Oedipus summary

Various details appear on how Oedipus rose to power.

Oedipus summary

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March Learn how and when to remove this template message Painting by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres depicting Oedipus after he solves the riddle of the Sphinx. Many parts or elements of the myth of Oedipus occur before the opening scene of the play, although some are alluded to in the text.

Oedipus is the son of Laius and Jocastathe king and queen of Thebes.

SparkNotes: The Oedipus Plays: Study Questions

The misfortunes of his house are the result of a curse laid upon his father for violating the sacred laws of hospitality. In his youth, Laius was the guest of Pelopsthe king of Elisand he became the tutor of Chrysippusthe king's youngest son, in chariot racing.

Laius seduced or abducted and raped Chrysippus, who according to some versions, killed himself in shame. This murder cast a doom over Laius and all of his descendants although many scholars regard Laius' transgressions against Chrysippus to be a late addition to the myth.

When his son is born, the king consults an oracle as to his fortune. To his horror, the oracle reveals that Laius "is doomed to perish by the hand of his own Oedipus summary.

Laius binds the infant's feet together with a pin, and orders Jocasta to kill him. Unable to kill her own son, Jocasta orders a servant to slay the infant for her. The servant then exposes the infant on a mountaintop, where he is found and rescued by a shepherd in some versions, the servant gives the infant to the shepherd.

The shepherd names the child Oedipus"swollen feet", as his feet had been tightly bound by Laius. The shepherd brings the infant to Corinthand presents him to the childless king Polybuswho raises Oedipus as his own son.

As he grows to manhood, Oedipus hears a rumour that he is not truly the son of Polybus and his wife, Merope. He asks the Delphic Oracle who his parents really are. Desperate to avoid this terrible fate, Oedipus, who still believes that Polybus and Merope are his true parents, leaves Corinth for the city of Thebes.

On the road to Thebes, Oedipus encounters Laius and his retainers, and the two quarrel over whose chariot has the right of way. The Theban king moves to strike the insolent youth with his sceptre, but Oedipus, unaware that Laius is his true father, throws the old man down from his chariot, killing him.

Thus, Laius is slain by his own son, and the prophecy that the king had sought to avoid by exposing Oedipus at birth is fulfilled. Before arriving at Thebes, Oedipus encounters the Sphinxa legendary beast with the head and breast of a woman, the body of a lioness, and the wings of an eagle.

The Sphinx was sent to the road approaching Thebes as a punishment from the gods, and would strangle any traveler who failed to answer a certain riddle.

The precise riddle asked by the Sphinx varied in early traditions, and is not stated in Oedipus Rex, as the event precedes the play; but the most widely-known version is, "what is the creature that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three in the evening?

Bested by the prince, the Sphinx throws herself from a cliff, thereby ending the curse. Plot[ edit ] P. Oedipus, King of Thebes, sends his brother-in-law, Creon, to ask advice of the oracle at Delphiconcerning a plague ravaging Thebes. Creon returns to report that the plague is the result of religious pollution, since the murderer of their former king, Laiushas never 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 know the answers to Oedipus's questions, but refuses to speak, instead telling him to abandon his search.

Oedipus is enraged by Tiresias' refusal, and verbally accuses him of complicity in Laius' murder.From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes The Oedipus Plays Study Guide has everything you need to ace quizzes, tests, and essays.

Oedipus. Oedipus is a man of swift action and great insight. At the opening of Oedipus the King, we see that these qualities make him an excellent ruler who anticipates his subjects’ needs. When the citizens of Thebes beg him to do something about the plague, for example, Oedipus is one step ahead of them—he has already sent Creon to the oracle .

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Oedipus summary

Oedipus Rex or Oedipus the King Questions and Answers. The Question and Answer section for Oedipus Rex or Oedipus the King is a great resource to ask .

“Seven Against Thebes” (Gr: “Hepta epi Thebas”; Lat: “Septem contra Thebas”) is a tragedy by the ancient Greek playwright Aeschylus, dating from initiativeblog.com is the classic statement of the myth (also covered by Euripides’ play “The Phoenician Women”) of the battle for the city of Thebes after the shamed Oedipus relinquished power to his two sons, Eteocles and Polynices.

Drama and theater are so much more than mere entertainment. They are powerful tools for transmitting ideas and culture; for fostering empathy; and for viewing the world in different ways.

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