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Submitted By dumbblonde817
Words 596
Pages 3
Context and Explicit Meaning:

• Oedipus the King is an Athenian tragedy written by Sophocles around 430 BC. • Quote occurs after Oedipus realizes that he is in fact Theban and has fulfilled his tragic destiny. He has killed his father Laius and slept with his mother Jocasta. He rushes off to find Jocasta but finds out she has already hanged herself upon hearing the news. Oedipus reacts by blinding himself using his mother's shoulder-pins. • In the passage: Chorus asks Oedipus why he has blinded himself to which he replies that the God Apollo is the one that caused him to suffer in life. However it is him who gauged his own eyes. He does not realize the benefit of having his eye-sight anymore as nothing he sees will give him joy pleasure anymore.

Implicit Meaning:

• Man and the Gods: ⁃ Oedipus' first response as to why he blinded himself is "Apollo, friends, Apollo- he ordained my agonies- these, my pains on pains!". Shows that he is no longer arrogant and has accepted that Gods decide his fate. ⁃ "My pains", "my eyes", "myself", "me" are all used in the passage. Oedipus keeps using personal pronouns to show that even though he is a human he still has power over his actions. ⁃ "But the hand that struck my eyes was mine". Oedipus is again trying to show that though Gods have power to control man's destiny, however man can do something as well.

• Heroism: ⁃ Political Hero: Though at his own expense, he is still is able to save Thebes from the plague by punishing himself. ⁃ Human Hero: Oedipus shows that painful knowledge of truth is more important than ignorant bliss. Blinding himself shows he has assumed responsibility for his actions and is dignified even during his downfall. ⁃ Defeat: Must accept physical defeat because he is blind. Also must accept defeat against fate as by running away from his destiny, he fulfilled it.

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