Study Guide

Tiresias

Profile

You might easily mistake him for a crazy dude spouting gibberish on the corner, but Tiresias was totally legit. This old, blind man was a priest of Apollo and one of the most famous seers of all time. He could hear the future in the songs of birds (a little trick called augury), and he also received visions sent to him by the gods. Tiresias used his powers to advise seven generations of kings in his hometown of Thebes, though they had a tendency not to listen to what he had to say until it was too late. (We're looking at you, Oedipus and Creon.)

Even after Tiresias died by drinking from the poisoned water of Tilphussa, he had tons of power. Odysseus himself made a pit stop in the Underworld to get some travel advice from Tiresias, without which the O-man never would've made it home. Tiresias may have been a rough looking dude with a tendency to speak in cryptic riddles, but in the end, he was totally worth listening to.

Basic Information

Name

Tiresias

Nickname

The Blind Seer
Mr. Know-It-All

Sex

Male (but spent seven years as a female)

Current city

Asphodel Fields on the outskirts of the Underworld

Work & Education

Occupation

Seer
Priest of Apollo

Education

Apollo's School of Prophecy

Beliefs

Political views

It all seems so trivial when you know what's going to happen anyway.

Family & Friends (& Enemies)

Parents

Everes (Dad)
Chariclo (Mom)

Children

Manto (who turned into a pretty awesome prophetess herself)

Friends

Apollo (a great god to serve)

Enemies

Hera (who struck me blind)
Athena (who may also have struck me blind, unclear)

Relationships

Relationship status

Very single

Interested in

Nobody, really. I can see that it's just never going to work out.

Favorites

TV Shows

Twin Peaks  
True Blood  
Lost 

Quotations

"The fact of having been born is a bad augury for immortality"
– George Santayana

"Take a little trip back with father Tiresias,
Listen to the old one speak of all he has lived through.
I have crossed between the poles; for me there's no mystery.
Once a man, like the sea I raged,
Once a woman, like the earth I gave.
But there is in fact more earth than sea."
– from "The Cinema Show" by Genesis

"Blackbird singing in the dead of night,
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see.
All your life, You were only waiting for this moment to be free."
– from "Blackbird" by the Beatles

"My darkness has been filled with the light of intelligence, and behold, the outer day-lit world was stumbling and groping in social blindness"
– Helen Keller

"Rise up this mornin',
Smiled with the risin' sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin' sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin', ('This is my message to you-ou-ou:')
Singin': 'Don't worry 'bout a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right.'"
– "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley
(I actually only like this quote because it makes me laugh. Everything is definitely not going to be all right.)

Books

Orlando by Virginia Woolf (A great book about gender shifting.)  
"The Waste Land" by T.S. Eliot (I kind of narrate this, which may explain why it's so darn cryptic.)  
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez  
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman  
"Death, be not proud (Holy Sonnet 10)" by John Donne (Too true.)  
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells  
Oedipus the King by Sophocles  
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad  
"When I Consider How My Light is Spent (On His Blindness)" by John Milton  
"Meditation at Lagunitas" by Robert Hass  
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers 

Music

Lights by Ellie Goulding (I may be an old blind seer, but I'm killer on the dance floor.)  
Blinded by the Light by Manfred Mann  
The Cinema Show by Genesis (I get a great shout out in the chorus of this song.)  
Back in Time by Pitbull 
Blackbird by The Beatles  
The Wind by the Zac Brown Band  
Karma Chameleon by Culture Club  
Three Little Birds by Bob Marley  
Cabin by the Sea by the Dirty Heads (I just like to chill to this.) 

Movies

Winged Migration (You can a learn a lot from the birds.) 
The Matrix 
Transamerica 
Tiresia 
Hedwig and the Angry Inch 
The Miracle Worker (You go, Helen Keller.) 
The Birds 
Scent of a Woman 
Brave 

Activities & Interests

Likes

Bird watching... well, better make that bird listening
Fortune cookies
The future Blind seers 

Interests

Augury
Astrology
Fortune Telling

Groups

Seers
Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund  
League of Prophets
Bird Lovers