The Greek play, Oedipus the King, shows how easy it is for a man to fall apart, while trying to make things right. Sophocles’ tragedy tells the story of Oedipus, a regular man turned king of Thebes. Throughout the tragedy, Oedipus searches for the cause of the chaos and havoc encompassing his land; however, he discovers that he is the one responsible for the hardships plaguing Thebes. As the tragedy continues, Sophocles’ exposes a dark side to power, fame, and ambition. Further, Sophocles’ exposes the fear that many have of the truth, and exposes the grave danger in hiding from it.
Sophocles incorporated many examples of the irony of “blindness” in the story. In the text, Oedipus was struggling to find who the pollution was and he called the blind prophet Tiresias to help him. Tiresias refuses to say who is causing the pollution is but makes it very clear he knows who is at fault. Oedipus soon realizes Tiresias is holding back and he begins to taunt him for being blind. “It has, but not for you; it has no strength for you because you are blind in mind and ears as well as in your eyes” (Sophocles 428-430). Oedipus continues to taunt him for not telling him what he wants to hear. Teiresias finally caves in and gives Oedipus the details of who it is, almost straight out telling him, that Oedipus is in fact is responsible for the pollution, the king's death, and that the prophecy has come true. “He’ll have no joy of the discovery: blindness for sight, and beggary for riches his exchange, he shall go journeying to a foreign country tapping his way before him with a stick. He shall be proved father and brother both to his own children in his own house; to her that gave him birth, a son and husband both; a fellow sower in his father's bed with that same father that he murdered. Go within reckon that out, and if you find me mistaken, say I have no skill in prophecy ( Sophocles 530-541). Oedipus becomes outraged and soon calls the shepherd to confirm how many killers were involved in the king's death. The shepherd confirms there was only one killer and then Oedipus beings to panic. He begins to fear
Tragedy and truth. Sophocles’ famous play Oedipus the King, shares the destined fate of King Oedipus who embarks on a journey of self discovery, only to reveal a wicked truth about himself. A tragic hero can be identified as someone who contains five traits which are: larger than life, driven by an impossible dream, expecting more then the world can return, having a tragic flaw that leads to downfall and lastly, doomed to fail. Throughout the story of Oedipus, there can be many connections made that he, by definition, is a tragic hero and can apply to all these traits. As Oedipus tries to discover who he is, he realizes that in the end he was always doomed to fail, led by his dream of being
With his great knowledge and accomplishment establishing him as a man of insight and honor he is crowned King of Thebes. Oedipus, unwilling to hear or see truth, smites a blind man in the midst of his own ignorance and denial to reality. Teiresias, a blind prophet, is stood before Oedipus to reveal his visions about the identity of the murderer. “PAGE 11/40 TEIRESIAS thou hast not spared To twit me with my blindness--thou hast eyes, Yet see'st not in what misery thou art fallen, Nor where thou dwellest nor with whom for mate. Dost know thy lineage? Nay, thou know'st it not, And all unwitting art a double foe...” Teiresias reveals Oedipus' fate to him. He reveals that Oedipus doesn't know who his true parents are, and is living a doubly bad fate. Oedipus becomes engaged and accusatory of Teiresias at the thought of someone threatening his preconceived reality. “PAGE 10/40 OEDIPUS There is strength where there is truth, but not in you Oedipus. You don't possess this quality, for you are blind in your ears, mind, and eyes.” Oedipus even goes as far as to suggest that Teiresias murdered King Laius. “PAGE 10/40 OEDIPUS Thou methinks thou art he, I think that you are he who planned this crime, and he who even committed it too..” Oedipus, self righteous and pompous, believes that he can do no wrong. His ego is so big that he tears down and slanders
In Aristotle's work, the tragic hero can get caught up by hamartia which ends up leading him to his downfall. In Oedipus the King, which is a tragic play that is written by Sophocles it shows King Oedipus having many different flaws that are under the protection of hamartia that include madness, stubbornness, and pride that soon that end up leading to his final death. Oedipus shows an attitude of stubbornness during the progression of the play. Oedipus' stubbornness is uncovered early in the play when Tiresias who is a prophet of Apollo, mentions to Oedipus to terminate the investigation of Laius' killer. Oedipus quickly disagrees with him, he wants to find the man who murdered Lauis and brought the plague upon Thebes. Oedipus states, "By all the gods, do not deny us what you know. We ask you, all of us, on bended knees." Tiresias' persistence to withhold the truth is demolished by Oedipus' stubbornness and madness. Tiresias surrenders to Oedipus' stubbornness and states the truth which outrages Oedipus; "...The murder of the man whose murder you pursue is you." Oedipus stubbornness is so overpowering that he disregards Tiresias' bluntness without even a slight thought. Oedipus' statement, "To your heart's content. Mouth away!" which obviously shows his stubbornness when he disregards Tiresias' prophecy and regards it as gibberish. Oedipus' stubborn persistence will ultimately lead to his mother's death. At the end of the play Oedipus becomes aware that he was adopted and instantaneously investigates his origin. Jocasta, Oedipus' wife hesitantly encourages Oedipus to end his identity search, fearing that Oedipus would learn of his shameful sins of killing
The Greek drama “Oedipus The King” evidently leads to the unveiling of a tragedy. Oedipus, the protagonist of the play uncovers his tragic birth story and the curse he had been baring his whole life. Oedipus is notorious for his personal insight that helped him defeat Sphinx, which lead him to becoming the king of Thebes. He is admired by the people of Thebes and is considered to be a mature, inelegant and a rational leader. From his birth, his story began with a prophecy that Oedipus would grow up to kill his father and marry his mother. Through out the play numerous people, who tell him of his unknown past, visit Oedipus. Blind to the truth he casts them away until a blind man named Therisis gives a sight of truth to Oedipus. As Oedipus learns the truth he realizes the great evil his life carries. After finding his wife and also mother hung in her bedroom, Oedipus blinds himself with the gold pins that held Jocasta’s robe. Oedipus blind to the truth is finally able to see when the old blind man visits him and tells him the truth about his life. Both metaphorically and physically sight plays a significant role in understanding the irony of a blind man seeing the truth while Oedipus who isn’t blind doesn’t seem to the truth that’s right in front of him.
Oedipus intelligence could not see the truth, but the blind man, Teiresias, saw it plainly. Sophocles uses blindness as a theme in the play. Oedipus was uninformed and as a result blind to the truth about himself and his past. Yet, when Teiresias exposes the truth he is in denial. It is left to Oedipus to conquer his blindness, accept the truth, and realize fate. But instead Oedipus ridicules Terirsias blindness and accuses him of being on the side of Kreon and helping him become King. He accuses Teiresias for being paid to tell a fraudulent prophecy to him. Quickly Teiresias answers him back and tells him he is BLIND, and tells him about his past of who his actual mother and father was.
The Aristotelian Tragedy, Oedipus the King by Sophocles, shows how fast a person can take a great fall. It really shows how someone can be at their highest point one day, but the next day be at their lowest. Oedipus is a wonderful king and ruler of Thebes, but he had a terrible fate that he couldn’t even save himself from. When the city is in need of finding the murderer of the previous king, Laius, every clue he finds brings him to the conclusion that he is the murderer. Through the use motif of blindness, Sophocles creates the cathartic effect on the audience that you cannot see the truth until it hurts you.
Through the course of the play Oedipus is the detective, the judge, and the jury. He investigates, decides a verdict, and carries out his own punishment. When Tiresias arrives at Thebes Oedipus questions him looking for answers. Tiresias is a blind man, who ironically can see the future and truths of people’s lives. It is Tiresias who is the first person to tell Oedipus that he has killed his own father. He tells Oedipus “you do not see the evil in which you live.” Oedipus doubts Tiresias’ ability to see the truths because of his physical blindness and states, “ You
Sophocles is one of the best and most well-known ancient Greek tragedians. He influenced the development of drama especially by adding a third character and thereby reducing the importance of the chorus in the presentation of the plot. Even though he wrote 123 plays, he is mostly famous for his three plays concerning Oedipus and Antigone: these are often known as the Theban plays or The Oedipus Cycle. One of these plays is “Oedipus the King”, which will be discussed throughout this essay. In Oedipus the King, Oedipus learns, as the story unfolds, that he committed both patricide and incest. Sophocles’ use of dramatic irony emphasizes how limited
The use of hamartia is a key component to a tragedy in Greek times. In the festival of Dionysus, the use of hamartia played a key role in the production of tragic plays that enhances the audience experience in establishing morals and ideals in many different ways. Sophocles’ Oedipus the King is a key example of this, a play about the unfortunate destiny bestowed upon Oedipus. During the play, Oedipus attempts to flee from his destiny that he will marry his mother and kill his father. The dramatic irony where Oedipus tries to doubt the gods is imprudent and foolish, and his hamartia further led him to his tragic downfall. Throughout this tragedy, the use of hamartia is used to justify the catastrophic events that happened to Oedipus and his
exercising his free choice by making bad decisions . Oedipus certainly meets these portrayals of a tragic hero. The dialect of tragedy consists of two circles: one is a relative point and the other is impacted and the effect on its audience. Sophocles and Aristotle’s achieve that task with absolute clearness. The modern reader, coming to the classic drama not entirely to the enjoyment, will not always surrender himself to the emotional effect. He is apt to worry about Greek ‘fatalism’ and the justice of the downfall of Oedipus, and, finding no satisfactory solution for these intellectual difficulties, loses half the pleasure that the drama was intended to produce . In dramatizing stories, there will dependably blends of passionate sentiments, suspense, and fervor to discover what’s
From the very beginning, what makes Oedipus ' actions in his quarrel with Teiresias and also throughout the play so dramatically compelling, is the fact that the audience knows the outcome of the story. We know Oedipus ' fate even before he does, and there is no suspense about the outcome itself, instead, the audience anxiously awaits Oedipus to reveal his fate unto himself in his desperate quest to rid his city of the terrible plague, or maybe even more so, to simply discover his own unfortunate tale. Oedipus is relentless in his pursuit of the truth, and his determination is commendable. There is nothing that compels him to act in this way, instead he freely chooses, with much zeal, to initiate the chain of events that will ultimately lead to his downfall. It is this interplay between Oedipus’ own free will and his fated eventuality that is the crux of the play, and constitutes the main dramatic power.
Oedipus the King by Sophocles is about Oedipus, a man doomed by his fate. Like most tragedies, “Oedipus the King” contains a tragic hero, a heroic figure unable to escape his/her own doom. This tragic hero usually has a hamartia or a tragic flaw which causes his/hers’ downfall. The tragic flaw that Sophocles gives Oedipus is hubris (exaggerated pride or self-confidence), which is what caused Oedipus to walk right into the fate he sought to escape.
“Oedipus the King” contains many characters with differing characteristics. Some of these characteristics go hand-in-hand with the two main themes in the play.Tiresias and Oedipus in the play “Oedipus the King” are conflicting characters. These two characters illustrate the contrasting the differences of blindness & sight and knowledge & ignorance, and different interpretations of these ideas. The themes blindness & sight and knowledge & ignorance are similar in how they relate to each character.