The Significance of Going Blind in Sophocles, King Oedipus

Topics: Oedipus, Oedipus the King, Sophocles, Tiresias, Blindness / Pages: 5 (1221 words) / Published: May 3rd, 2012
Diana Soproni
Humanities 123
Prof: Adrian Guiu
Date: 2.9.12

The Significance of Going Blind in Sophocles, King Oedipus

One of the most important theme in Oedipus Rex, remains the theme of blinding himself, Oedipus, central character of the play, ruler of Thebes, conqueror of the Sphinx, a great leader and role model a character dominated by valor and strong will. His destiny is sad; gods will help him to rise up to be a good king and to be loved by the people, and in the end help him to fall in the deepest abyss. The scene of blinding himself is the most touching one, being both shocking and reveling of the human condition. It is a classic part that needs to be understood; is a great way to bring the whole story together, being a type of action which gives us a better feel for the real tragedy. King Oedipus is both physical and metaphorical blind; clear-eyed Oedipus is blind to the truth about his origins and inadvertent crimes and only after he blinded himself he gains a prophetic ability.
Persevering in his urge to find the truth about his origins, pushing his actions beyond the limits and against anybody’s dissimilar advice, he overcame all in discovering his identity, discovering himself, but the seeming success is followed by an overwhelming action of self-mutilation. Prophesy becomes truth: he is his father’s murderer and his mother’s husband. Physical blindness keeps Oedipus from having to see the looks of other people’s faces who know the truth about him. He felt just to hurt himself for unknowingly being with his mother and killing his father and punishing himself for the terrible thinks he did. ”For why should I have sight, To whom nought now gave pleasure through the eye?” “What could I see, whom hear With gladness, whom delight in anymore?”(1). He cannot bear to see the consequences of being a criminal and immoralist, albeit unknowingly or to look in the eyes the father he kills or the mother he married when they all meet again in death.

Bibliography: “Oedipus-Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia” - “Blindness and Sight In Oedipus The King” – Lack Of Vision “Darkness and Light in Oedipus Rex” – “Despre tragedia greaca, erotism si multe altele” – Andrei Serban, Steaua, nr.11-21p/2006 Romania culturala

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