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What is the paradox of blindness in Oedipus Rex and the connection to irony?

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sistare0 | Salutatorian

Posted December 13, 2010 at 12:14 PM via web

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What is the paradox of blindness in Oedipus Rex and the connection to irony?

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sboeman | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted December 13, 2010 at 12:33 PM (Answer #1)

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In this play, it is ironically the blind who actually "see" the truth and try to convince the others about the errors of their ways; likewise, the ones who have sight are misled by their own thoughts and lack of "vision".

Of course, the obvious example of this from the story is when Tieresias, the blind prophet, tries to convince Oedipus that he was the one who killed Laius; Oedipus, the king, refuses to believe this outrageous story.  Tieresias, however, is speaking the truth about Oedipus's fate.

Similarly, when Oedipus finally understands the full complexity of his situation and his decisions, he becomes overwhelmed and (ironically?) blinds himself now that he knows the truth.

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