Calamity on such a great degree has ne’er been replicated as the dramatized drama “ Oedipus Rex ” . To make calamity, a character must undergo a important loss in his or her life while having some type of realisation or new position. A work would concentrate on certain spiritual or other facet of the character ‘s bad luck ( Roberts 1265 ) . Helaine Smith wrote in Master Pieces of Classic Greek Drama: “ Grecian calamity presents the intersection of God and adult male and asserts the restriction of human apprehension and enterprise ” ( 1 ) . This thought of human insufficiency and intercession by Gods encompasses Sophocles ‘ “ Oedipus Rex ” . The play is centralized around the supporter character, Oedipus, who receives the rubric of tragic figure due to the awful destiny foreseen to him by an prophet. The calamity is strongly structured around the foundation of sight. In analyzing “ Oedipus Rex ” penetrations can be gathered and deduced on the significance of sight and sightlessness, which are predominately used throughout the Grecian calamity. Sophocles uses the ability and inability of sight to authorise literary elements such as sarcasm, symbolism and prefiguration, to carry through the three major elements of a tragic secret plan, which are peripeteia ( reversal ) , anagnorisis ( acknowledgment ) and a scene of agony ( poignancy ) , to convey about the calamity of characters, and to stress a subject.
It is important to understand what sight and sightlessness embody in the literary kingdom and how it could be used for sarcasm, symbolism and prefiguration. A character ‘s vision is merely every bit related to physical sight as it is to being knowing and enlightened of present fortunes, which allows both conditions to be used into literary symbols throughout the play. Tiresias evidences this after Oedipus ‘ accusal against the seer- “ You live, ignorant, with those nearest to you in the greatest shame. You do non see the immorality ” ( Sophocles, 1291 ) . Tiresias refers to Oedipus ‘ act of slaying and incest, which the new male monarch is unable to understand or disrupt because of his closed eyes towards the truth. Oedipus can be depicted as one who “ sees everything except the truth and provides for everything except the catastrophe that really occurs ” ( Ferguson 187 ) . Sophocles smartly makes both characters, Oedipus and Tiresias, blind in two separate ways: Tiresias is blind to the physical universe, ever in demand of retainer to take him one topographic point to another and Oedipus is unable to see that the prognostication he one time fled from has been fulfilled. Irony is implemented into the drama with Oedipus ‘ sight and Tiresias ‘ sightlessness. It is Tiresias who knows that Oedipus is the 1 that Lord Phoebus, prophet to Apollo, told Creon and the Thebans to acquire rid of in order to stop the pestilence that consumes Thebes Oedipus brought on. Oedipus insults Tiresias and his ability as a prophesier by jeering- “ You have no strength, blind in your ears, your ground and your eyes ” ( Sophocles 1291 ) – when he refuses to believe he is the perpetrator that has brought the pestilence to Thebes. When Oedipus is unable to witness the truth, Tiresias is able to bode that “ this twenty-four hours will give you birth and destroy excessively ” ( Sophocles 1292 ) . Birth is mentioning to the find of the true individuality of Oedipus ‘ parents. Oedipus ‘ ruin is said to being the “ apparent strangeraˆ¦ shown to be a Theban bornaˆ¦ blind, who one time could see, a mendicant who was richaˆ¦ To his darling kids, he ‘ll be shown a male parent who is besides brother ; to the 1 who bore him, boy and hubby ; to his male parent, his seed-fellow and slayer ” ( Sophocles 1293 ) . It is clear that Sophocles uses “ blindness as an image to stand for the bounds of humanity ” ( Buxton 123 ) . But this should n’t discredit Oedipus nor should it do his character be presented as wholly blind from cognition. It was with his intelligence that he was able to work out the Sphinx ‘s conundrum. Oedipus is confident to “ impeach the visionary of mental sightlessness because [ Oedipus ] solved the conundrum of the Sphinx whereas Tiresias did non ” ( Adams 91 ) . Again, sarcasm is woven into the drama in order to convey out the fullest consequence of calamity, this clip with the usage of the Sphinx ‘s conundrum. The Sphinx, a animal of adult female, king of beasts and bird, had held the metropolis of Thebes surety until one individual was able to work out her conundrum, devouring those who answered falsely. Until the conundrum was solved, no individual could go forth or come in the metropolis. The conundrum posed by the animal was “ What goes on four legs and two legs and three legs and when it has the most legs is at its weakest? ” Oedipus answered adult male, who crawls as an baby, walks on two legs as an grownup and uses a stick as 3rd leg as an aged adult male ( Ferguson 182 ) . The conundrum and the reply hold truth in Oedipus ‘ destiny when he was an baby, he crawled, as an grownup walked unsloped, “ non aged, but blind, Oedipus will transport a staff and move on ‘three ‘ ” ( Smith 93 ) . Irony, symbolism and prefiguration are all implemented within the Grecian calamity through the thought of sightlessness and sight.
It is with Oedipus ‘ unknowingness or “ sightlessness ” that the tragic secret plan that consists of a reversal, a minute of acknowledgment and a scene of agony is able to be completed. The three elements are brought approximately at the terminal to make the most powerful consequence. The reversal is the alteration in state of affairs from good to bad and is extremely unexpected from the chief character, in other words, the antonym of what is expected. Anagnorisis is the critical minute of enlightenment a supporter experiences. With this minute of acknowledgment a character is able to admit and respond to his or her positive or negative lucks ( Roberts 1272-1273 ) . For Oedipus, he experiences both the reversal and acknowledgment at the same time with the find of the fulfilled prognostication. It was least expected and it brought on a minute of elucidation with the most tragic of happenings. The scene of enduring succeeds the first two events. The episode consists of what Aristotle describes as “ a destructive or painful action, such as decease on the phase, bodily torment, lesions and the similar ” ( Roberts 1273 ) . Besides, this incident, in order to elicit a powerful sense of calamity, must happen within or near a household or family. Fear and commiseration are generated when the supporter suffers instead than antagonist because of the understanding a reader might keep towards the former. “ Oedipus Rex ” consists of two tragic scenes where poignancy, besides known as feelings of commiseration, understanding or sorrow, is brought about due Oedipus ‘ bad luck. Jocasta is foremost to detect the truth that laid in Laius and Oedipus ‘ prognostication and efforts to “ deter him from further question ” ( Ferguson 191 ) . Jocasta, in the thick of her hurt, exits the phases to hang herself in her sleeping room. Upon happening Jocasta, Oedipus uses the aureate pins of her frock to strike “ into the ball-joints of his eyes ” ( Sophocles 1311 ) . Both dramatic actions provoke huge commiseration and sorrow, which brings about a katharsis, purge of emotions, in the terminal.
Oedipus ‘ calamity is emphasized by his self-inflicted sightlessness. Upon Oedipus go forthing the castle, the choragos reacts to “ enduring that sends terror through work forces ‘s eyes, awful beyond any agony ” ( Sophocles 1312 ) . Oedipus describes his new as his “ cloud of darkness, detestable, indefinable as it attacks [ him ] aˆ¦ brought by an evil windaˆ¦ the memory of immoralities ” ( Roberts 1312-1313 ) . Oedipus announces to the chorus that although he ca n’t see, he continues to populate with the agony of his destiny and the slayings that surround it. The self-blindness besides has an account, that is when Oedipus begs the inquiry “ for why was I to see, when nil I could see convey me rejoice? ” ( Sophocles 1313 ) . It is besides possible that the ground for Oedipus ‘ oculus gouging is penalty for his reconciliation of Tiresias. Oedipus had proven to hold an hotheaded personality when he was speedy to impeach first Creon of lese majesty so Tiresias and for this “ his sightlessness will be a natural effect of his natureaˆ¦ the reply to those foolhardy twits Apollo ‘s representative has suffered ” ( Adams 94 ) . It has become tragic that Oedipus must now endure beyond what was originally prophesized. It is merely Tiresias that makes reference of Oedipus ‘s oculus piercing when he retorts “ now you can see, so you will gaze into darkness ” ( Sophocles 1292 ) . Blindness has brought about a greater signifier of calamity for Oedipus.
Sightlessness contributes to an overall subject developed within the drama. It is a subject that examines human restriction and “ the sightlessness of adult male and the despairing insecurity of the human status ” ( Dodds 27 ) . Oedipus proves himself as a great rational and king to the Thebans. Oedipus is confident that he of class could non hold been the slayer of Laius and bringer of the pestilence so by the way, when Tiresias retaliates with the promised prognostication Oedipus hears “ nil but a befuddled treasonist ‘s fury ” ( Adams 93 ) . Oedipus proves to be a representation of adult male that is non all knowing and short-sighted in many ways. His bad lucks embody all adult male ‘s mistakes, short-comings and tragic terminations.
There are many different cases where sightlessness and sight are structured to do a tragic secret plan complete, create sarcasm, symbolism and prefiguration, to convey about the greatest scene of calamity possible and show a powerful subject. Sophocles was able to use vision and the deficiency of it to convey about a compelling play that has withstood the trial of clip every since it ‘s “ first screening at the theatre of Dionysus on the side of the Acropolis in 429 B.C. ” ( Walker 95 ) . “ Oedipus Rex ” can be thought to be rather an puzzling drama but with the comprehension of what sight and sightlessness is and how it is manipulated through the drama one can get down to convey down the complexnesss of characters, construction and subjects.