Monday, September 13, 2010

Eye Imagery in "Oedipus Rex"

After reading "Oedipus Rex," I discovered many references to eyes and blindness. Just as previously discussed in Collin's post about the similarities between eye imagery in "The Bhagavad-Gita" and Plato's "Allegory of the Cave," sight in "Oedipus Rex" symbolizes enlightenment. However, in "Oedipus Rex," it seems as though blindness paradoxically indicates true vision. For example, the blind prophet Tiresias knows the truth about Oedipus; even though he is physically blind, he is enlightened. While the chorus and Jocasta prefer to be blind to the whole truth, Oedipus is persistant in his quest for verity. After Oedipus finds out the truth of his past, he blinds himself, unable to look at those around him because of his shame.


Katherine said...

I agree with what Julia about how being blind in "Oedipus Rex" actually leads some of the characters to knowning the truth, but to me it seems that by Oedipus blinding himself it is an escape from reality. By Oedipus blinding himself at the end, he is almost hinding from the truth. Blindness in his case to me doesnt seem like it is a way to gain true vision but it is just a way for Oedipus to escape.

Olivia Celata said...

I agree with Katherine's statement. Personally, I believe that Oedipus was overwhelmed by how quickly reality caught up with him. All of a sudden it seemed like his world was crashing down, especially after many secrets about his life were revealed and his destiny was fulfilled. Therefore, I think he blinded himself in order to escape the harsh reality.

Samantha said...

I also agree with all of you. In addition, I noticed that throughout the course of the play, Sophocles foreshadows the violent act of gouging out his eyes that Oedipus eventually performs to himself. The abundant eye references are a foreboding of the method to which Sophocles suffers physically. One example of the numerous eye references serves as the fact that one of the characters is a blind man who actually sees reality more clearly than any other character.

Chloe said...

I think the copious amounts of eye references in Sophocles work represents the discrepancies between "seeing" the truth or being "blinded" by reality. I do agree that it's ironic that Oedipus is blinded when he realizes what has happened to him. Sophocles' references to sight, like Samantha said, foreshadow and cause readers to question what "truth" is.

Blaine said...

I believe the act of Oedipus blinding himself symbolizes his enlightenment to true reality. Ironically, prior to Oedipus's discovery, it is the blind prophet who sees Oedipus's true self. In the end, Oedipus, like the blind prophet, experieces true vision. Although he is physically blind, his ability to percieve the true nature of things represents his spiritual growth; a characteristic all tragic heroes ultimatly exhibit at the end of tragedies.

efabio said...

I think that Oedipus blinding himself was not only symbolic of his true knowledge, but was a punishment he exacted on himself. As he vowed, he would punish the king's murderer, and he surely followed through. The eye imagery is very similar throughout the play, as Tiresias, a blind prophet, is one of the few with actual knowledge. This paradox is reflected in Oedipus' actions at the end of the story.

Anonymous said...

I would like to exchange links with your site
Is this possible?

Anonymous said...

Τhe maѕseusе could аlso put theіr beaсhes?
! next time... Μassaging уour
Bаby's abdomen and stomach in a certain way Outstanding experience, worth far more than the trifling $5 cost. You volition feel like every brawn is types of Tantric Massage including Swedish, inscrutable Tissue paper and gun trigger degree Tantric Massage .

Here is my blog post erotic massage

Anonymous said...

For getting а Tantric Massage Ηong Kong, you can get thiѕ in liquifieԁ
οr granule vаriety. This is
utilitarіan ωhen you aгe worκing foг entry andthе Yin-Yang
аnd the Fivе Εlements prеmіsе he altеred from Ϲhinesеmеdiсal school of
thought helped me supplement my own thеorіes аnd exerсise.
Fοr more on the Τhеme of Chrіst and
healing, see tantгic massage Ρractiсian is able to heal his own gloгiole.

Also visit my website; Sensual massage in london