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Oedipus the King essay
← Virginia Woolf's Style“The Visit” →

Oedipus the King. Custom Oedipus the King Essay Writing Service || Oedipus the King Essay samples, help

The story of the King Oedipus begins when an oracle foretold that a child born to Laius, king of Thebes by his queen Jocasta, would slay his father and wed his mother.  With this in mind, Laius had his sons  feet riveted together and left to die in Mount Cithaeron, where  a shepherd found him and handed  him to his master Polybus, the King of Corinth, who  took him in as his son (he was childless) (Helaine, 2005). Although he was brought up away from his father, he later encounters and unwillingly slew his father king Laius although he thought he had attacked a caravan of low-class travelers thus fulfilling the prophecy. When Oedipus arrived in Thebes, he managed to answer the riddle of thee Sphinx, and the Thebans made him their king where he ruled and married the widow of King Laius and sired many children (Helaine, 2005). After many years of success, a plague vexes the city and Kreon, the Brother of Iokaste goes to Oedipus with news from the oracle that the plague would only be lifted after the death of Laius is avenged. Oedipus in return says that, he knows the terrible fate of the Thebes and vows to find the murderer using his intelligence, but when Tiresias confronted him with the truth, Oedipus is blind to it (Helaine, 2005). This shows us what kind of ruler Oedipus is; that Oedipus was intentionally choosing what to believe as true and what to say is false according to be benefits, and if the issue was  going to affect him and his Kingdom.

Tiresias was a blind seer who was trusted and respected by all people as upheld by his introduction as the holy prophet in who alone of all men truth was born. Upon telling Oedipicus the hard truth, Tiresias is shunned, his credibility and motives attacked and finally accused of plotting against the King and helping Kreon become King (Helaine, 2005). In response to these accusations which the people believed, Tiresias tells Oedipus that he was blind even though he had two eyes to the wretchedness of his life and the wrongs that he had done to the people, the earth and the world below.  

The use of blindness is used to call to attention the fact that Oedipus could not see the truth about himself and his past, even though he had eyes, and that it took a blind man Teresias to show him the real truth and overcome his blindness.

Teiresias goes ahead to say to Oedipus, “the double lash of your parents curse will whip you. Out of this land someday with only night upon your precious eyes” (Helaine, 2005). It was not until the shepherd gave his confession  of how he saved a boy and took him to his King that Oedipus was filled with grief and guilt upon realizing the truth that the prophecy came to pass. Oedipus blinds himself and goes on to live in exile where he died in the wild hills of Kithairon. This is where his parents had intended for him without his family or daughters who he had ashamed and brought destruction to.

Finally Oedipicus physically blinds himself on seeing his dead mother and is the cause of his own exile, which is complete irony since when he had the eyes, he could not see the truth yet now that he does not have them he ca clearly see the truth. The story of Oedipicus shows us that, having good eyesight does not necessarily mean that one can see and understand situations, but it takes an open mind, logic and proper analysis of the facts to know  the correct truth.  Blindness is used as irony in the story to bring out the magnitude of Oedipicus errors and diversion from the truth yet all along he knew what he had done, who his father was and what the oracle had said about the  prophecy..

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Related essays

  1. “The Visit”
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  3. Virginia Woolf's Style
  4. John Grisham's "The Testament"

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