Oedipus The King: The Theme Of Sight And Blindness

823 Words4 Pages
The theme of sight and blindness can be traced to the theme of knowledge and ignorance throughout the Oedipus Trilogy. Sophocles shows the ignorance of Oedipus and Creon in their blindness to the truth, while through Tiresias he shows an internal sight and wisdom. Sophocles uses the theme to convey the idea of the importance of an inner wisdom and acknowledgement of the ignorance of refusing to recognize truths. The theme of sight and blindness can be traced in Oedipus, as his frantic search for knowledge makes him blind to his own self.. During the beginning of the play, Oedipus is both physically and figuratively able to see. Oedipus is a powerful leader of Thebes, who also has figured out the Sphinx's Riddle. But when he ensues in a frantic…show more content…
Tiresias warns Creon that if he does not allow Polynices’ body to be buried, that his family would perish, “You stand once more on the edge of fate.” Tiresias, being blind, is knowledgeable on the world around him and urges Creon to acknowledge the mistake that he made. Creon, though rejects it, which showed his blindness and ignorance. Creon, similar to Oedipus, is blind to the truth, however, for Creon his stubbornness makes him blind. Tiresias tries to warn Creon of his wrongdoing, however Creon believes that he can see, figuratively and physically better than Tiresias. Although he is blind, Tiresias is knowledgeable and can figuratively “see” better than Creon, which is quite ironic. Sophocles shows an inner wisdom that Tiresias possesses. Although he doesn't have physical sight, he can “see” more that Creon. This impacts the theme of the play because although it may not seem like it, Creon is ignorant even though he can physically see. Although given the upper hand in life, Creon cannot see the truth when presented to him. Sophocles tries to show that even though you have sight and can see everything, you do not. People who can see the truth aren't necessarily those who can see physically see. The people who are open to the truth are the ones who can see. Those who have an inner sight, or a symbolic form of sight, are the ones who are truly knowledgeable because they are conscious…show more content…
In the quote, “... except for you… blind as you are in eyes, ears and mind! You cannot hurt me, nor any...who beholds the light, your life being all one night!”, Oedipus shows that he believes that physical blindness equates to ignorance. Thus, he sees sight as being knowledgeable. Oedipus thinks that he knows the truth, while Teiresias does not, simply because Teiresias is blind. Ironically enough, when the truth is finally revealed ,Oedipus blinds himself, to take responsibility for what he did when he had sight. Now, Oedipus is physically blind, but can figuratively “see”. He is finally conscious to what is around him, where he came from, and the mistakes that he made. Oedipus was blind to the truth his entire life and when he learns the truth he becomes blind to show that he has gained an internal sight and knowledge of everything around him. He gains consciousness of what is most important in life, his children. Oedipus now equates his internal sight with wisdom. Oedipus lost his physical sight to gain his inner sight and newfound wisdom. This changes the theme of the trilogy, rather to recognize wisdom and inner sight, like Teiresias, as the most important. Sophocles shows that knowledge is found in recognizing truths and accepting them, through a symbolic inner

More about Oedipus The King: The Theme Of Sight And Blindness

Open Document