Response: Oedipus and Key Character Essay

Submitted By ChexinKeanEdu
Words: 319
Pages: 2

Question: Explain the function of the character Tiresias in the play. What does Tiresias’ blindness signify?

Chen Xin (Hannah)

Tiresias is a key character in “Oedipus the King”. Firstly, he tells the truth and summary for the story although he only shows up for one scene. As a key character, he shows up at a key moment telling truth, summarizing for the plot and making critical comments on it. What he does causing a small upsurge and promote the development of plot. Secondly, when Oedipus ask him for the truth he refuse to reveal the identity of the murderer, which causing Oedipus losing his temper. It shows Oedipus’s flaw, which is easy to get angry, and it makes the plot that he kills his father because of his anger sounds more reasonable and natural. And more importantly, considering the question “What does Tiresias’ blindness signify”, another function Tiresias has in the play is to form a contrast between Oedipus and Tiresias. Tiresias is blind but he knows everything. However, Oedipus is not blind but he cannot see the truth. When Tiresias tell Oedipus the truth Oedipus get angry and accuse him of defamation. Moreover, Oedipus even satirizes Tiresias by saying “You are blind in mind and ears as well as in your eyes.” What is ironic is that Tiresias is not the one who really “blind”, for he can see the “truth”. On the contrary, Oedipus’s eyes are blinded by himself that he cannot listen to others. So, I think “blindness” in this play signifies