Sophocles' Tragedies 'Oedipus Rex' and 'Antigone': Character Analysis of Teiresias

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Sophocles' tragedies "Oedipus Rex" and "Antigone" both present the character of Teiresias as being a strong individual who has supernatural powers and is dedicated to assisting society by using them. Even with this, the fact that his information mostly generates suffering around him makes it difficult for him to put across his thinking and is visibly a reason for pain rather than being a blessing. The character is often chastised as a result of the information that he provides, as individuals practically feel that he is responsible for the suffering that they experience. Teiresias actually claims that the protagonists "must trust a prophet's words" (Sophocles & Rudall). Both tragedies show him as a person who is reluctant to inform people with regard to what the future holds for them and both emphasize his unfortunate condition. Both Creon and Oedipus employ similar attitudes in dealing with Teiresias and even though they are the ones who ask for information from him, they both accuse him of being corrupt. The prophet eventually manages to convince both of them that his words are true and they accept their fates somewhat reluctantly. Teiresias is more sympathetic toward Oedipus than he is towards Creon and this is probably owed to the fact that he is well-acquainted with the gravity of the situation that the former is in. Teiresias is practically forced to "speak against my will" (Sophocles) and tells Oedipus that "the murderer you're looking for is you!" (Sophocles).

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