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Word Count: 708
Blindness and sight The effects of these contrasting themes help emphasize the impetus of many stories In Sophocles Oedipus Rex blindness and sight can be seen as a central theme Blindness and sight are referred to by the characters in the story many times and are shown to be quite contradictory Although being blind means that someone cannot see something physically it can also mean that the person cannot see something rationally Oedipus Rex and Teiresias the wise man are the two examples of how the central theme contradicts in the story Blindness and sight are also synonymous with the ignorance and knowledge that these characters of the story possess In this play Oedipus who has full use of his eyes is considered by the people of Thebes to be a very intelligent person who can see his way through problematic situations with relative ease He obtains this reputation through historic happenstance and victory over the notorious Sphinx of Thebes The Sphinx a terror to the city is a half-human half-lion teller of a certain riddle which no one can answer Those who are unable to answer the riddle correctly face certain death Oedipus crosses paths with this Sphinx and is asked the famous riddle What creature stands on four legs in the morning two legs in the afternoon and finally in the evening walks on two legs with the aid of a third Oedipus believing the riddle to be a metaphor to the life and stages of a man correctly answers A man The Sphinx unable to swallow its pride and shamed because a man had answered the riddle correctly threw itself to its own death Thebes no longer had to endure the fear of the Sphinx and Oedipus was declared its new ruler From hereon in Oedipus was considered a man of great intelligence Teiresias on the other hand is a blind man but he possesses experience wisdom and perspicuity of
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