Sight in Oedipus the King

834 WordsMar 2, 20084 Pages
Once blind, but Now he Sees: Sight in Oedipus the King Sophocles was a phenomenal writer that captivated his audience with a distinct charm still not yet duplicated by even the best of play-writers today. In Oedipus the King, a tale of dynamic proportions regarding a leader who falls from the throne of a city to the dark depths of is fate, Sophocles demonstrates great genius in that his writings require a substantial amount of intellectual involvement from his audience. (Helmbold) One of the frequently mentioned images driving the plot of the play is the concept of sight verses blindness. This motif of blindness in Oedipus the King is critical to the storyline and entire plot of the play. It allows Sophocles to toy with the definition…show more content…
Another rather clear ironic result in the play is that of Oedipus' fate in relation to his original condition. Once blinded with ignorance, Oedipus finally discovers the truth, but blinds himself as a result of his disgust. "What I did was best," he begins, "I with my eyes, how could I look at my father in the eyes… the sight of my children, not with these eyes of mine… I am misery!" (Sophocles 243) The play certainly comes "full circle," with Oedipus' unintentional blindness eventually changing to a self-inflicted blindness, and such an occurrence would not have been possible without Sophocles' use of sight and blindness. Therefore, Understanding the true meaning of sight as defined by Sophocles in the play is essential to facilitate the comprehension of the underlying morals and actual significance throughout the play. Without such knowledge, reading the play will merely result in one's partial understanding of the message that Sophocles was trying to convey. Works Cited Fagles, Robert, trans. The Three Theban Plays. New York, NY: Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 1982. 155-278. Helmbold, W.C. "The Paradox of the Oedipus." The American Journal of Philology Vol. 80, no. 3, 1951:
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