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Notes on Oedipus the King Themes

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Oedipus the King Topic Tracking: Sight

Sight 1: Oedipus calls for Tiresias, a blind oracle, to foresee the future of Thebes.

Sight 2: Although Tiresias is blind, he claims that he can see the truth and what is important better than can Oedipus. Therefore, Oedipus' sight is useless.

Sight 3: Tiresias foresees that although Oedipus is now strong and can physically see, he will soon be weak and blind.

Sight 4: After seeing Jocasta dead, Oedipus realizes that he doesn't want to see what he's done, or any other evil in the world. He realizes that he should have seen things that he did not see and that he did not want to see, and that he was blind to everything around him.

Sight 5: Oedipus takes Jocasta's broaches off her dead body and pierces his eyes, blinding himself. Now, he can no longer physically see, as the oracle had predicted.

Sight 6: When the elders ask Oedipus why he blinded himself, he answers that there is nothing sweet for him to see, and that he wishes he had never lived. The elders also wish that he had never lived and that they had never known him, and say that it is better for him to not live than to live blind.

Sight 7: Oedipus curses the road that forked in three, and asks the elders to hide him out of sight of the gods, or to kill him or throw him into the sea so that nobody can see him and he will not be ashamed of who he is.

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