I.1.101-10), Lear is oblivious that Cordelia’s love is true and honest; he is blind. Lear, who begins the play mentally sightless, ends the play with the ability to see.Lear disowns Cordelia, and when his friend, Kent, tries to convince Lear that he was wrong to disown his most caring and loving daughter, Lear, once again unable to see the truth, banishes Kent as well. Another character who is blind to the truth is Gloucester.
…You cannot hurt me, nor any…who beholds the light, your life being all one night (Sophocles 14).
In this statement, Oedipus makes no distinction between physical blindness and close-mindedness.
One final location in which Sophocles denotes the concept of sight versus blindness being analogous to knowledge versus ignorance is towards the end of the play.
Oedipus speaks to the first Senator about all that has happened during the play and before, and tells him directly his thoughts on what he has learned. This quotation of Oedipus shows the reason why he stabbed out his own eyes: so that he who made so much pain, would never again see anything which he desired, nothing beautiful whatsoever.
Lear’s two oldest daughters, Goneril and Regan fill his head with false praises, pulling the blindfold over Lear’s eyes; when Cordelia professes her love for him, “I cannot heave / My heart into my mouth. Lear has now been divested to the essentials, he has experienced catharsis, and has finally realized his pitiful state.
/ I love your Majesty / According to my bond; no more nor less” (Shakespeare. When Lear realizes what his children have done to him, he removes his clothes, “Off, off, you lendings! Lear has been blinded by his daughters, this realization has proved too much for him, and he goes insane.
The concept of sight versus blindness mentioned throughout Sophocles' famous work Oedipus Rex is truly representative of the idea of knowledge versus ignorance, and it used by this playwright to highlight the ignorance and tragic self-discovery of Oedipus.
Many of Sophocles' characters, including the king himself, incorporate this motif of light versus darkness into their analysis of both Oedipus and the situation at hand.
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