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Transcript of Oedipus Timeline
Oedipus Rex: A Timeline
Before the play begins...
Laius and Jocasta attempt
to have baby Oedipus
Oedipus is born
King Laius and Queen Jocasta are told their son will grow up to kill dad and marry mom
1st shepherd saves
1st shepherd gives baby
Oedipus to 2nd shepherd
2nd shepherd gives baby Oedipus to King Polybus and Queen Merope of Corinth
As an adult, Oedipus overhears a drunk say he is adopted
Oedipus visits Oracle, who says he will kill dad and marry mom
Oedipus (unknowingly) kills King Laius and his traveling party at a place where three roads meet
*The sole survivor of the attack is a messenger/shepherd of King Laius
On the way to Thebes
Oedipus leaves to avoid
the prophesied fate
Oedipus meets the Sphinx and solves her riddle
Oedipus is declared King of Thebes (and marries Jocasta)
1st shepherd returns to Thebes and asks to be reassigned elsewhere
Jocasta have 4 kids
Plague, famine, and
disease ravage Thebes
Oedipus sends Creon to
consult the Oracle at Delphi
The play begins...
The priest and people
of Thebes complain to
Oedipus about the plague
Oedipus informs everyone that he has already sent Creon to consult the Oracle about the problems
Creon returns from Delphi
He informs Oedipus that the plague will end when King Laius' murderer is removed from Thebes
Oedipus issues a proclamation.
1. If anyone has information about the murder, he or she can come forward without punishment.
2. If someone who has information tries to hide it, he or she will be exiled.
3. Whoever the murderer is will be punished with a horrible life.
Oedipus sends for Teiresias in hopes that he can shed some light on the mystery.
Teiresias tells Oedipus that HE is the murderer.
...and Oedipus accuses Teiresias of being a liar and committing treason against him with Creon.
Creon publicly denies any conspiracy
...and Jocasta convinces Oedipus not to kill Creon
Jocasta tries to convince Oedipus that Teiresias (and all prophets) are worthless.
-She and Laius were told that their son would kill him and marry her, but they had the baby killed before that could happen
-The only surviving witness of Laius' murder said he was murdered by a "band of highwaymen," at a "place where three roads meet," so it couldn't have been their son who did it anyway
Oedipus tells Jocasta about that time he murdered some people
Oedipus sends for the only witness so they can clear up the questions and doubt
A messenger from Corinth arrives
1. King Polybus is dead.
2. The people of Corinth want Oedipus to be their king, too.
3. Polybus wasn't really Oedipus' father.
4. The messenger got Oedipus from another shepherd (who found him on a hillside) and gave him to Polybus since he and Merope had no kids.
Jocasta realizes the truth, but Oedipus still does not.
Jocasta tries to convince Oedipus to stop his questioning. He refuses.
Jocasta runs out and hangs herself
Oedipus questions the
messenger and the shepherd.
Oedipus realizes the truth
Oedipus finds Jocasta dead and gouges out his eyes with her brooches.
The witness arrives--and he is the same shepherd who saved baby Oedipus.
Creon becomes king
Oedipus fulfills the very "destiny" he tried to avoid.
Oedipus is banished and doomed to be a blind, wandering beggar