The Role of Tiresias Within the Play: Oedipus Rex

             The Role Of Tiresias within the Play: Oedipus Rex
             Characters in a play serve the purpose of giving the reader a story. Without characters, there is no story. Every character has a purpose. Some characters have a strong role, moving with intent and design while playing upon the personality and desire of other characters. In the play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, the character Tiresias acts as a guide within the plot. He holds the key to advancement and seemingly controls the final outcome of many of the characters lives. Tiresias serves the purpose of motivating and propelling the main character Oedipus through the story. Through values such as truth, knowledge and faith, Tiresias controls the fate of Oedipus the King.
             Tiresias is a blind soothsayer or rather, a prophet. As a prophet, Tiresias is ordained to tell the truth. Along with his prophetic insight, comes the responsibility and obligation to tell the truth in any circumstance. He claims that "the truth has power" (p. 25 Knox). Tiresias uses this power of truth to control Oedipus' fate. He reveals a truth to Oedipus, that will change his life forever. Tiresias tells Oedipus that "the truth with all its' strength is in [him]" (p. 23), meaning it's a part of who he is and he can not escape it. When Oedipus pressures Tiresias to tell him the prophecy, Tiresias becomes enraged and can only comply with Oedipus by telling him that he will kill his father and marry his mother. Oedipus does not believe Tiresias at first, but then tries to escape the truth with the hope of rewriting prophetic history. The very thing Oedipus tries to run away from, he ends up running right into. He runs headlong into the fulfillment of the prophecy. After finding out who he thought were his parents, were indeed not his parents after all, Oedipus begins a terrible journey into the truth. He soon learns that Tiresias was right and that Laius was his father whom he killed, and Jocasta is...

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The Role of Tiresias Within the Play: Oedipus Rex. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 17:16, January 18, 2017, from