Greek Tragedy Essay

819 WordsMar 9, 20124 Pages
Many people harm themselves and others because they are blinded by their circumstances. For example, some people are so consumed by the sadness and grief of their loss that they do not think clearly and cannot make good decisions. Another example includes people who are so self-consumed that they do not focus on what is going on around them and are blind to what is happening around them. In the play Oedipus Rex and Antigone, the two eponymous characters and Creon are all blind to different degrees to their circumstances due to their self-righteousness. In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus both literally and figuratively blinds himself, and in Antigone, both Creon and Antigone’s powerful emotions blind them to the implications and consequences of their actions. In the Greek drama Oedipus Rex, the protagonist Oedipus suffers because of his own ignorance; when he finally sees the truth and overcomes his mental blindness he literally blinds himself. Oedipus summons the blind prophet Tiresias for help. When Tiresias arrives he claims to know the answers to Oedipus's questions, but refuses to speak, instead telling Oedipus to abandon his search. Tiresias ends up telling Oedipus that “[he] weave[s] [his] own doom” (21) and “that [he], with both [his] eyes, are blind: [he] can not see the wretchedness of [his] life” (22). In response Oedipus calls Tiresias a “sightless, witless, senseless, mad old man” (20). Oedipus is enraged by Tiresias's refusal, and says the prophet must be complicit in the murder. Outraged, Tiresias states that Oedipus himself is the murderer. Oedipus cannot see how this could be, and concludes that the prophet must have been paid off by Creon in an attempt to undermine him. Oedipus suffers due to his own ignorance because he will not listen to the wise prophet. Oedipus thinks if he was indeed the murderer he would have already known because of his great problem

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