Use Of Blindness In Oedipus The King

1262 words - 6 pages

Sophocles has been known for using his plays not merely to entertain his audience, but to deliver a message too. Out of all of the important lessons in his plays, Wisdom stands out as the most impact full. After all, "No law or ordinance is mightier than understanding"(Plato 1/2). In the play Oedipus the King, Sophocles uses the blindness of Teriesias, Jocasta, and Oedipus to point out how understanding is far greater than vision alone.

In the play Oedipus the King, Sophocles use the blindness of Teiresias to point out the great power behind wisdom and understand. "Teiresias, by your art you read signs and secrets of the earth and the sky; therefore you know, although you cannot ...view middle of the document...

What seems like proof to Jocasta is merely a lack of understanding on her part. Jocosta is constontantly being blinded to the truth. If it is not out of pure ignorance, it is out of her own free will. For instance, When Jocosta first started to figure out that Oedipus was her son, her initial reaction was to try and ignore the problem all together, "Oh may you never learn what man you are" (Sophicles 84). "Jocosta couldn't face the truth. It was for too great for her grasp" (Conold 4/5). Sophicles finally makes his point nearing the end of his play when a messenger approaches the chorus with terrible news. "Quickest for me to say and you to hear: it is the Queen Jocasta- she is dead" (Sophicles 83) "In the end, it was the power of understanding that caused Jocasta to kill herself" (Stevens 4/5).

Lastly, Sophicles uses Oedipus' blindness to reveal that with understanding comes great responsibility. "In the beginning of the play, Oedipus although he had his physical vision, he was blinded by what he wanted to see" (Gregory 3/3). From the start, Oedipus is revealed to be in the dark. "What purpose brings you here, a multitude bearing the boughs that mark the suppliant" (Sophicles 49). He doesn't know anything about why the land is in such horrible conditions. He states "my heart is heavy with the city's pain, my own, and yours together" (Sophicles 50). Oedipus seems to believe that the reason for this pain is because it is his burden to save them "Come Nobel Oedipus! Come, save our city" (Sophicles 50). "The real reason for his suffering is because of what is around the corner" (Stevens 3/5) Oedipus' blindness is filled with such irony do to the fact the he is always so close to the truth but never realizes it. "Let them all hear! Their suffering distresses me more than if my own life were at stake" (Sophicles 51). "Oedipus doesn't realize their suffering distresses him more because He is the cause of the pollution" (Gregory 3/3). Oedipus later goes on to say "Ill find the truth. The dead man's cause as found a true defender in Phoebus, and in you" (Sophicles 53). In a twisted way, Oedipus is correct. Proceeding his occusel, The city defends him saying, "he proved his wisdom; he saved our city; therefore how can I now condemn him" (Sophicles 65). When he says " If I remove this taint, it is not for a stranger, but for myself; the man who murdered him might make the same attempt on my and so avenging him, I shall protect myself" (Sophicles 53). " Oedipus doesn't realize that the only one who would ever come against him is himself. When Oedipus...

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