Oedipus: Blindness vs Sight
Pride is Oedipus most significant flaw, and it leads him to many misfortunes. He presses on with the investigation to find out his father’s killer, leading to the discovery that he is the guilty party. Throughout the Oedipus stories, he refuses to listen to anyone but always tries to prove his point. Despite the negative connotation to Oedipus’ pride, there is also an upside. Oedipus solved the greatest pestilence on the kingdom of Thebes by following his pride blindly. A pestilence had struck Thebes for some time, and the people desperately wanted to find out its cause. Even before they got to him, Oedipus was already determined to find out the cause. He had his bother in law, Creon, consult the oracle and he returned with the news that for the plague to end Laius’ murderer had to be found. Oedipus made it his mission to investigate what happened and find the murderer, not realizing that he was the guilty one.
Oedipus asked Tiresias the prophet for his insight into the murder of the former king, but Tiresias refused to give him a direct answer. Furious, Oedipus would not relent until he got the answers, he found out the painful truth that he had killed his father and married the king’s wife; in essence, he had married his own mother. The situation is a two-faced one; it rid Thebes of its plague, but at the same time, it destroyed Tiresias. Despite Tiresias’ warning that his pursuit of the truth would bring only pain, Oedipus chose to move on Looking at the greater good, Oedipus; pride, in this case, saved the kingdom and its people from further suffering. However, Oedipus’ family was destroyed. He learned the truth of his childhood and the unfortunate prophecy that had come true.
Sophocles, E. A. Oedipus the king. Classic Productions, 1994.