Oedipus defying the Oracle, insulting Teiresias, and pursuing Laius' killer is a result of his what?

1 Answer

mperez-mugg21's profile pic

mperez-mugg21 | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

In the play, Oedipus commits the acts of defying the Oracle, continuing to search for Laius' killer, and insulting Teiresias due to his tremendous pride and arrogance (in Greek theater this was called Hubris).  Oedipus displays arrogance in all of these scenes because he refuses to accept that others may know more than he possibly can.  In fact, during the conflict with Teiresias, Oedipus accuses Teiresias of being not only physically blind but "blind in mind" as well, suggesting that he is a false seer.  This is deeply insulting for Teiresias and creates friction between the two.  This event serves as one of the most ironic points within the play because although Teiresias is physically blind he is able to "see" the truth of Oedipus' past.  Moreover, Oedipus, while he is fully capable of physically seeing, is entirely blind to the truth of his situation and continues search for Laius's killer despite Teiresias' disclosure of the truth.  Oedipus' metaphorical blindness throughout the play is almost entirely due to his prideful nature and his inability to listen to those around him.  Due to this boldfaced pride Oedipus falls from power and spends the rest of his existence in actual blind misery due to the gouging of his own eyes.