Oedipus the King: Novel Summary: Chapter 9

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Chapter 9

The Chorus continues its dirge, now realizing the awful truth that is Oedipus' life.  Here, it underlines the kings' incestuous relationship with his mother: O Oedipus, name for the ages-one and the same wide harbor served you son and father both [.] [Son] and father came to rest in the same bridal chamber.
Soon a messenger enters from inside the palace, interrupting the Chorus with news that the queen, Jocasta, has killed herself.  The messenger describes the suicide scene: And there we saw the woman hanging by the neck, cradled high in a woven noose, spinning, swinging back and forth. When Oedipus sees his wife/mother hanging from the rope, he affectionately lays her down, removing the pins that hold together her robe.  Using these long brooches, he gouges out his eyes, screaming, You, you'll see no more the pain I suffered, all the pain I caused! Too long you looked on the ones you never should have seen, blind to the ones you longed to see, to know! Blind from this hour on! Blind in the darkness-blind! The messenger continues to describe the bloody scene to the horror of the Chorus.
Next, Oedipus enters the stage for the last time, led by a boy.  He addresses his fellow Thebans: Oh, Ohh-the agony! I am agony-where am I going?... My destiny, my dark power, what a leap you made! He continues, Dark, horror of darkness [,] my darkness, drowning, swirling around me [,] crashing wave on wave-unspeakable, irresistible headwind, fatal harbor! Oh again, the misery, all at once, over and over the stabbing daggers, stab of memory raking me insane.
The fallen king, preferring death to the life he has led, curses the shepherd who rescued him from the mountain's slope.  The Chorus concurs, admitting, Better to die than be alive and blind.

 
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