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Oedipus Rex

how Oedipus managed to kill his father and marry his mother without realizing what he'd done
by Colleen Murphy on 26 September 2011

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Transcript of Oedipus Rex

Thebes Corinth Mt. Citheron Lais and Jocasta
were the king and
queen of Thebes. Polybus and Merope
were the king and
queen of Corinth. Delphi Lais and Jocasta had a son. Lais and Jocasta
didn't want their son
to have this fate, so they
sent him away. Lais drove stakes in the baby's ankles. He gave his son to a shepherd and
told the man to leave the boy out on Mt. Citheron to die.
The shepherd took the baby
from Jocasta and brought him
to Mt. Citheron. Polybus and Merope
couldn't have children. Meanwhile, a messenger from Corinth was travelling to Mt. Citheron to pasture his sheep. The shepherd met
up with the messenger
near Mt. Citheron. The shepherd began
to feel sorry for the baby. The messenger told the
shepherd about Polybus
and Merope's inability to
have children. The shepherd gave the baby
to the messenger to take to
Corinth. He figured it was waaaay on the other side of Greece, and the baby would never see Lais or Jocasta again. The messenger brought the
baby to Polybus and Merope. They named him Oedipus
which means "swollen foot." The Oracle at Delphi had
predicted that if Lais
ever had a son, the boy
would kill his father
and marry his mother. Polybus and Merope
raised Oedipus as
their own. When Oedipus grew up,
he met an old drunk
who told him that Polybus
was not his father. Polybus denied this claim,
but Oedipus had to know
for sure. Oedipus had a problem. . . .so he went to the Oracle
at Delphi. The oracle wouldn't
tell Oedipus his true
parentage. . . . but she did tell him
that he was fated to
kill his father and
marry his mother. Oedipus thought about his
parents back in Corinth. He didn't want to kill
Polybus and marry Merope! . . . so he decided to travel
as far from home as he possibly
could. . . . and he set out for Thebes! Back in Thebes,
the whole city was under a curse. The Sphinx had told
the city that she would
lift the curse if someone could solve a riddle. Want to hear the riddle? What walks on four legs
in the morning,
two legs in the afternoon,
and three legs in the evening? We'll come back to that. Lais had a problem.
His city was under a curse,
and he needed the answer to
the riddle.
Triple
Crossroads Lais and Oedipus met
at the triple crossroads
joining the paths to Thebes, Corinth, and Delphi. Lais was a king, so he
had taken a chariot. Lais ordered Oedipus
to get out of the road so his chariot could pass by. Oedipus refused,
and in a classic case of
"road rage," he pulled Lais
from the chariot and
killed him. Oedipus killed all of Lais's
attendants but one, left the
bodies, and carried on toward
Thebes. When he arrived in Thebes, Oedipus solved the riddle and saved the people from the Sphinx. A man crawls on four legs as a baby,
walks on two legs as an adult,
and uses a cane in old age. The people of Thebes are grateful to Oedipus! They make him king. Oedipus marries Jocasta, and they have four children. ewwww. . . Their names are Antigone,
Ismene, Eteokles, and Polynices. The curse is lifted! (for now) . . . but soon, the curse returns. . . . . . and so begins Sophocles' play. . . Know Pride Anger Nothing in excess Thyself

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