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Oedipus Rex

            The images of light and darkness, sight and blindness, and knowledge and ignorance are present in the Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. Throughout the play these contrasting images are always at the center of the conflict.
             Light and darkness are seen from the beginning of the play. Thebes is hit by a plague. The cause of this plague is that the murderer of King Laios hasn't been punished yet and until he is found and punished Thebes will be hit with a plague. The image of darkness is represented by this plague. In line 143 of the play Oedipus saysthen once more must I bring what is light to dark?. He saysonce more? referring to the Sphinx. The Sphinx is also another representation of darkness. Oedipus brought Thebes back to light when he solved the Sphinx riddle. The image of light and darkness can also be seen when Oedipus was born. The birth of a new life is an image of light. However Jocasta knew the prophecy of the oracle and decides that the newborn Oedipus should die. The death of a newborn is an image of darkness.
             Another set of contrasting images that are found in the play are the images of sight and blindness. In the beginning Oedipus has perfect physical vision. On the other hand the prophet Teiresias is physically blind. After Oedipus learns the truth about himself he physically blinds himself in order for him not tosee? the truth.
             Knowledge and ignorance can also be traced throughout the play. Oedipus thinks he knows everything. Especially when he solves the Sphinx's riddle. He thinks his knowledge is superior to all. He even believes that Kreon is plotting against him so that he can become king. His stubbornness makes him believe that this is true. Later he learns that King Laios was killed at a place where three roads meet. He remembers that coincidently he murdered someone in this same place. At this point Oedipus's action is to find out the truth. He is ignorant about the murderer of King Laios so he must overcome this ignorance and relief himself of the suspicion he has of being the murderer.

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