Prophecy of Teiresias

Question: What was the Prophecy of Teiresias about Oedipus?


King Oedipus or Oedipus Rex (429 BC) by Sophocles (497/496-406/405 BC) is one of the best Greek tragedies. This piece of work shows the extreme downfall of Oedipus for which only his fate is responsible.


Oedipus requests the blind prophet Teiresias to identify the killer of Laius after hearing the news that the plague will continue to destroy Thebes until the murderer of Laius is driven from the city. But when he (T) refuses to speak, Oedipus gets angry, criticizes, and disrespects him. He (O) then accuses Teiresias to be responsible for the present situation of Thebes. But Teiresias informs Oedipus that only he is responsible for all, he is the murderer of Laius. As Teiresias says-

“You are the cursed polluter of this land.”

Teiresias also through some question towards Oedipus as- he does not know who he is, where he is, whom his parents are or even who he is. He then prophesies that Oedipus will be driven out form this city as a blind man-

“He that came seeing, blind shall he go…”

An argument ensues between Oedipus and Teiresias, in which Teiresias tells him that in riddle answering, Oedipus is best. Then Teiresias makes his 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.

More Notes Of Oedipus Rex


Thus, the blind prophet Teiresias makes prophesies about Oedipus. Actually, this happening works as a tragic irony of the play that Teiresias who may be physically blind but could see the truth whereas others cannot see even having clear-seeing eyes.

SR Sarker
SR Sarker
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