Oedipus the king sight and blindness essay

Sirrah, what mak'st thou here? Dost thou presume
To approach my doors, thou brazen-faced rogue,
My murderer and the filcher of my crown?
Come, answer this, didst thou detect in me
Some touch of cowardice or witlessness,
That made thee undertake this enterprise?
I seemed forsooth too simple to perceive
The serpent stealing on me in the dark,
Or else too weak to scotch it when I saw.
This _thou_ art witless seeking to possess
Without a following or friends the crown,
A prize that followers and wealth must win.

The marriage at which the fateful apple is produced is unusual, being between a mortal man and a goddess. The failure to invite Eris, Strife (echoed in the fairytale of Sleeping Beauty), represents a dishonouring comparable with Tyndareus’ treatment of Aphrodite. The implication is that even destructive deities are essential to the psyche and to society, and will make their presence felt if denied. Similarly, strife is a necessary part of marriage. Eris is associated with Ares, god of war, who in turn is amorously connected to Aphrodite.

Ancient Greek audiences would already know the background, and in fact the entirety, of the Oedipus story. Therefore what makes this particular play so great is its ability to present this material in an evocative and powerful manner, in order to nullify the reality that most of the audience already knew its contents. Modern audiences might recognize the name Oedipus from Sigmund Freud's famous "Oedipus Complex" - particularly his theory that young boys lust after their mothers and see their fathers as competition for their mothers' favors. This theory springs from Jocasta 's comment that killing your father and marrying your mother are the kinds of things men often dream of (981). Freud's theory has been hotly debated and, indeed, is currently dismissed by most classical scholars – though the fact that the issue remains the subject of much psychological debate is proof that the Oedipus story continues to be powerful even thousands of years after the advent of Sophocles' play.

Oedipus the king sight and blindness essay

oedipus the king sight and blindness essay


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