Oedipus the King is a play depicting the moral dilemma of being innocent and blind to the truth. In the play, Oedipus blinded himself because of all the things that happened to him after finding out the truth about his past, and realizing what his innocence has resulted in. He blinded himself to end his association with the outside world and cut all the connections because of shame. He believed that suicide is not the solution to what he was facing because he is also ashamed to meet his parents in the afterlife (Bloom 23). He considered his actions to be unforgivable to humanity, and even to those who have already died.
The way Oedipus blinded himself was symbolic in nature. Symbolically, light can be related to the truth, for which he failed to see when he had his sense of sight. Oedipus also taunted the blind man, Teiresias, who was able to see the truth despite his blindness. This showed further the depth of Oedipus’ shame of himself and of his actions, making him feel that he does not deserve his sight because he did not see the truth with them. Jocasta’s golden brooches were what Oedipus used to blind himself, as a symbol, showing that Oedipus owed his sense of sight from his mother because she was the one who brought him to this world and made him see the world. And Oedipus believes that using them to mutilate himself will somehow bring justice to the immoral actions he committed in his life (bsu.edu).
Bloom, Harold (ed). Bloom’s Modern Critical Interpretations: Oedipus Rex, Updated Edition.
New York: InfoHouse Publishing, 2007. Print.
“ClassicNote on Oedipus Rex / Oedipus the King”. bsu.edu. n.d. Web.