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Oedipus' Blindness and Self Discovery Illustrated in Sophocles Oedipus Essay

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From the very beginning of Oedipus, one can see that the main character of Oedipus is very sure about who he is and where he has come from. One of the most important motifs of the story is the idea of metaphorical blindness, and how Oedipus claims that everyone else around him is blind, and he is the only one that can see. However, what Oedipus soon finds out is that he has no idea who he is, and that all along he has been blind himself. Sophocles makes Oedipus suffer because of the fact that he actually has no idea who he is, and almost avoids figuring it out. It takes a defining moment for it to dawn on Oedipus that he is not who he thought he was. Oedipus’ blindness seems to have been his downfall, but the more prevalent question that is raised by Sophocles is whether a person, and in this case Oedipus, will ever figure out who they truly are without a defining moment. Or do we really ever know who we are. The story is written in a way that we see Oedipus go from a confident person that truly has no idea who he is, to a broken soul that has figured out who he was, and who he has become.
Sophocles brings the audience into the play as if they had been late for the meeting, and we can see that confident Oedipus is standing in front of all the people of Thebes and proclaims, “I am Oedipus” (9) which really demonstrates Oedipus’ arrogance. It would seem that there is no part of him that is believes that he doesn’t know who he is. However, one can’t blame Oedipus for his arrogance, because before he arrived in Thebes he thought that he was living the life that he was destined to live. In the beginning, there is nothing that would lead him to believe that all his life he has been deceived. To Oedipus he has followed his destiny in...


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to the audience it may seem that Oedipus has at last discovered who he truly is, but Sophocles doesn’t believe that he has had a true revelation and continues on
Bill Clinton’s quote is important to the questions that Sophocles raises firstly because does Oedipus truly learn from his mistakes or does he keep allowing for destiny and fate to rule and ruin his life. Oedipus is a man of quick thinking and rash decisions, which constantly continue to unravel the story more and more. But even as he continues to find out the truth that is hurting him, from his quick acting decisions, he still continues to do the same. He obviously isn’t learning from his mistakes.
From Sophocles viewpoint, Oedipus is meant to be a cautionary tale against two main things, his blindness and his arrogance, which together led to his not really knowing who he was as a person.


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