Blindness, Sight and Eyes in Sophocles' Oedipus The King Essay

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The Deeper Meaning of Sight and Eyes in Sophocles' Oedipus The King

In Sophocles' play, "Oedipus The King," the continuous references to eyes and sight possess a much deeper meaning than the literal message. These allusions are united with several basic underlying themes. The story contains common Ancient Greek philosophies, including those of Plato and Parmenides, which are often discussed and explained during such references. A third notion is the punishment of those who violate the law of the Gods. The repeated mentioning of sight and eyes signify the numerous ancient Greek beliefs present in the story.

During the Theban Trilogy, there are two major philosophical ideals present. The first, and most significant is the ever
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The other philosophies present come from two people, Parmenides and Plato. Parmenides theorized that things do not change, and therefore that man's senses were inaccurate and unreliable. A blind prophet Tiresius informs Oedipus of what has happened. Abhorred, Oedipus did not even consider that Tiresias was telling the truth. Instead, he accused the soothsayer of lying and insulting him by stating that "your riddance is a blessing." (41) Oedipus is truly the blind one, as he restricts himself to the literal meaning of the tale of the oracle. Unwilling to see what was before him, the overwhelming evidence of his crimes, Oedipus looked for others to blame. Another parallel to being sighted, but blind, is present in Plato's "Myth of The Cave." Just as the cave dwellers did not want to explore the world outside, Oedipus did not want his fate. Oedipus is the cave dweller and Tiresius is the enlightened one who cast off his fetters and sees the true world, the world of ideas.

Punishment is another element in Hellenistic life. For attempting to escape his destiny, Oedipus is punished by Apollo. However, Oedipus goes beyond what the Gods decreed by blinding himself and then leaving Thebes in exile. The city and even more, his children, are only reminders of his malfeasance. Leaving Thebes is also an attempt to distance himself
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