Oedipus, when he hears this news, feels much relieved, because he believed that Polybus was the father whom the oracle had destined him to murder, and he momentarily believes himself to have escaped fate.
To try and avoid the prophecy, Lauis pierces the baby's ankles, binding them together with a pin, and abandons his son on the slopes of Mt. In a mysterious voice, she purrs, "Which creature walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs in the evening? "Uh oh," says Oedipus. Oedipus doesn't quite buy it, though, so he trucks it over to the Oracle of Delphi to get the truth of the whole thing. Laius' tragic son, crossing his father's path, killed him and fulfilled the oracle spoken of old at Pytho. So, Polyneices went off and married a princess whose dad had a big army, and now he's at the gates determined to take back the throne. One household servant survived the attack and now lives out his old age in a frontier district of Thebes. The infant Oedipus eventually came to the house of Polybus, king of Corinth and his queen, Merope, who adopted him, as they were without children of their own. Oedipus Rex Summary.
His body is buried in secret somewhere near Athens, and the city receives his blessing. Ripping a brooch from her dress, Oedipus blinds himself with it. When Creon arrived at the tomb where she had been interred, his son Haemon attacked him upon seeing the body of his deceased fiancée, but failing to kill Creon he killed himself. He reveals, furthermore that the servant who is being brought to the city as they speak is the very same man who took Oedipus up into the mountains as a baby. The only witness of the king's death was a slave who fled from a caravan of slaves also traveling on the road at the time. Polyneices shows up too and also tries to get Oedipus's blessing. However, in Euripides' plays on the subject, Jocasta did not kill herself upon learning of Oedipus's birth, and Oedipus was blinded by a servant of Laius. The curse of Oedipus' sons was elaborated on retroactively to include Oedipus and his father, Laius. In Sophocles' plays, Oedipus went in search of Jocasta and found she had killed herself. They'd agreed to switch off ruling Thebes every year. Seneca the Younger wrote his own play on the story of Oedipus in the first century AD. It turns out that this guy is actually the shepherd who found Oedipus on the mountain and brought him to Corinth.  Laius journeys out to seek a solution to the Sphinx's mysterious riddle. Oedipus is born to King Laius and Queen Jocasta of Thebes An oracle tells them their son is fated to kill the father and Oedipus doesn't want to believe it, and he accuses Creon and Tiresias of being allied against him. So, now, Oedipus knows for sure that Polybus wasn't his real dad. After this, Creon exiles Oedipus and the blind man wanders the wilderness with only his dedicated daughter, Antigone, to guide him. Oedipus Rex Summary Next. A tragic hero in Greek mythology, Oedipus accidentally fulfilled a prophecy that he would end up killing his father and marrying his mother, thereby bringing disaster to his city and family. A fight ensues, and Oedipus kills Laius and most of his guards. Their king is nowhere to be found and a Sphinx has taken up residence outside of the city. The Oracle didn't bother to tell him otherwise, so they must be, right? Bleeding from the eyes, he begs his uncle and brother-in-law Creon, who has just arrived on the scene, to exile him forever from Thebes. Oedipus then seized two pins from her dress and blinded himself with them. The old man arrives, and it is clear at once that he knows everything. Menu . In the late 1960s Ola Rotimi published a novel and play, The Gods Are Not To Blame, which retell the Oedipus myth happening in the Yoruba kingdom. Generally, the play weaves together the plots of the Seven Against Thebes and Antigone. The Oracle prophesied that any son born to Laius would kill him. So, the king goes to the Oracle of Delphi to figure out what the deal is. Creon shows up, representing Eteocles, and tries to convince the dying Oedipus to come back to Thebes to be buried, because a prophecy has said that wherever Oedipus is buried will be blessed. When Creon returned, Oedipus learned that the murderer of King Laius must be brought to justice, and Oedipus himself cursed the killer of his wife's late husband, saying that he would be exiled. However, Antigone had already hanged herself in her tomb, rather than suffering the slow death of being buried alive. At first, Tiresias really doesn't want to tell Oedipus what's up, and the seer advises the king to stop seeking the truth. Oedipus wonders why Tiresias didn't solve the Sphinx's riddle if he's such a good soothsayer and says they're scapegoating him.  Ovid included Oedipus in Metamorphoses, but only as the person who defeated the Sphinx. This stirs something in Oedipus's memory and he suddenly remembers the men that he fought and killed one day long ago at a place where three roads met. Yet Thersandros survived fallen Polyneikes and won honor in youthful contests and the brunt of war, a scion of aid to the house of Adrastos. Laius wished to thwart the prophecy, so he sent a shepherd-servant to leave Oedipus to die on a mountainside. In 1960, Immanuel Velikovsky (1895–1979) published a book called Oedipus and Akhnaton which made a comparison between the stories of the legendary Greek figure, Oedipus, and the historic Egyptian King of Thebes, Akhnaton. A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis … (Dude, she took her riddle mad seriously.). Next thing you know, the survivor of the attack shows up and confirms that Oedipus is the killer. It has however been successfully staged since the Renaissance. Together, these plays make up Sophocles' three Theban plays. However, Eteocles refused to cede his throne after his year as king. The Oracle of Delphi tells King Laius of Thebes that he'll have a child who's destined to kill him and sleep with Laius's wife, Jocasta, the boy's own mother. The play differs from the other tales in two major respects.
"Cool beans," says Oedipus, and they call the old, blind man to the palace. Oedipus tries to run from this fate, but ends up running right into it. Oedipus Rex PDF Summary by Sophocles is a classical tragedy about the power of fate and the inability to escape it, no matter one’s attempts to fight and escape the path that was meant for him. Jocasta realizes now all that has happened. Theseus grants asylum to Oedipus, allowing the old blind man to die in peace. "It ain't so," they lie, totally denying it. The moment of epiphany comes late in the play. In a heated exchange, Tiresias was provoked into exposing Oedipus himself as the killer, and the fact that Oedipus was living in shame because he did not know who his true parents were. Antigone, Polynices' sister, defied the order, but was caught. Additionally, rather than his children being by a second wife, Oedipus's children are now by Jocasta (hence, they are his brothers as well). The king sends for the one guy who is said to have survived the attack to find out he truth. Freud reasoned that the ancient Greek audience, which heard the story told or saw the plays based on it, did know that Oedipus was actually killing his father and marrying his mother; the story being continually told and played therefore reflected a preoccupation with the theme.. He finally finds refuge at the holy wilderness right outside Athens, where it is said that Theseus took care of Oedipus and his daughter, Antigone. In Seven Against Thebes, Oedipus's sons Eteocles and Polynices kill each other warring over the throne. The priestess totally dodges the question of who Oedipus's real parents are, but does let him know that he's destined to kill his father and sleep with his mother. Queen Jocasta's brother, Creon, had announced that any man who could rid the city of the Sphinx would be made king of Thebes, and given the recently widowed Queen Jocasta's hand in marriage. Oedipus grows up thinking that Polybus and Merope are his legit parents.