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World Literature

March 21, 2016 | Author: | Posted in antique literature, literature and language

Oedipus

The Pro of a Tragic Greek Hero

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The story of Oedipus was written by Sophocles around 430 B .C . It was first performed in Athens . Of course , the story revolved around Oedipus the son of King Laius of Thebes and his wife Jocasta . As is with any Greek tragic hero , he is doomed from the start . However , his curse was established long before he was born , so he has no liability for possessing his imperfection . It has been said that Laius , Oedipus father , kidnapped and raped [banner_entry_middle]

the young boy Chrysippus and was then cursed by Chrysippus ‘ father , Pelops . The weight of this curse transmitted into Oedipus himself by the Delphic oracle which prophesied that King Laius would be killed by his own son (Oedipus ) and that this son would marry his own mother . Appalled by such this prediction , King Laius and Queen Jocasta decided to kill their first-born son . They gave him to a shepherd to be exposed to nature on a mountain and die . The shepherd however , took pity on the child . Instead of killing the baby , the shepherd took him to Corinth where he was adopted by King Polybus and his childless queen (wikipedia .org

Oedipus grew up believing he is , indeed , King Polybus ‘ son . One day he accidentally heard a rumor that he was not Polybus ‘s son . Itching to confirm whether this is true or not , he went to visit the Oracle of Delphi . Unfortunately , the oracle did not answer his question , but foretold that he would one day kill his father , and then marry his mother . Wishing to defy the prediction , Oedipus decided not to return to Corinth . Upon leaving Delphi , he encountered a man at a crossroads with four servants who tried to force him from his path . Oedipus , arrogant and hot-headed , slew the man and three of his attendants . Needless to say , the slain man is King Laius . The fourth servant is able to escape and report the king ‘s death to the Thebans (wikipedia .org

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The incident was not given further attention and investigation because Thebes itself was having such problems with a Sphinx . It is a monster with the body of a winged lion and the breast and face of a woman . It stood on a rock outside the gates and devoured everyone who failed to solve her riddle : What creature walks on four feet in the morning , on two at noon and on three in the evening ‘ Oedipus tried his luck and solved the riddle . Because of his success , the Sphinx hurled herself to her death on the rocks below (wikipedia .org

The Thebans , discovering Oedipus ‘ heroic deed , welcomed him as a savior . They went even farther as to offering him throne that was vacated by the slain King Laius . He eventually became king and married the queen who , unknown to him , was his mother . When Thebes was stricken by a plague , Oedipus consulted the Delphic oracle once more . He was… [banner_entry_footer]

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