. n.p. n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2011
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