Blindness is defined as the inability to see but blindness can be overlooking details or ignoring the facts. These examples can be seen in the play Oedipus the King by Sophocles. There are many people throughout the play that demonstrate their “blindness.” One person is the Herdsman. Due to his blindness, the Herdsman is one person to be blamed for the murder of Laius and for the plague that struck Thebes.
On page sixty-three, line 1177, the Herdsman tells Oedipus that a man came from another country to adopt him. “O master, I pitied it, and thought that I could send it off to another country and this man was from another country.” Assuming that the man’s story was true, the Herdsman just gave him baby Oedipus. Although the Herdsman knew what Oedipus’ fate was (to marry his mother after killing his father) he just allowed the man to take the baby. The Herdsman should have asked more questions or even told the man what the child’s’ fate was to make sure that Oedipus would never return to Thebes. I chose this passage because the agony that Thebes went through could have been surpassed if the Herdsman made sure that Oedipus was killed or out of the country for good.
The blindness of the Herdsman caused the city to go through this suffering. I found this passage to be important because the irresponsible Herdsman was blind to the fact that he might be the cause of the extinction of a city. He single-handedly could have saved Thebes by making sure that Polybus and Merope were from another country or by allowing Oedipus to die the way Laius and Jocasta wanted him to.