Blindness In Oedipus The King

This essay has a total of 736 words and 3 pages.

Blindness In Oedipus The King


Blindness plays a two-fold part in Sophocles' tragedy 'Oedipus the King.'; First,
Sophocles presents blindness as a physical disability affecting the auger Teiresias, and
later Oedipus; but later, blindness comes to mean an inability to see the evil in one's
actions and the consequences that ensue. The irony in this lies in the fact that Oedipus,
while gifted with sight, is blind to himself, in contrast to Teiresias, blind physically,
but able to see the evil to which Oedipus has fallen prey to. Tragically, as Oedipus gains
the internal gift of sight, he discards his outward gift of sight. Sight, therefore, seems
to be like good and evil, a person may only choose one.

Teiresias, prophet of Phoebus, was stricken with blindness to the physical world, but, as
a result, gained the gift of sight into the spiritual world. This great gift allowed him
to become a superior prophet, praised by the people as 'god like'; and as a person 'in
whom the truth lives.'; Therefore, it was no surprise that Oedipus asked the old prophet
to come before the people to enlighten them as to who or what the cause of the plague
decimating their country was. What Oedipus was not expecting, however, was that the sin he
could not see himself was to blame for the judgement being poured out upon the country.
The sin so hidden from Oedipus' and the peoples' eyes was quite visible to Teiresias. What
Teiresias lacked in his ability to see the world, he made up for in being able to see a
person's heart - a skill that nearly cost him his life after a lengthy argument with
Oedipus. Yet what distinguishes Teiresias from the others was his genuine concern for
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