Oedipus Rex : The Pursuit Of Self Knowledge

1822 Words Apr 19th, 2016 8 Pages
Oedipus Rex: The Pursuit of Self-Knowledge
Ciara J. Peterson
ENG 200: World Literature- Wilson
03/15/2016

The most famous scene in Sophocles’, Oedipus Rex, is when Oedipus gouges out his eyes. But, that’s not the only example of sight and blindness in this play. In Sophocles ' plays there was always extensive content where he paid considerable attention to the element of “spectacle” in his plays. When observing the theme of vision, it invites the audience to look at the action with a double perspective, through their own eyes and through the eyes of those on stage. Within this play, sight and blindness are the underlying themes. Sight is commonly associated with light or positive overtones, and blindness is attached to darkness or negative undertones. The approach to describing blindness deals with not only physical blindness but also metaphorical blindness. Oedipus ' blindness changes from bad to worse at different scenes of the play. Although the word "blindness" seems quite simple, it can be very debatable. Blindness or the inability to “see” consist of two elements; Oedipus 's ability to see vs his desire to see. Throughout many scenes, the two elements are used in pattern form. Some scholars mention the two aspects of the play in addition to discussing the theme of knowledge. Lazlo Versenyi, Thomas Hoey, Marjorie Champlain, analyze the play from different perspectives. Versenyi says the play was “a tragedy of self- knowledge”, with the use of terms…
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