How does one take back words that were said in haste? In Sophacles' Oedipus Rex, Oedipus longed to retract the curse that he brought upon himself but what he did could not be undone. Oedipus' pride blinded him to himself and everything around him. He had eyes that could see physically but could not recognize any faults within himself. Ironically, a blind man was able to perceive the truth and even then Oedipus did not believe. Sophacles' Oedipus Rex is the epiphany of dramatic irony.
Oedipus is a proud man. He thinks of himself as the savior of Thebes. Oedipus tells the people of Thebes, "I am the land's avenger by all rights/ and Apollo's champion too. (154-155). What rights is he talking about? He may be the king of Thebes and he may have solved the riddle of the Sphinx but no one proclaimed him as Apollo's champion. Oedipus makes the same mistakes over and over again. Instead of receiving Creon's news from Apollo's prophet privately, Oedipus had to have it proclaimed in public. Once Creon had returned with the news he suggested they both go inside. Creon had said, "I'm ready now, or we might go inside" (104). Even though Creon had no idea what was underfoot, he recognized the potentially perilous situation the news could cause. Oedipus would have none of it, he told Creon to, "Speak out, speak to us all" (104). Oedipus could not pass up that chance to make himself look superior in front of the public. His enormous ego blinded him.
Afterwards, when Tiresias the blind prophet arrived, Oedipus did not heed his warning either. Tiresias, though blind he was, could see the truth before anyone had the slightest clue. Tiresias also understood the danger of knowing such information and attempted not to disclose what he knew. When asked who the murderers of Laius were he ominously told Oedipus, "None of you knows and I will never reveal my dreadful secrets, not to say your own" (374). Once again the warning went unheeded. In fact Oedipus...
Cited: Sophacles. Oedipus the King. Literature and the Writing Process. Ed. Elizabeth McMahan, Susan X Day, and Robert Funk. 5th ed. Upper Saddle River: Prentice, 1999. (776-818)
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