Oedipus The King Teiresias Analysis

Decent Essays

In the play, Oedipus the King by Sophocles, Oedipus spends all his life trying to prevent a prophecy he had heard from coming true. To prevent it, Oedipus goes to Thebes and on his way, Oedipus kills a man who turns out to the king of Thebes, Laius. Thebes is under a curse and the control of a Sphinx, and if Oedipus answers the riddle of the Sphinx then he can free Thebes and become the king. Oedipus answers the riddle correctly and becomes the savior of Thebes and marries the queen, Jocasta, who was the wife of Laius. Because he marries Jocasta and killed Laius, the prophecy comes true; however, Oedipus does not know that the prophecy is true until later in the play. Teiresias is a blind prophet, who Oedipus asks to come to Thebes to see who the killer of Laius is. After Teiresias comes to visit Oedipus, he then spends the rest of his life in denial of what really happened. In Oedipus the King, Teiresias plays the role of showing Oedipus’ arrogance and ignorance through foreshadowing and dramatic irony.
In the scene where Oedipus forces Teiresias to visit him, Teiresias proves Oedipus’ arrogance when Teiresias declares, “You are the cursed polluter of this land” (353). Teiresias reveals how arrogant and ignorant Oedipus actually turns out to be when he says this to Oedipus. Oedipus acts surprised and exclaims, “Have you no shame at all?” (354), which reveals how Oedipus believes Teiresias is wrong and that he is not the reason for why Thebes is cursed. However, through

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