Oedipus Rex Questions and Answers
by Sophocles

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

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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.