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The Royal House of Thebes
Transcript of The Royal House of Thebes
of Thebes! Part One A young girl named Europa was carried away by a bull. Her father sent each of her brothers out to find her. Cadmus decided that, instead of looking everywhere aimlessly, he would seek the help of Apollo. Apollo told Cadmus to follow her. Instead of finding his sister, he was to found a city. Where ever Apollo stopped to lay down was where Cadmus was to build his city. He named the city Thebes. There were challenges that came along with building his great city. First, he had to fight and kill a terrifying dragon. Once the dragon was killed, Apollo ordered Cadmus to sow the ground with the dragon's teeth. He obeyed, and from the ground sprung several armed men. Cadmus was afraid they were going to attack him. Instead, they attacked each other until only 5 were left. Those 5 became his strong helpers. Cadmus and his 5 helpers created the city of Thebes that had prospered greatly. Soon after, Cadmus married Harmonia,the daughter of Ares and Aphrodite. The gods loved Cadmus and Harmonia, so much that they were often graced with gifts. Aphrodite gave Harmonia a necklace. Though beautiful, it was meant to bring disaster into later generations. Cadmus and Harmonia had 4 daughters and 1 son. Each daughter was visited by a great misfortune. 2 died horrible deaths, and the other 2 had their sons perish painful and undeserved deaths. This was basically a curse condemning all of Cadmus's children and grandchildren. Cadmus and Harmonia fled from Thebes in their old age, as if to escape all the horrifying misfortune. Even when they reached another city called Illyria, the gods decided to turn them into serpents. It was not a form of punishment, it was a lesson. Bad things happen to people, even if they had done no wrong. As if turning Cadmus and Harmonia into serpents was not bad enough, it was time for one of their last relatives to suffer. Oedipus, their great-great-grandson, would be the one to suffer worst of all. Part Two King Laius was king of Thebes. He was the third descendant of Cadmus. King Laius also married his "distant" cousin named Jocasta. While they were in control of Thebes, the oracle in the city began playing a large part in the royalty's lives. What ever the oracle said, would later come true. When she had told Laius that he would be killed by his own son, he went against fate and was determined to make sure that what she had predicted would not come true. Laius left his son, with his feet bound, on top of a mountain. When people came back to Thebes to report that the baby must have bee dead, no one questioned it. They were too afraid to leave the city for a sphinx had eaten every man that left. When their king had died, they all assumed he was slain by a stranger,but it wasn't. To pass by the sphinx safely, you would have to answer it's sole riddle.
"What creature walks on 4 legs in the morning, 2 at noon, and 3 at night?
Only one man could answer that riddle, and it was Oedipus.
"Man." He answered wisely. " As a baby, man walks on his hands and knees, as an adult, he stands erect, and as an elder, he walks with the aid of a staff."
The sphinx was so surprised that she killed herself, and Thebes was finally free of it's killing grip. Oedipus was Laius's son. After the sphinx was dead, Oedipus was crowned king of Thebes and married Jocasta who was formally Laius's wife. Jocasta and Oedipus had two sons. When they reached manhood, Thebes erupted into a terrible period filled with plague. Not only were people dying, but animals were too. Those who didn't die of disease starved to death. As each person died, Oedipus felt worse and worse. He loved each of the people that lived in Thebes as if they were his children.He sent Jocasta's brother, Creon, to seek help from the gods. When Creon returned, he brought these words with him.
"Let no one of this land give shelter to him. Bar him from your homes, as one defiled, companioned by pollution, and solemnly I pray, may he who killed, wear out his life in evil, being evil." Oedipus sent for a blind prophet to find the meaning of the passage Creon brought back. Unwillingly, the prophet told him that he was the murderer that Oedipus was seeking. He was the murderer that was described in the passage. Though Oedipus declared it utter bull, and ordered the prophet away. Jocasta told Oedipus that prophets and oracles obviously don't know what they are talking about. But after a few exchanges about how "incorrect" the oracles were, they discovered that Oedipus really was Laius's son. Also, he did have children with hos own mother after marrying her. Soon after the truth was reveled that Jocasta was Oedipus's mother, she killed herself. Once Oedipus discovered her body, he blinded himself. He didn't want to see the world any longer. Antigone Oedipus lived on in Thebes while his children grew up. He had two sons named Polyneices and Etocles, and two daughters named Antigone and Ismene. His children were good, but their lives were unfortunate. Oedipus and Polyneices resigned the throne. The Thebans knew the family was in a terrible position, and thought this was a good decision. Creon, who was Jocasta's brother, became the regent. The Thebans treated Oedipus with kindness for many years, but they eventually expelled him from the city. No one really knew why, but Creon wanted it done. Oedipus' daughters were his only friends; they had never betrayed him through all of his misfortune. When Oedipus left Thebes, Antigone went with him to take care of him while Ismene stayed in Thebes to keep him informed about things that were happening. Meanwhile, Eteocles took the throne and kicked his brother Polyneices out of Thebes. Eteocles and Polyneices did end up killing each other though, along with 5 people who fought alongside Polyneices. Polyneiced last words to his dying brother were that he loved him, and wished to be buried in his home land of Thebes.Crean had strictly ordered that no one who fought against Thebes is to get a burial.Creon ordered that Polyneices body be left out to be eaten by birds. When a body isn't given a proper burial, he may not be able to cross over the river into the kingdom of death-the Underworld.Creon also ordered that anyone who buried Polyneices would be put to death immediately.When Antigone and Ismene heard what had happened to their brothers body, they were horrified. Antigone didn't care what the punishment was, she wanted to bury Polyneices. When Antigone's actions were discovered, she had to appear before Creon. He then sentenced her to death. While they dragged her away, she said :Behold me, what I suffer, because I have upheld which is high. She was trying to say how she was being punished for doing what was right with the gods. Giving her brother entrance to the Underworld! Afterwards, Ismene goes missing. there is no story or myth about what happens to her afterwards. The last of the royal family was alas, no more. Polyneices took refuge in Argos; he wanted an army to march against Thebes. Polyneices took refuge in Argos; he wanted an army to march against Thebes. Oedipus died in Colonus, which was a town outside of Thebes. Antigone and Ismene were together when he died, and both sisters safely returned home by Theseus. They arrived to Thebes to find war between the two brothers. Etocles was fighting for Thebes, and Polyneices wanted to capture it. Polyneices went to fight in the war, and the two sisters waited in the palace to hear which brother had killed the other. Thebes would only be saved if Creon's son, Menoeceus, was killed. Menoeceus overheard about this prophecy and went into battle without any skills. He died for his country in the war.