Oedipus and Blindness

In: English and Literature

Submitted By rraimey
Words 1892
Pages 8
R Raimey
28 November 2011
In the dictionary, blindness is defined as unable to see; lacking the sense of sight; but the second definition of blindness is defined as, unwilling or unable to perceive or understand. As read in the play, blindness is seen as a central theme. Not speaking of only physical blindness, but blindness as to understanding what’s in front of Oedipus. His flaws and the exposure of the truth bring about his downfall. Since he is of high rank, he believes things he wants to believe. In the play titled, “Oedipus the King,” by Sophocles, he uses physical blindness and mental blindness to show Oedipus' status as an unfortunate hero.
While Oedipus is trying to find Laius’ murderer, Creon comes to him with news from Apollo. Creon says that Apollo wants them to clearly “drive the corruption from the land (620)…” With that, Oedipus sends for the blind prophet by the name of Tiresias who “… sees with the eyes of Lord Apollo…” to help him find the killer (625). When Tiresias tells Oedipus “[he is] the murderer that [he] hunt[s] (627), Oedipus still does not understand even though Tiresias has told him in three different ways. He cannot see himself as someone that would murder a king and bring a plague to the city. He thinks of himself as the one who came to Thebes’ rescue and drove the plague away. In addition, Oedipus knows that Tiresias cannot be wrong, because he is a psychic; he has no incentive to lie. Furthermore, when Tiresias tells Oedipus that “[He is] the curse, the corruption of the land (627),” he should have connected that statement with the words of Apollo that the leader had given him earlier, but he was only hearing them, he wasn’t listening. Since Tiresias could sees through the eyes of Apollo, then their views would be the same; and they are. Also, when Tiresias and Oedipus are speaking, Tiresias says, “… you’re blind to the corruption…...

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