The themes of seeing and blindness in oedipus rex a play by sophocles

Thebes is suffering because the person guilty of the murder of King Laius has not been brought to justice. Once Oedipus learns the truth of his parentage and that he is the killer of Laius, his father, he blinds himself by gouging his eyes out. During the fifth century B.

Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. Blindness is used both literally and metaphorically in the play. When the priests come to ask for his help, he has already dispatched Creon to the oracle to find out what the gods suggest.

Teiresias tells him, though, You have your eyes but see not where you are in sin, nor where you live, nor whom you live with. Free Will Themes and Colors LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Oedipus Rex, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Teiresias also makes a key prediction here: When the chorus suggests that he consult Tiresias, Oedipus has already sent for him. Teiresias, on the other hand, is literally blind but sees more about Oedipus than Oedipus can see in himself.

Oedipus quickly becomes angry and pokes fun at the prophet and his blindness. This is an extraordinary moment because it calls into question the entire truth-seeking process Oedipus believes himself to be undertaking.

Teiresias, again, is physically blind and needs a young boy to lead him to Oedipus. Yet ultimately it is not legal guilt but the emotion of guilt, of remorse for having done something terrible, that drives the play. Oedipus tells Jocasta of a prophecy he heard as a youth, that he would kill his father and sleep with his mother, and Jocasta tells Oedipus of a similar prophecy given to Laius, that her son would grow up to kill his father.

Good king that he is, Oedipus swears he… Action vs. Perhaps his story is meant to show that error and disaster can happen to anyone, that human beings are relatively powerless before fate or the gods, and that a cautious humility is the best attitude toward life.

King Laius has been dead for many years, Oedipus has ruled for some time, and his marriage to Jocasta has produced four children. Teiresias is hesitant to reveal what he knows, but Oedipus presses him.

Reflection In his quest for truth, Oedipus is a man of constant action. Neither can face the possibility of what it would mean if the servant were wrong. He does not want to literally see his parents in the underworld or the city that he has wronged.

Oedipus Rex Themes

Prophets or seers, like blind Tiresias, saw visions of things to come. Do you know who your parents are? Moral duties—such as the duties owed to the dead—make up the body of unwritten law and tradition, the law to which Antigone appeals.Oedipus the King by Sophocles. Home / Literature / Oedipus the King / Analysis / Teiresias is literally blind, but he can see clearly the horror that is Oedipus' past, present, and future.

blind. At the end of the play, Oedipus becomes symbolic of all of humanity, stumbling forward through a dark and unknowable universe. BACK; NEXT. Essay on Oedipus Rex In Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, the theme of irony plays an important part through the play.

What Oedipus does, what he says, and even who he is can sometimes be ironic. This irony can help us to see the character of Oedipus as truly a 'blind' man, or a wholly 'public' man. Darkness and light are tightly wound up with the theme of sight and blindness in Sophocles' play.

Oedipus - and all the other characters, save for Teiresias -. Sophocles builds the theme of blindness by having all of the characters in Oedipus Rex either start off as blind, become blind, refuse to see the truth, or wish they had never seen it. Blindness symbolizes the characters' ignorance.

The ThemeTracker below shows where, and to what degree, the theme of Sight vs. Blindness appears in each section of Oedipus Rex. Click or tap on any chapter to read its Summary & Analysis. Click or tap.

Get an answer for 'Discuss the theme of sight and blindness in Oedipus Rex, how it is important, and how it affects the idea of truth.' and find homework help for other Oedipus Rex questions at eNotes.

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The themes of seeing and blindness in oedipus rex a play by sophocles
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