Discuss the theme of sight and blindness in Oedipus Rex, how it is important, and how it affects the idea of truth.

In Oedipus Rex, the theme of sight and blindness is revealed through Oedipus's metaphorical and literal blindness. At the beginning of the play, Oedipus can physically see but is blind to the reality of his past. At the end of the play, he is so ashamed of the truth of his past that he physically blinds himself. Ironically, Tiresias is physically blind the entire play but is the only character who can see the truth.

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In Oedipus Rex, there are different kinds of sight and blindness present throughout the cast.

Tiresias is literally blind, yet he is the only character who "sees" the truth. He knows who Oedipus is and chides him for his arrogance when the king gets angry about being told the truth.

Jocasta is willfully blind. She begins to suspect the truth of Oedipus's identity the more he pries into the past, but she still tries to live in blissful ignorance. She begs Oedipus not to go further with his investigation, but he declines. Once she can no longer avoid the truth, she commits suicide rather than deal with it.

Oedipus experiences two kinds of metaphorical blindness before becoming literally blind at the end of the play. First, his blindness takes the form of mere ignorance, with Oedipus not knowing the truth of his parentage or his marriage, but he pursues truth over the course of the play.

He does not believe Tiresias when he is told he is the cause of the plague and even gets angry at him for...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 883 words.)

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