Ignorance In Sophocles Oedipus The King

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Ignorance can lead us to our own demise. Sight is not earned by great merits, but by knowledge. Although the truth may be in front of us, sometimes our desires keep us in the dark. Sigmund Freud states that, “we live in ignorance…which have been forced upon us by Nature…” (1002). Enlightenment can be achieved when we have accepted the outcome of natural events and are not blinded by our own desires. The play Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles uses elements of drama to reveal the tragic revelation of its character’s ignorance.
The title of the play as well as the protagonist name is Oedipus. Oedipus’ Greek name can be translated to swollen foot. His name provides a clue to his identity. When Jocasta tells Oedipus of her late husband and child’s fate
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Oedipus isn’t blind but he is metaphorically blind. Teiresias tells him that he lacks critical information of his own life. Teiresias stands in front of Oedipus subtly hinting that Oedipus does not know himself. He in fact is living an unfortunate life; Oedipus has defiled his home by sleeping with his mother and killing his own father. It’s true that Oedipus does not see what he has done. He believes Creon has plotted against him because he is being told that he does not know who he is. Oedipus finally finds enlightenment when he has destroyed his ability to see as he is then free to think about his wrong doing. When he loses his vision by gouging his eyes out with pins he says, “And now what is left? Images? (Oedipus scene 4. strophe 2. lines 113-119). By losing his sight he is trapped in an unescapable darkness. His recollection of all the events that have happened up to that point in his life are all he has left to live and relive in his mind. Without the ability to see he was forced to think about all the events that have happened in his …show more content…
No reasonable man is troubled by such things. (Oedipus scene 3. Lines 67-69)
She does not seem repulsed or discomforted by the prophecy as Oedipus does. She in fact says that most men have dreamed about sleeping with their mothers. He is a man no different from the rest. He shouldn’t lose his sanity over something she somewhat describes as a natural tendency for males. That interpretation of the scene seems rather unlikely as it is knowledge and sight that are connected throughout the play. One must think if what Jocasta said was what she meant or was she just trying to ease Oedipus’ mind. When she found out the truth it was too much for her to handle. Oedipus didn’t react lightly to sleeping with his mother as well which rules out that blinding himself had any connection to his sexual activity with his mother. Bernstein says that, “in interpreting his own dreams Sigmund Freud came upon a connection between his own unconscious memories and desires and the story of Oedipus (270). Freud deduced his ideas on what he believed which is widely accepted by the field of psychology but this is not a psychological play. When he described the thrusting of his mother’s Jocasta’s brooches he is not committing a sexual act as Freud would describe. The play uses dialogue, irony, and symbolism to say that Oedipus is metaphorically blind (ignorant) not committing a figurative sexual