Throughout all three plays the authors used many literary devices to make their plays better, but one that I noticed in all three is metaphors or a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action in which it’s not literally applicable. In fences, Oedipus, and a sound of a voice there are many uses of metaphors, in this paper, I will be focusing on one specific metaphor from each and describe how they relate to one another.
In fences, there were multiple metaphors that Wilson used, from gabes trumpet to Troy’s fixation with death but the one that stood out to me the most and the one that I’m going to include in this essay occurs near the beginning of the play when Troy is telling Bono how he sees death as a “fastball to the outside corner.’ (990) Troy also said earlier that back in his heyday a fastball to the outside corner was a pitch that he could easily knock out of the park. So when he says that death is “like a fastball to the outside corner he actually means that death is something he doesn’t fear and can conquer easily.
Much like August Wilson Sophocles was not shy when it came to metaphors, and he uses them often in Oedipus Rex I believe the most significant one though is his use of Sight and Blindness to signify knowledge and ignorance. A reference to this metaphor happens when Oedipus falsely accuses Tiresias and Creon of conspiracy. “So this is what he wants, Creon the loyal, Creon so long my friend! Stealing up to overthrow!”To which Tiresias responds by saying “I’m blind you say, you mock at that; I say you see and are still blind appalling. Blind to your origins and to a union in your house. When Tiresias tells Oedipus that he sees with his eyes yet is still blind he means that even though Tiresias is physically blind he sees the truth and though Oedipus has his eyesight he is still blind to his fate.
The sound of a voice unlike the other plays had much more subtle metaphors, One that I found particularly interesting, and this may be a stretch but early in the play while the woman is serving the man dinner she points to a vase with fresh flowers and says to the man “they stay that way because of the care I bestow upon them” I think that the care she gives the flowers is a metaphor for the affection that she craves and wishes to give to the man, also when the Man gets up and takes one of the flowers from the vase I think that’s a metaphor the affection and care he needs in his life. I also think Hwang uses the vase of flowers as a metaphor for humankind as a whole, saying that much like flowers we need care and nurture in order to survive.