Why Did Oedipus Blind Himself?

Updated: November 28, 2022
Oedipus blinded himself because he could not bear to see the horror that he had caused. He had killed his father and married his mother, and was now living in exile with his daughters.
Detailed answer:

Oedipus blinded himself because he could not bear to see the horror that he had caused. He had killed his father and married his mother, and was now living in exile with his daughters. When he met his father in Thebes, Oedipus did not know that he had become king by killing the previous king and marrying the queen. He did not realize that he had been adopted into his parents’ family or that they were actually related to him.

The only way for Oedipus to atone for these crimes was to blind himself so that he would never be able to see again. He also gouged out his own eyes with a brooch pin from his robe, which shows how desperate he was to remove himself from this world.

Oedipus was blinded by his own actions. Oedipus’s mother, Jocasta, sent him away from Thebes when he was a baby because of the oracle’s prophecy that he would murder his father and marry his mother. However, Oedipus did not know this. All he knew was that he had killed the man who raised him and married the woman who raised him. He did not know these were his biological parents until after they had both died. It is ironic that he killed them both because they did not know they were related to each other and this prevented them from being together as husband and wife because they were brother and sister.

Oedipus was blinded by his own hubris. Hubris is excessive pride or arrogance which often leads to tragedy in Greek plays such as Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. When Oedipus meets the Sphinx, he is arrogant enough to think that he can solve her riddle when no one else has been able to do so before him. This leads him to commit sacrilege against Apollo by killing one of his sacred animals (the sphinx). It also blinds him to the fact that it was actually himself who murdered Laius.

Why Did Oedipus Blind Himself?. (2022, Nov 20). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/qa/why-did-oedipus-blind-himself/