Oedipus Rex or Oedipus the King

What does Tiresias reveal to Oedipus as a result of the king's angry accusation?


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Teiresias arrives, led by a little boy, and Oedipus asks him to name the murderer. Teiresias initially refuses, and attempts to leave; Oedipus responds angrily, and Teiresias tells him that even his words “miss the mark” (325). “All of you here know nothing,” Teiresias says, and Oedipus furiously accuses Teiresias himself of being “complotter of the deed” with Creon (348). Teiresias tells Oedipus that Oedipus himself is Thebes’ pollution.

Oedipus rejects Teiresias’ words, and calls him “blind in mind and ears / as well as in your eyes” (371-2) – Teiresias responds simply that these are insults which everyone will soon heap upon Oedipus himself. Oedipus, now suspicious of Creon as a conspirator with Teiresias, outlines his own achievement in solving the riddle of the sphinx. The Chorus attempts to calm down the escalating anger, but Teiresias makes another long speech: Oedipus, he says, does not know where he is, where he lives, whom his parents are, or even who he is, and prophesies that he will be driven out from the city, “with darkness on your eyes.” An argument ensues between Oedipus and Teiresias, in which Teiresias tells him that “in riddle answering you are strongest” (440). Teiresias makes one final prediction: that the murderer will have “blindness for sight” and “beggary for riches”, before being proved both “father and brother” to the children in his house.