Vision And Blindness In Oedipus Tyrannus

Table of Content

The drama Oedipus Tyrannus, written by Sophocles, is a drama filled with symbols and sarcasm affecting the facet of both vision and sightlessness. This facet of the fresh takes on an of import function in the life of Oedipus, the swayer of Thebes. He originally feels as though he knows and sees everything, however, as the slogan of the Oracle at Delphi provinces, he does non “cognize thyself,” as he will happen out toward the terminal of the drama. The impression of seeing and blindness becomes an of import and dry symbol in the tragic autumn of Oedipus, a adult male who could non get away his batch or moira.

Initially, Oedipus is a confident leader who believes he is educated and knows the truth about himself and the land he presides over, Thebes. This is because he was proclaimed the most celebrated adult male alive as a consequence of his replying the Sphinx’s conundrum to salvage Thebes from a tragic epidemic. However, at the beginning of the drama there is another pestilence doing heartache to the members of Thebes, and Oedipus goes so far as to state that he will halt at nil to free Thebes of this pollution. He states, “Each of you heartaches for himself entirely, while my bosom must bear the strain of sorrow for all – myself and you and all our metropolis’s people. No I am non blind to it,”  . Yet in kernel he is blind to it because he is the indirect cause for the epidemic in Thebes. Oedipus finds out that the cause for the Epidemic is that cipher came away as an retaliator in the slaying of King Laius. Oedipus so states, “I shall non discontinue until I bring the truth to visible radiation. Apollo has shown, and you have shown, the responsibility which we owe the dead,”  . This is dry in that Oedipus vows to do the truth come to illume so that everybody can see it, including himself. Furthermore, this is symbolic because Apollo is god of light and vision, the exact features Oedipus believes he has but really needs.

This essay could be plagiarized. Get your custom essay
“Dirty Pretty Things” Acts of Desperation: The State of Being Desperate
128 writers

ready to help you now

Get original paper

Without paying upfront

Another case in the drama where sight and sightlessness become an issue is when Oedipus sends to see the prophesier Teiresias, second merely to Apollo. Teiresias is physically unsighted and Oedipus holds this against Teiresias. He goes so far as to province, “Your ears are deaf, your eyes are unsighted, your head? your head is crippled!” . This nonetheless is rather dry for Oedipus is mentally unsighted. He is incognizant of who he is. Oedipus is the liquidator of his male parent, hubby and lover to his female parent, and brother to his kids. Teiresias responds to Oedipus? accusal. “I tell you this, since you mock my sightlessness. You have eyes, Oedipus, and do non see your ain devastation. You have eyes and do non see what lives with you? Then darkness Wisconsin ll shroud those eyes that now can see the visible radiation, ”  . Here Teiresias warns Oedipus of what his mental sightlessness has hidden from. He warns Oedipus of the day of reckoning and agony in darkness that awaits him in the hereafter. Finally, Teiresias ends the scene stating, “And if you find the words I speak are prevarications, so say that I am blind, ” . Teiresias knows that his prophesier is infallible, and that Oedipus will shortly recognize who he is. Then, and merely so, would Oedipus be cognizant of his mental sightlessness.

Oedipus finally puts the my stifier together and realizes that he genuinely was blind to the offenses that would destroy his life and the life of his household. “O God! O no! I see it now! All clear! O Light! I will ne’er look on you once more! Sin! Sin in my birth! Sin in my matrimony! Sin in blood!”  . Oedipus now realizes that he was blind and has accused both Creon and Teiresias wrongly. However, what is even worse is the consequence that his wickedness have on his household. Shortly after his acquisition of his wickedness, Jocasta kills herself. This leaves Oedipus on a violent disorder. “Her gold broach, her pins? he tore them from her gown and plunged them into his eyes once more and once more and once more and screamed? No longer shall you see the agony you have known and caused! You saw what was forbidden to be seen, yet failed to acknowledge those whom you longed to see! Now you shall see merely darkness! ?”  Now, ironically, Oedipus is physically unsighted, but his head is clear. However, his agony will last everlastingly.

Once once more, sight is an issue when Oedipus must confront the citizens of Thebes and have his penalty from Creon, the exclusive defender of Thebes. Oedipus approaches the chorus to state of his wickedness. The chorus can non stand to look at him. Oedipus symbolically is a “Dread horror for work forces to see!”  . The sight of Oedipus is blinding to others. Oedipus can non see the reaction of the chorus, but he knows they are awestruck by the horrid sight of him. Oedipus petitions to be cast out to where no adult male will hold to see him. Therefore, Creon fulfills his petition and expels Oedipus from Thebes, but non before his kids, Antigone and Ismene must bear the blinding sight of their male parent and brother.

Sophocles usage of symbolism and sarcasm is shown in Oedipus Tyrannus through his usage of the impression of seeing and sightlessness. This common motive is extended throughout the drama and takes on a great significance in the development of the secret plan. In an attempt to get away his God given prognostications, Oedipus tragically falls into the deepness of unthinkable offenses as a consequence of the mental sightlessness of his character; therefore ne’er get awaying his batch.

Cite this page

Vision And Blindness In Oedipus Tyrannus. (2018, Jun 18). Retrieved from

Remember! This essay was written by a student

You can get a custom paper by one of our expert writers

Order custom paper Without paying upfront