The theme of blindness in the oedipus the king a tragedy by sophocles

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The theme of blindness in the oedipus the king a tragedy by sophocles

Haleema Khalid Oedipus The King by Sophocles Theme of Blindness Sophocles was a prolific writer and his long life enabled him to have a prodigious literary output.


Men suffer in the tragedies of Sophocles, characterisation always charged with emotion and poetry guesstimates the growth and development of his dramatic genius. One of the main underlying themes in Oedipus Rex is blindness.

Not just physical blindness, but intellectual blindness as well. The blindness issue is an effective contrasting method for Oedipus at different points in the play.

Simply saying "blindness", however, is a little ambiguous. It can be broken down into two components: Oedipus's ability to "see" ignorance or lack thereofand his willingness to "see". The word "see" can be used in both contexts here. Throughout the play, these two components are always at the center of the action.

Author Samuel Butler once wrote, "A blind man knows he cannot see, and is glad to be led, though it be by a dog; but he that is blind in his understanding, which is the worst blindness of all, believes he sees as the best, and scorns a guide.

Throughout the tragedy Oedipus the King, Sophocles' repeatedly bring up the idea of sight and uses it as a metaphor for insight and knowledge. The protagonist of the play, Oedipus, is "blind" to the fact that the fate that he had tried so hard to avoid, had come true without him knowing of it, while the physically blind prophet Tiresias was the one who can actually "see" and understand the truth and the actions that had already occurred.

When Oedipus was just a baby he was taken away from Thebes to be left on a barren mountain to die after an oracle had told his father Laius, "that doom would strike him down at the hands of a son" The shepherd who was instructed to kill baby Oedipus, felt sorry for the new-born and figured that it would be just as effective to let the baby grow up in a faraway city, so that he would never know or meet his biological parents.

The shepherd took him to the city of Corinth where he was raised by Polybus and Merope, members of the royal family.

Laius and Jocasta assumed that there baby was killed but never went and sought for proof. This reluctance to think that someone might have pity on a baby that is only days old contributed to the inability to know the truth. Oedipus grew up believing that the royal family of Corinth was his biological family and was never told that he was adopted.

This is the first instance where it is apparent that Oedipus himself was truly "blind" to the truth of his history that would ultimately lead him to create his own demise.

Later in Oedipus' life, he overheard a drunken man say that he was not his father's son. After telling who he thought was his real parents the man's claim, they assured him it was false and mad at the man who spoke those words.

Oedipus was satisfied but still went to see an oracle. The oracle told him, "You are fated to couple with your mother, you will bring a breed of children into the light no man can bear to see- you will kill your father, the one who gave you life!

On his journey away from Corinth he was harassed by a group of travellers and he had to kill the group singlehandedly in self-defence.

He came to Thebes who had just had their king murdered at a crossroads and was busy trying to solve the riddle of the sphinx.

The citizens of Thebes inability to solve the riddle caused them to not seek out their past leaders killer. Oedipus quickly solved the riddle once arriving in the city and the citizens were so impressed with his knowledge and insight that Oedipus was named King of Thebes.

By being praised and being seen as a role model, caused him to believe that he was superior to most. This cockiness continued to contribute to his blindness of the situation that had occurred. You would think that a new king would ask questions about a preceding ruler especially one that was murdered.

APOLLODORUS BOOK 1 FOOTNOTES 1A - Theoi Classical Texts Library

He married Jocasta, unknowingly that she was his biological mother Oedipus was "blinded" to the fact that the prophecy that he worked so hard to avoid had come true without anyone's knowledge of what damage had already occurred.

Later on, the city of Thebes was suffering from a horrendous plague that would only go away if the murderer of Thebes' previous king, Laius, was either killed or banished from the city.

The citizens had great respect and confidence in their current king Oedipus, and begged him for help so they would not die like so many others that already had from the plague. Oedipus sends for a physically blind prophet named Tiresias to disclose to him everything that he knows about the murder of Laius.

Tiresias immediately recognizes Oedipus when he arrives in Corinth and refuses to tell him what he knows. You can't hurt me or anyone else who sees the light - you can never touch me. And the prophet is quick to counter by saying: So, you mock my blindness?

Oedipus Rex - Wikipedia

Let me tell you this. You with your precious eyes, you're blind to the corruption of your life, to the house you live in, those you live with- who are your parents?

All unknowing you are the scourge of your own flesh and blood With reference to Oedipus, Tiresias says, 'Blind who now has eyes, beggar who now is rich, he will grope his way toward a foreign soil, a stick tapping before him step by step.Moderation / Criticism / Exposition / Exposés David Aaronovitch.

Catholics try, rather unconvincingly, to show how conferring sainthood is different in principle to the pagan apotheosis (the process that made Claudius, for instance, into a God), but the distinction doesn't quite wash. . Theme of Blindness in Sophocles' Oedipus the King Sophocles?s play,?Oedipus the King?

is one of the most well known of the Greek tragedies.

The theme of blindness in the oedipus the king a tragedy by sophocles

The play?s interesting plot, along with the incredible way it is written are only two of the many reasons why two thousand years later, it is still being read and viewed.

LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Oedipus Rex, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Fate vs. Free Will The ancient Greeks believed that their gods could see the future, and that certain people could access this information.

Tiresias appears as the name of a recurring character in several stories and Greek tragedies concerning the legendary history of The Bacchae, by Euripides, Tiresias appears with Cadmus, the founder and first king of Thebes, to warn the current king Pentheus against denouncing Dionysus as a god.

Along with Cadmus, he dresses as a worshiper of Dionysus to go up the mountain to honor. “Oedipus the King” (Gr: “Oidipous Tyrannos”; Lat: “Oedipus Rex”) is a tragedy by the ancient Greek playwright Sophocles, first performed in about was the second of Sophocles' three Theban plays to be produced, but it comes first in the internal chronology (followed by “Oedipus at Colonus” and then “Antigone”).It follows the story of King Oedipus of Thebes as he.

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SparkNotes: The Oedipus Plays: Themes