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In the chapter Greece: Oedipus the King I find it very interesting that at the end he stabs his eyes because he cannot bare to witness what he has seen or done. The part that stood out to me the most is when Oedipus says,

“I raised two hands of mine, held them above my head,

And plunged them down,

I stabbed out these eyes,

Why should I have eyes? Why,

When nothing I saw was worth seeing?

Nothing. “

I found this to be the quote that was the most shocking when reading this chapter; I did not think this is how he was going to react. What was the most shocking part for you?

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3 thoughts on “Chapter 21

  1. Well I think that Oedipus did over react a little but it must have been pretty shocking for him to realize that he killed his dad and married his mom and that he had been living in a way that was displeasing to the gods because of a curse that had been passed down from his grandfather, which also is seen with his sons. His daughter Antigone breaks the curse because she does what she know is right by the gods going against her uncle the king.

    It is theorized that he blinded himself because he discovered that he was blinded to the truth for years. Also so that he had to live with what he had done.

    This curse reminds me of the curse of the house of Atreus which is the family Agamemnon belongs to. Both these families exhibit behaviour that results in bad family dynamics like killing family members and tricking them.

  2. I think the whole story of Oedipus was rather disturbing and could have been avoided. First of all, if it had not been for the prophecy about Oedipus, he would never have killed his father, or married his mother. The king and his wife over exaggerated and in the end, made the prophecy come about. Having someone kill an innocent is not exactly easy, so of course he was brought to another kingdom as he was raised by a different king. Oedipus’s own reaction to being told the prophecy is what scared him away from his adoptive parents, believing that they were in fact his real parents. 2 things could have easily cleared that up, 1) Having the king and queen think about the prophecy, instead of acting rashly. 2) For the adoptive parents to have told the child he was adopted.

    Another thing I found disturbing in this story was the fact that he married his birth mother and committed incest. I understand why the queen killed herself, who would want to live after that realization. But why did Oedipus not do the same? Why did he stab out his eyes.?

    The fact of the matter is, why live on with the guilt of killing your father, and the disgust of sleeping with your mother. How someone can move on from that is… well beyond me.

  3. In the story of Oedipus, the theme of knowledge is most prevalent. Throughout the story the audience knows what Oedipus doesn’t, which I think is part of why it is so interesting. As pointed out above, there is a contrast between light (knowledge) and darkness (ignorance). Throughout the story Oedipus is ignorant of his parentage, so we could say that he does not know his true self, thus he remains in darkness. In the end everything is brought to light and he gains knowledge. Depending on the version, he lives on as a punishment and exiles himself.

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