Tiresias Acts in Both Antigone and Oedipus the King

Topics: Oedipus, Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus Pages: 3 (750 words) Published: October 29, 2012
John Smith
Mrs. Barber
English 2 Honors
August 21, 2012
“Not least among the achievements of this great age was the invention and perfection of an artistic medium which we take so unthinkingly for granted that we cannot imagine civilized life without it-the theater.”(Knox 13) Sophocles was the most accomplished playwright in the dramatic competitions of the city-state of Athens that took place during the religious festivals of the Lenaea and the Dionysia. The first of the three Theban plays to be written was Antigone which was believed to have been written around 441 B.C., Secondly Oedipus the King around 430 b.c., and lastly Oedipus at Colonus sometime near the end of Sophocles’ life in 406–405 b.c. However in chronological order, the plays go Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and lastly Antigone. The plays were all written and produced in Athens, Greece.

Oedipus summons Tiresias to prophesize what he should do to help the city, but Tiresias knows what he has done and does not wish to prophesize for Oedipus. First, Tiresias tries to hint at the mistake Oedipus has made but Oedipus’s pride is too great and he refuses to listen to Tiresias and blames him for the murder. You see this when Oedipus says “… You did the work, yes, short of killing him with your own hands- and given eyes I’d say you did the killing single-handed.”(Fagles 178) Another time when Oedipus is blinded by his pride is when he is talking to Tiresias and Tiresias tells Oedipus of his own blinding. When see this when Tiresias says, “I pity you, flinging at me the very insults each man here will fling at you so soon.”(Fagles 181) Finally once more after Oedipus is very unkind to Tiresias, Tiresias prophesizes what Oedipus’s life is and what it will be. We see this when Tiresias says, “… you’re blind to the corruption of your life... double lash of your mother and your father’s curse will whip you from this land one day… That day you learn the truth about your marriage, the...

Cited: Knox, Bernard. “Greece and The Theatre.”
The Three Theban Plays. By Sophocles. New York:
Penguin, 1982. 13-30 Print.
_ _ _. “Notes on the Translation.”
The Three Theban Plays. By Sophocles. New York:
Penguin, 1982. 395-414. Print.
Sophocles. The Three Theban Plays.
Translated. Robert Fagles. New York. Penguin,
1982. Print.
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