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Heather Brocco English 102 April 27 2000 Prof Saunders The Blind nature of Oedipus One of the main themes in Oedipus the King is blindness Not just physical blindness but intellectual blindness as well This issue is an effective contrasting method for Oedipus at different points in the play By saying blindness however is a little misleading It can be broken down into two sections Oedipuss ability to see and his willingness to see The word see can be used in both contexts Throughout the play these two details are always at the center of the play In the beginning of the play Oedipus has perfect sight or vision However he is blind and ignorant to the truth about himself and his past which relates to the idea of truth vs appearance He desperately wants to know and to understand but he cannot At this point it is obvious what Oedipuss action must be to overcome the blindness Ironically into the play is introduced a prophet Teiresias who is physically blind but who has great mental power This justifies Oedipus as a man ignorant to the true appearance of things - this blind man can see the truth about Oedipus yet Oedipus in all of his physical perfection cannot Brocco 2 Oedipus does have tragic flaws which are standard in the Greek tragedies Oedipus has a tragic flaw which brings him to his end Although it cannot be summed up into one word there is evidence that his flaw may be ignorance or blindness to his own fate This is true because we see Oedipus trying to avoid his fate which was that he would kill his father and sleep with his mother but he ran away from his homeland Only if he had stayed then he may have been able to try to take his fate into his own hands but instead he fulfilled the prophecy
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