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October 06, 2006

Kristine's Quote Commentary on Oedipus

Kristine Park
CompLit 240 Section 003

Oedipus the King
Lines 1492-1496

never again flood these eyes with your white radiance, oh gods, my eyes. All, all
the oracles have proven true. I, Oedipus, I
am the child
of parents who should never have been mine- doomed, doomed!�
-Oedipus, looking up at the sun

The word “light� is in all capital letters at the beginning of Oedipus’ cry. It is also repeated three times, showing great emphasis on the already stressed word. “Light� is mentioned at least three times throughout the play. (Lines 177, 880, 987) In most cases, someone is asking for the light to reveal it all; they want to know. It is ironic that Teiresias, the blind prophet, is in physical darkness yet he is the only one in mental “brightness.�
Even before this point of the play, Oedipus says “light� three times, but the letters are not capital letters (Line 987). This doesn’t catch the reader as intensely as the line above, yet it is interesting to notice that when the situation is finally clear to Oedipus, he repeats the word. In any other case, for example when he’s asking for the light for clarity and truth, he does not beg for it by constantly repeating the word. When he encounters the truth of it all, he speaks to the light, cursing and screaming at it. This instantly reminded me of Dr. Sheppard when he asks his sister if she is sure it is the truth she wants. Is it?

Posted by krpark at October 6, 2006 12:35 PM


Very good quote- I used this one in my presentation as well. I like the irony connections you used with Teiresias. The connection back to Agatha was nice as well. I noticed, however, that you talked a lot about the word 'light' in the quote but not so much about the other words. It would be interesting to see what you could come up with about 'doomed', and the oracles and parents part of the quote, and how they can relate to light.

Posted by: kmeaw at October 9, 2006 09:44 AM

I really liked this quote that you have chosen. I think that repetition is a very large part of this story as it is used many time throughout. I like how you concentrate mostly on the word light, since it is clearly the major point of the quote, but i agree with Kathleen that it would have been interesting to talk about the other words also.

Posted by: sutterka at October 9, 2006 06:41 PM

Notice also the contrast between "light" and "doom" in the passage.

Posted by: bhattach at October 9, 2006 09:13 PM

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