Why does Oedipus blind himself?

Updated 21 March, 2023
Oedipus blinds himself because he cannot bear to look at the world anymore after realizing the truth about his past. He learns that he has unwittingly killed his father and married his mother, fulfilling a prophecy that he had been trying to avoid his whole life. The shame and guilt are too much for him to bear, so he gouges his eyes out with pins from his mother's dress. This act represents the ultimate punishment and atonement for his crimes.
Detailed answer:

Oedipus blinds himself upon learning the truth of his life. The truth is that he killed his father and married his mother, which led to his downfall. The myth portrays Oedipus as a man who is obsessed with uncovering the truth at any cost, but the truth he discovers leads him to an unbearable sense of shame and guilt.

In the play "Oedipus Rex" by Sophocles, Oedipus blinds himself as a way of punishing himself for his actions. He says, "I have done the deed, I have seen the horror. What good were eyes to me? Why should I see more horrors?" (Sophocles, 1292-1294). He realizes that he has been blind to the truth of his life, and his physical blindness is a reflection of his inner blindness. He also says, "Darkness! - this hideous darkness! - I must embrace it now and let it cover me" (Sophocles, 1266-1267).

Oedipus's physical blindness is a representation of his newfound understanding of the truth and his acceptance of his fate. By blinding himself, he is taking responsibility for his actions and accepting his punishment. Oedipus's blindness is also a way of separating himself from the rest of society, as he can no longer see the world as others do. It is a symbolic gesture of his isolation and his descent into madness.

In conclusion, Oedipus blinds himself as a way of punishing himself for his actions, accepting responsibility for his fate, and symbolizing his newfound understanding of the truth and his separation from society.

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