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Oedipus The King Essay

726 words - 3 pages

Oedipus the King Oedipus the King was written by Sophocles between 430 BC and 420 BC. The story takes place in Thebes, a city-state. Thebes is deteriorating because it has infertile soil, and its women are giving birth to stillborns. Thebes was cursed by the sphinx's riddle, which Oedipus solved when he first arrived there. After this, he was considered the savior of the city. Oedipus then vows to help the city of Thebes with it's new plague. An Oracle had made a prophecy saying that the plague will be broken when Laius's murderer is found. Tiresias, the blind prophet tells Oedipus that he is the murderer. The Prophet reveals that the murderer of Laius will be both the father and brother to his own children, and the son of his own wife.Oedipus is married to Jocasta, who is also the widow of the late King Laius. Jocasta believes that all prophecies are false, and she proceeds to tell Oedipus that Laius was murdered by a band of thieves. Oedipus remembers back to when he was the Prince of Corinth; he traveled to the oracle of Delphi who told him that he would murder his father and sleep with his mother. Oedipus then fled to Thebes, however before he arrived there he killed a group of travelers in self-defense. These killings occurred at the same crossroads that Jocasta had said Laius was killed. Next, Oedipus finds out that Polybus, his father has died of natural causes. He is glad that one half of the prophecy had been disproved, but he still worries about sleeping with his mother. However, Oedipus soon finds out that Polybus and Merope are not his biological parents; he is an orphan. A shepherd tells Oedipus that he came from the house of Laius, and he is in fact the child of Laius himself. Oedipus soon realizes that the prophecy is true. He had killed his father Laius at the crossroads, and he had slept with his mother Jacosta. Jacosta realizes the truth and hangs herself. Oedipus discovers her dead and pulls off the brooches from her dress and stabs himself in his eyes....

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