Left, while still a baby, to die in the mountains by his father — who had been warned that his son would kill him and marry his wife — Oedipus was eventually adopted by the childless King Polybus and Queen Merope of Corinth. Wandering aimlessly, he subsequently reached the city of Thebes where he encountered the monstrous gate-guarding Sphinx ; after he answered her riddle, the Sphinx went mad and hurled herself to her death.
Creon further discloses that the citizens of Thebes need to discover and punish the murderer before the plague can be lifted. The people mourn their dead, and Oedipus advises them, in their own interest, to search out and apprehend the murderer of Laius.
Asked to help find the murderer, Teiresias, the ancient, blind seer of Thebes, tells Oedipus that it would be better for all if he does not tell what he knows. He says that coming events will reveal themselves.
Oedipus accuses the old man of being in league with Creon, whom he suspects of plotting against his throne, but Teiresias answers that Oedipus will be ashamed and horrified when he learns the truth about his true parentage.
Oedipus defies the seer, saying he will welcome the truth as long as it frees his kingdom from the plague. Oedipus threatens Creon with death, but Jocasta and the people advise him against doing violence on the strength of rumor or momentary passion.
Oedipus yields, but he banishes Creon. Jocasta, grieved by the enmity between her brother and Oedipus, tells her husband that an oracle informed King Laius that he would be killed by his own child, the offspring of Laius and Jocasta.
Jocasta assures Oedipus that this could not happen because the child was abandoned on a deserted mountainside soon after birth. When Oedipus hears further that Laius was killed by robbers at the meeting place of three roads and that the three roads met in Phocis, he is deeply disturbed and begins to suspect that he is, after all, the murderer.
He hesitates to reveal his suspicion, but he becomes more and more convinced of his own guilt. Disturbed, Oedipus consulted the oracle of Apollo, who told him he would sire children by his own mother and that he would kill his own father. After he left Corinth, at a meeting place of three roads, Oedipus was offended by a man in a chariot.
He killed the man and all of his servants but one. From there he went on to Thebes, where he became the new king by answering the riddle of the Sphinx. The riddle asked what went on all fours before noon, on two legs at noon, and on three legs after noon.
Oedipus answered, correctly, that human beings walk on all fours as an infant, on two legs in their prime, and with the aid of a stick in their old age.
Jocasta assures her husband that the entire matter is of no great consequence, that surely the prophecies of the oracles will not come true. A messenger from Corinth announces that King Polybus is dead and that Oedipus is his successor. Polybus died of natural causes, so Oedipus and Jocasta are relieved for the time being.
Oedipus tells the messenger he will not go to Corinth for fear of siring children by his mother, Merope. The messenger goes on to reveal that Oedipus is not the son of Polybus and Merope but a foundling whom the messenger, at that time a shepherd, took to Polybus.
The messenger relates how he received the baby from another shepherd, who was a servant of the house of King Laius. At that point Jocasta realizes the dreadful truth.
She does not wish to see the old servant who was summoned, but Oedipus desires clarity regardless of the cost. He again calls for the servant. When the servant appears, the messenger recognizes him as the herdsman from whom he received the child years earlier.
The old servant confesses that King Laius ordered him to destroy the boy but that out of pity he gave the infant to the Corinthian to raise as his foster son.
Oedipus, now all but mad from the realization of what he did, enters the palace and discovers that Jocasta hanged herself by her hair. He removes her golden brooches and with them puts out his eyes so that he will not be able to see the results of the horrible prophecy.
He curses the herdsman who saved him from death years before. Creon, returning, orders the attendants to lead Oedipus back into the palace.
Oedipus asks Creon to have him conducted out of Thebes where no man will ever see him again. He also asks Creon to give Jocasta a proper burial and to see that the sons and daughters of the unnatural marriage should be cared for and not be allowed to live poor and unmarried because of the shame attached to their parentage.
Creon leads the wretched Oedipus away to his exile of blindness and torment.Are people truly responsible for their actions? This question has puzzled humanity throughout history. Over the centuries, people have pondered the influence of divine or diabolical power, environment, genetics, even entertainment, as determining how free any individual is in making moral choices.
The blind king then goes into exile with only his daughter, Antigone, to guide him, and eventually dies in the town of Colonus. Detailed Summary Laius and Jocasta, the king and queen of Thebes, are having no luck conceiving a child.
Oedipus Rex (Oedipus the King) study guide contains a biography of Sophocles, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. About Oedipus Rex or .
Character Analysis of Oedipus the King Presentation by Grp 1 IV LDS Written by Sophocles ( BC) Also known as Oedipus Tyrranos or Oedipus Rex Has long been regarded not only as his finest play but also as the purest and most powerful expression of Greek tragic drama.
Oedipus and Antigone learn from a citizen that they are standing on holy ground, reserved for the Eumenides, goddesses of fate. Oedipus sends the citizen to . The first written and performed play of the Oedipus trilogy, which also includes OEDIPUS THE KING (about B.C.) and OEDIPUS AT COLONUS (about B.C.), ANTIGONE suggests that Oedipus’ whole.