Both plays are about the blindness of the respective main character - once in a figurative and once in a real sense: King Oedipus closes his eyes to the fact that he unwittingly became the murderer of his own father and the husband of his mother Jokaste. When the truth comes to light, the latter commits suicide, and he himself stabs out his own eyes. The king's daughter Iolanta, on the other hand, cannot actually see and is kept in ignorance of her disability by those around her at the behest of her father. When Count Vaudémont, who is in love with her, confronts her with the facts, he is supposedly sentenced to death by the king. Through love, Iolanta finds the strength for therapy, which eventually restores her sight.