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Oedipus Sight vs Blindness The concept of sight versus blindness mentioned throughout Sophocles famous work Oedipus Rex is truly representative of the idea of knowledge versus ignorance and it used by this playwright to highlight the ignorance and tragic self-discovery of Oedipus Many of Sophocles characters including the king himself incorporate this motif of light versus darkness into their analysis of both Oedipus and the situation at hand Many statements made by Oedipus in this play show not only the conflict between others knowledge and his ignorance but also the irony of what he believes to be true In one scene Oedipus summons Tiresias to him in order to find out who murdered Laius When the blind prophet refuses to tell him the king becomes enraged except for you blind as you are in eyes ears and mind You cannot hurt me nor anywho beholds the light your life being all one night Sophocles 14 In this statement Oedipus makes no distinction between physical blindness and close-mindedness The mistaken king also implies that he knows the truth and Tiresias does not revealing the irony of his statement Later on in the play another reference is made to the motif of sight versus blindness Once Oedipus learns of his role in the death of Laius and realizes the truth of the earlier prophecy he is distraught He runs inside and finds his wife hanging there dead and then proceeds to poke his own eyes out as we are told by a Messenger smote the nerves of his own eyeballs sayingthey should see no more evils darkling let them gaze on forms they might not see and fail to recognize the faces he desired Sophocles 45 This passage once again shows Oedipus equating physical blindness with ignorance as he removes his sight in hopes of removing the knowledge of the terrible deeds he has performed One final location in which Sophocles denotes the concept
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