In this Athenian tragedy by Sophocles, Oedipus chooses to blind himself after it is revealed that he has, as foretold by a prophecy, killed his father and slept with his mother. Oedipus cannot bare the shame and horror of what he has done, and when he finds that his mother has killed herself from shame, he chooses to blind his eyes by piercing them with two of her brooches. Oedipus does not choose to fully relieve himself of his suffering by ending his life. Rather, he tortures himself by piercing his eyes and enduring the rest of his life in shame and blindness. Even with the knowledge of the prophecy, Oedipus is figuratively blinded by his actions, and so it is with deep irony that he then physically blinds himself when the prophecy is fulfilled. The use of the brooches to blind Oedipus are, of course, significant because they belonged to his mother and therefore are connected to the prophecy that ultimately led to his blinding.