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The Tragic Tragedy Of Oedipus ' Oedipus The King '

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Noble yet naive, Oedipus eagerly seeks to discover if the oracle stating that he will murder his father and marry his mother is true. Although the beginning of Sophocles’ play “Oedipus The King” emphasizes Oedipus’ character as heroic, Oedipus eventually encounters an ironic turn of events once the truth brings knowledge of his past and present, and alters his attitude. The play’s powerful symbolic use of eyes and crossroads paired with the pattern of blindness towards truth foreshadows the downfall of a man who cannot change his inevitable fate. Even while seeing the truth with his own eyes, Oedipus’ enlightenment advances to physically blindness by the end of the play. Sophocles’ dramatic irony warns the audience that reluctance of the…show more content…
With this said, the fact that the crossroads contain three different roads that connect foreshadows this chain reaction.
Crossroads may also symbolize multiple outcomes or ways of managing a situation. In this case, Oedipus could decide between three different ways of solving the problem that was in front of him. The audience can see that this is an act of fate and prophecy rather than freedom and choice. According to the author of “The Oedipus Rex of Sophocles and Psychoanalysis,” Oedipus’ greatest mistake was inevitable. Mahony asserts, “[W]ithin the briefest time after hearing the oracular doom about his filial future, Oedipus unwittingly went on to have the most momentous involvement with two people old enough to be his parents” (294). This proves to the reader that the oracle was inevitable due to Oedipus’ inability to recognize his biological father. Oedipus’ inability to recognize his father, in other words his blindness, is the main connection to his own downfall. Eyesight and vision are reoccurring symbols in the play that represent a distinctive sign that helps the audience recognize when the truth is known and when Oedipus is unable or unwilling to see the truth. Wheelwright explains, “[W]hat we have…seen many times is that Oedipus acts not only in blindness but with blindness” (249). This means that Oedipus knows of the truth, yet ignores the truth because he is fearful of his fate. Therefore,
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