Theme Of Blindness In Oedipus Rex

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In Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, the author is able to weave a thread of blindness throughout the famous tale that not only emphasizes the tragic irony within it, but sheds light on the capacity of human insight and intellect as well. Part of the irony lies in the idea that in attempting to escape his fate, Oedipus runs right to it. Additionally, Sophocles prompts the reader to contemplate how much of their life is controlled by free will versus destiny. Oedipus experiences this conflict and ultimately discovers his is determined by the latter. Before he comes to this conclusion, he lives in ignorant bliss, and this theme of blindness is underlined by the recurring motif of his prophecy.
From the moment he was born—well, to be precise, three days after—Oedipus’ feet are chained and bound together after his dad is told that Oedipus would one day kill him. Despite his dad’s intentions to leave him on a mountainside so as to avoid this prophecy, Oedipus survives the incident. As a result, his feet are permanently scarred and these scars are symbolic in two ways: the first having to do with the inevitable fate put upon Oedipus by the Gods, and the second relating to his ignorance. In the prophetic sense, his swollen ankles represent how fate has marked and set him apart, resulting in constricted and confined moments since birth. This reinforces the idea Sophocles portrays of how much power one has or lack thereof in the face of the Gods. For reasons unknown to him, Oedipus has been
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