Assess the role of blindness in Oedipus Rex and Antigone

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I think that blindness occupies a great deal of importance in both dramas.  In Oedipus' narrative, blindness symbolizes how Oedipus viewed his own sense of being and the conditions that surrounded him.  Oedipus' own blindness was one in which he failed to understand his own fallibility in the face of a larger configuration.  His act of taking his own sight was a gesture acknowledging this.  In Antigone's exploration, there is an emotional blindness that prevents any sort of rational discussion and compromise from taking place.  Creon is blind to any notion of rule but his own.  Antigone is blinded by her own hurt and her own assertiveness.  These examples of blindness prevent them from understanding the pain and suffering of those around them.  Eurydice, Haemon, and Ismene suffer tremendously because of the blindness that both main characters display. In Oedipus' case, blindness is a condition of being that prompts a sense of change and reflection.  In Antigone's case, blindness is an emotional one that is more destructive as it prevents any reconciliation or acknowledgement of that which needs to be changed.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial