Character Analysis Tiresias


The blind prophet of Thebes appears in Oedipus the King and Antigone. In both plays, he represents the same force — the truth rejected by a willful and proud king, almost the personification of Fate itself.

Tiresias comes to Oedipus against his will, not wanting to explain the meaning of the oracle to the king, but he goes freely to Creon in Antigone, with news of his own augury. In both cases, however, after a courteous greeting, Tiresias meets with insults and rejection. Never surprised by abuse, Tiresias does not back down when threatened. True to the gift of prophetic power, he stands unflinching before the fury of kings. His speech may be barbed, his message horrifying, but Tiresias' dedication to the truth is uncompromising. For his suffering, his piety, and his devotion to prophetic truth, Tiresias emerges as a powerful — even admirable — character in the Oedipus Trilogy.