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

Expert Answers info

Christopher Jerde eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseLibrarian


calendarEducator since 2018

write952 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

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...

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

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Ellen O'Keefe, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookPh.D. from University of Miami (Fla.)


calendarEducator since 2016

write753 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Arts, and Law and Politics

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

cybil eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2007

write448 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial


shurlss | Student
  1. hi
check Approved by eNotes Editorial
gradegrumber | Student

It is significant becayse Oedipus mocks and insults the blind man (Tiresias) for being blind. Oedipus doubts Tiresias' ability to tell the truth of who the murder of Laius is because he is blind and would not have been able to see it happen. Tiresaias' may be physically binld but it is Oedipus who is truely blind because he does not recognize the truth where as a without sight does.

It is also ironic how the blind make knows the truth while oedipus does not.

When Oedipus does become blind by taking his eyes out, that is when he can see the truth.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial