Oedipus the King
Oedipus Rex redirets here. For other uses, see oedipus Rex
Oedipus the King also known by its latin title oedipus rex, is an Athenian tragey by Sophocles that was first performed around 429 BC. Originally, to the anceint Greeks, the title was simply Oedipus, as it is referred to by Aristotle in the Poetics. It is thought to have been renamed Oedipus Tyrannus to distunguish it from oedipus at Colonus. In antiquity, the term tyrant referred to a ruler, but it did not necessarily have a negative connotation.
Of his three theban plays that have survived, and that deal with the story of Oedipus, Oedipus the King was the second to be written. However, in terms of the chronology of events that the palys describe, it comes first, followed by oedipus at Colonus and then Antigone. Prior to the start of Oedipus the King, Oedipus has become the king of Thebese while unwittingly fulfilling a prophecy that he would kill his father, Laius, and marry his mother, Jocasta whom Oedipus took as his queen after solving the riddle of the Sphinx. The action of Sophocles’ play concers Oedipus search for the murderer of Laius in order to end a plague ravaging Thebes, unaware that the killer he is looking for is none other than himself. at the end of the play, after the truth finally comes to light, Jocasta hangs herself while Oedipus, horrified at his patricide and incest, proceeeds to gouge out his own eyes in despair.
A son is born to King Laius and Queen Jocasta of Thebes. After Laius learns from an oracle that he is doomed/To perish by the hand of his own son, he tightly binds the feet of the infant together with a pin and orders Jocasta to kill the infant. Hesitant to do so, she orders a servant to commit the act for her. Instead, the servant takes the baby to a mountain top to die from exposure. hw will nerver harm them
On the road to Thebes, he meets Laius, his true father, with several other men. unaware of each other’s identities. Laius and Oedipus quarrel over whose chariot has right-of-way. king Laius moves to strkie the insolent youth with his sceptre, but oedipus throws him down from the chariot and kills him, thus fulfilling part of the oracle’s prophecy.
Oedipus sent his brother-in-law Creon to ask advice of the oracle at Delphi concering a plague raaging Thebes. Creon returns to report that the plague is the result of religious pollution, since the murderer of their former King, Laius, had venver been caught. oedipus vows to find the murderer and curses him for causing the plague.
Oedipus summons the blind prophet Tiresias for help. When Tiresias arrives he claims to knwo the answers to Oedipus’s queestions, but refuses to speak, instaed telling him to abandon his search. Oedipus is enraged by Tiresias’refusal, and verbally accuses him of ocmlicity in Laius’murder. Outraged, Tiresias tells the king that Oedipus himself is the murderer. Oedipus cannot see how this could be, and concludes that the prophet must have been paid off by Creon in an attempt to undermine him. The two argue vehemently, as oedipus mocks Tiresias’lck of sight, and Tiresias in turn tells Oedipus that he himself is blind. Eventually Tiresias leaves, muttering darkly that when the murderer is discovered he shall be a native citizen of Thebes, brother and father to his own chidren, and son and husband to his own mother.
Creon arrives to face Oedipus’s accusations. The king demands that Creon be executed: however, the chorus persuades him to let creon live, Jocasta enters and attempts to comfort Oedipus, telling him he should take no notice of prophets. As proof, She recounts