Teiresias vs. Oedipus
The play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles tells about a man who is blind to see his own fate. The King goes through many different hubris acts leading up to the reason why he is blind. Throughout the play many different people try to tell Oedipus whats happening but he doesnt want to believe it. Oedipus was given away as a baby, and raised by another King and Queen. Oedipus grew up and killed his father and became King of the city. This caused him to be wed to his mother. Eyes are for sight but Oedipus lacks vision physically and mentally.
In the play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, the minor character of Teiresias is responsible for foreshadowing Oedipus fate by developing the theme of blindness, and also illustrating dramatic irony. Teiresias is responsible for further developing the theme of blindness, by using his own physical blindness to reveal to Oedipus his mental blindness. Teiresias is able to see the fate and destruction of Oedipus life. Teiresias uses his great ability to reveal to the reader the downfalls in Oedipus life that will soon occur. The character of Teiresias demonstrates the use of foreshadowing in order for the reader to be aware of Oedipus fate.
Tiresias also foreshadows the self-mutilation and destruction of Oedipus. The following quotation clearly displays the use of foreshadowing by Teiresias, I say you live in hideous shame with those most dear to you. You cannot see the evil (288 line 149). The quote to Oedipus should mean something but it means nothing to him – he is blind to see what it means. To Tiresias it means your whole life is a lie. The special part of this quote is those most dear to you. Meaning someone who close to you has a great deal to do with this shame.
Teiresias further develops the theme of blindness in the story. Teiresias is a blind man who can actually see the fated outcome of Oedipus life. Even though Oedipus has full use of his physical vision, he is completely blind of his fate. Teiresias uses his own blindness to make Oedipus aware of his own mental blindness towards the truths of his life. Teiresias reveals to Oedipus that it is Oedipus physical sight that prevents him from seeing the truths of his past. This quote illustrates the theme of blindness as revealed by Teiresias to Oedipus. Listen to me. You mock my blindness, do you? Bust I say that you, with both your eyes, are blind. You cannot see the wretchedness of your life, not in whose house you live, no, nor with whom. (289 line 195-198). This quotation clearly represents the development of the theme of blindness.
Irony is displayed throughout Oedipus Rex and is ultimately displayed by Teiresias.Even though Teiresias completely blind physically, can see the misery of Oedipus life. Oedipus, who has complete use of his sight, is totally blind to his past and his fate. The extent of Oedipus mental blindness is assisted by him being extremely hubris. It is ironic that a man who is blind physically can see the suffering and madness that will come to someone else in the future due to his ongoing drive for knowledge.
A revelation that will fail to please a blind man who has his eyes now; a penniless man, who is rich now; and he will go tapping the strange earth with his staff ; to the children with whom he lives now he will be bother and father – the very same; to her who bore him, son and husband – the very same who came to his fathers bed, wet with his fathers blood. (290 line 235-241). This passage reveals the knowledge of Oedipus past to him.The King finally was able to mentally see what was going in before him after his wife/mother killed herself. It was true! All the prophecies! Now, O light, may look on you for the last time! (306 line 69-70). Oedipus now refers to sight. He has mentally seen what has been going on. He decides to do something to himself physically since mentally he was blind. ..the King ripped from her gown the golden brooches that were her ornament, and raised them ,and plunged them down straight into his own eyeballs, crying No more, No more shall you look on the misery about me, the horrors of my doing! (309 line 42-47) He further goes on by telling the people they should not see that faces whom he has seen and ect.
It took a physically blind man to show a mentally blind man things he would never be able to see physically. Eyes are not as essential to a person as the mind is.
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