Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Gauge out your eyes, why don't ya?

First and foremost I am going to explain the meme I have chosen. Spoken by Professor Farnsworth from the show "Futurama," this image/gif today is "an expression often used to show disgust or disappointment with others." I thought about this statement after finishing Oedipus. 

Oedipus becomes so disgusted and horrified with his actions after learning the truth about his past that he blinds himself. He cannot bear the horrendous guilt of his actions and so he takes out his eyes. He does this instead of taking his own life because he feels he is not deserving of death since it is too easy, among many of the other reasons he lists in the reading. Oedipus now "sees" everything and one could image he "doesn't want to live on this planet anymore" after uncovering the truth (but we know why he does because I just explained that). He must live with the shame and disappointment he has brought upon himself and the rest of society. Though we are not directly told what the Thebans thought, one could imagine they had been thinking the same thing as Professor Farnsworth. Because how could they have lived with themselves once they found out their own king--the one who was supposed to be their leader, who they were told to listen to and look up to, who revered himself as a savior and god--was a murderer and incest-er.


Belin Manalle said...

Obviously this act is appalling regardless of whether Oedipus knew or not. However, I find that he takes the dramatics and his reaction a little too far. Just hear me out on this. I believe that he did the right thing in a way by taking the responsibility into his own hands. He knows that what he did was wrong and he is dishing out his own justice. Although this is true, I believe that he overdoes it and in a way wants people to pity him. Maybe I'm digging to deep into this but the way I read the ending, he is overdoing everything and being unnecessarily harsh to his children by telling them they will have no lives and no happiness. It gets to a point where Creon basically tells him to cut it out and to just move on. The sympathy that he first has towards Oedipus when he realizes Oedipus found out is completely gone by the end of their encounter. I find that he just becomes fed up with Oedipus' antics.

madison kahn said...

I think you bring up a really good point with the whole idea of pity. I didn't really think about the fact that Oepidus does potentially gauge his eyes out for pity (not to say that this is solely the reason he does it). However, it could be the case that Oepidus has too big of an ego just to quietly exile himself from Thebes. He has to make a spectacle of his leaving. Maybe he didn't want Jocosta to steal his thunder when he saw that she killed himself, so he decides right then and there to gauge his eyes out. Then, he has to let the whole town of Thebes know what he has done. I'm not trying to suggest that Oepidus is some kind of heartless animal, but maybe his constant need for attention is another part of his downfall. Personally, I find it really hard to pity Oepidus. I mean, he kills his own father, sleeps with his mother, and is quick to accuse and threaten everyone who does not do things his way. One of the only redeemable qualities I see in him is his genuine care for the people of Thebes. Although I don't really pity Oepidus, Aristotle did say that a Greek tragedy is supposed to arouse feelings of "pity and fear." I do believe that people of Greek times would have pitied Oepidus, but because of our different views on essential things in Oepidus (like murder and incest), it may be harder for us to do.

madison kahn said...

*Jocosta killed **herself.** I know she's not a guy