Oedipus Rex Questions and Answers
by Sophocles

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Should Oedipus forgive himself in Sophocles' Oedipus Rex?

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This is a hard question, because the idea of forgiveness is not really something that is embedded in the Greek culture. Forgiveness is more of a Christian concept. Hence, to put that idea back into the time of Sophocles is sort of anachronistic. However, with that said, there are few observations that...

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    First, the death of Laius, who was killed by his own son appears as the corollary of Laius's wish to kill his own child, Oedipus, because of a prediction. The prediction said that Oedipus would kill his father and wed his mother. So, the parricide is the counterpart of the father's infanticidal wish. Tiresias, the seer is rebuked by Oedipus because he won't reveal the truth to him. It is, therefore, consistent with the rest of the story if Oedipus, seeing at last, has to become blind. The whole story revolves around the notions of mimesis and nemesis.

 Indeed, Interestingly enough, the pin used by his father to tie Oedipus's feet together (That's why Oedipus was nicknamed "swollen foot") when he was a child and almost died is reminiscent of the pin used by Oedipus to "pluck" his own eyes after Jocasta had hanged herself.

    Nevertheless unlike his father who attempted to get rid of him, he loved his two daughters dearly, a most redeeming feature: "my two darlings"; "my dearest, my two daughters; "do not take them from me."