Sophocles is one of the few Greek Tragedians whose plays have survived to this day. One of his most famous works is, Oedipus Rex. Oedipus Rex is a play about the King of Thebes, who needs to save his kingdom from a deathly plague. The only way to do so is to solve the murder of the late King Laios. However, when Oedipus was young he was cursed with a prophecy that said he was doomed to kill his father and marry his mother. While solving the murder Oedipus realizes the truth about himself, that he is the son of King Laios and his wife Jocasta is actually his mother. In addition to the truth about his parents Oedipus remembers killing a man in the crossroads, the same place where King Laios was killed. Once he puts the clues together Oedipus realizes that he was the murder and punished himself by stabbing his eyes with a piece of jewelry. Throughout the play, Sophocles uses a motif about sight and blindness, which relates to the theme of fate, the main conflict of finding King Laios’s murderer and Oedipus’s character.
First, in scene 1 Oedipus called to see the only witness to the murder Teiresias. After Oedipus pleaded for the truth from Teiresias he final told him that he, Oedipus, was the murderer and foreshadowed Oedipus becoming blind. Teiresias said, “Listen to me. You mock my blindness, do you? But I say that you, with both your eyes, are blind: You can not see the wretchedness of your life, nor in whose house you live, no, nor with whom. Who are your father and mother? Can you tell me? You do not even know the blind wrongs,” (pg. 1266 lines 195-200). With this quotation, Teiresias summarized the whole play. When he said “…with both your eyes, are blind…” he was referring to how Oedipus had all the answers but was blind to the truth. By saying “…nor in whose house you live, no, nor with whom…” Teiresias was saying that Oedipus was living in his father’s house, King Laios, with his biological mother, Jocosta, not his wife. He told Oedipus that all the answers were right in front of him and he just needed to put all the pieces together. That specific quote related to the theme of fate. It was by fate that Oedipus was mocking Teiresias for being blind but he would end up the same way. Before Oedipus tells Teiresias to leave he says, “ A blind man, Who has his eyes now; a penniless man, who is rich now; And he will go tapping the strange earth with his staff,” (pg 1267 lines 237-239). Teiresias saying this is significant to the main conflict because it is the last words he leaves Oedipus with to solve the murder. After thinking about everything that Teiresias was saying, Oedipus started putting all the clues together and started remembering pieces of his past. For example, he remembered when he killed four men in the crossroads the exact spot where the King was murdered. That quote from Teiresias ultimately led Oedipus to the answer of the murder.
Lastly, towards the end of the play after the murder was solved,