Analysis Of Oedipus ' Oedipus The King '

Decent Essays
The theme of sight and blindness is undoubtedly important to notice while reading Oedipus the King. The number of times the words “see” or “blind” are in the play make it make it undeniably obvious that they are significant. The theme is developed throughout the dialogue, through characters such as Tiresias and Oedipus, and also directly in the irony of the play. It is important in a play about the truth because almost every character was “blind” to the truth. All of the characters, except one, can physically see, but mentally cannot see the truth. Oedipus seems to believe that he is some sort of god, and that he is omnipotent. He tells the priest, “I see – how could I fail to see what longings bring you here?” (575, 70-71). Towards the beginning of the play, Oedipus is accusing a man, Tiresias, of trying to overthrow him and of killing the old King Laius. Keep in mind – Tiresias is blind himself. Oedipus condemns, “…short of killing him with your own hands – and given eyes I’d say you did the killing single-handed” (583, 396-397). This is just one of the first instances where loss of vision is mentioned. Oedipus is blindly calling him a liar, while he does not even know the truth himself. Oedipus many times claims that Tiresias cannot see something; however, the “things” he cannot see are almost always moral, not physical. It seems as though Oedipus blames Tiresias’ blindness for not being able to understand ethical situations. For example, “…you cannot see how far
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