Oedipus relents, and Creon leaves. Oedipus's men lead in an old shepherd, who is afraid to answer Oedipus's questions. He wants to know so he can help his people and bring prosperity back to his land, even though Teiresias keeps telling him it is horrible news and keeps asking not to pursue it any further. After this realization, Jocasta hangs herself and Oedipus stabs his own eyes out. Oedipus brags that he alone was able to solve the puzzle. He ultimately departs to a mysterious death at Colonus, a village near Athens, where he will become a source of defense to the land that has given him final refuge. As horrible as it sounds, Oedipus bedding Jocasta might not have been so bad had it not been for the fact that they had two children together.
The shepherd finally arrives and asks Oedipus not to question him, but Oedipus keeps pressing forward. The news is disturbing; Creon returns with a message from the oracle saying that the plague will end when the murderer of Laius former king of Thebes is caught and expelled, and that the murderer is within the city. This puts Oedipus in deep gloom and he wishes to go further. Catastrophe In despair Jocasta and Oedipus both realize that the prophecy is true. Greek authors routinely drew their basic material from a cycle of four epic poems, known as the Theban Cycle, that was already ancient in the fifth century B. Once it gets started, you just have to hold on until the conclusion. Oedipus answers that he will lead the king to the place where he will die, and that Theseus must never reveal that spot, but pass it on to his son at his own death, who in turn must pass it on to his own son.
Long ago an oracle told Laius that his own son would kill him, and as a result he and Jocasta gave their infant son to a shepherd to leave out on a hillside to die with a pin through its ankles. Jocasta begs Oedipus to abandon his search for his origins, but Oedipus insists he must know the story of his birth. We are all just a small part of the universe, and we cannot change the plan of the gods for us, despite all we do. Even if I am happy, if I hear that some one has said something bad about me, I have to find out who it was, even if it makes me horrible. If it were not for this, he would have stayed in Corinth for maybe his entire life, oblivious to his true identity. And so, despite his precautions, the prophecy that Oedipus dreaded has actually come true.
Sight Sight for the Greeks was a powerful symbolic notion. Oedipus the King might also be called the first detective story in Western literature. An old messenger arrives from Corinth with the news that Oedipus's father, King Polybus, has died of old age. Oedipus asks the messenger who gave the baby to him, and he replies that it was one of Laius's servants. Oedipus threatens him with death, and finally Teiresias tells him that Oedipus himself is the killer, and that his marriage is a sinful union. Oedipus tells him that banishment was the punishment he declared for Laius's killer, and Creon agrees with him.
However, Oedipus seems to be one that jumps to conclusions. Jocasta's story doesn't comfort Oedipus. Creon, covetous of royal power, is all too happy to oblige. Questioned further, he answers that the baby was in fact the child of Laius himself, and that it was Jocasta who gave him the infant, ordering him to kill it, as it had been prophesied that the child would kill his parents. Jocasta exits into the palace. She believed that her son was dead, and that the prophecy could not come to pass because of that supposed fact. Oedipus then strides off with a sudden strength, taking his daughters and Theseus to his grave.
Oedipus sends for the man who survived the attack, a shepherd, in the hope that he will not be identified as the murderer. If only he could have overcome it. Sophocles used this common story but made Oedipus a contemporary character, a man of action and persistence who represented many of the ideals of Athenian leadership. Is Oedipus to blame for what happens to him? Considered one of the three greatest playwrights of classical Greek theater, Sophocles was a friend of Pericles and Herodotus, and a respected citizen who held political and military offices in fifth-century B. She asks him not to be furious because several years ago an oracle did give a prophecy of her son's killing her husband and marrying her. I mean, literally we are, but I meant figuratively, dang it. At this mention of his parents, Oedipus, who grew up in the distant city of Corinth, asks how Tiresias knew his parents.
A carriage tried to run to him off the road there, an argument ensued, and Oedipus ended up killing the travellers, including a man who matches the the description of Laius. As the argument escalates, Oedipus accuses Tiresias of plotting with Creon to overthrow him, while Tiresias hints at other terrible things that Oedipus has done. He won fame by defeating the playwright Aeschylus for a prize in tragic drama at Athens in 468 B. Fed up with it, Teiresias comes cleans and tells Oedipus that he himself is the murderer. Creon forgives Oedipus for his past accusations of treason and asks that Oedipus be sent inside so that the public display of shame might stop.
Oedipus curses and insults the old man, going so far as to accuse him of the murder. The Three Way Crossroads Several time during the play the three-way crossroads, where King Laius was killed, is mentioned. Choices and Consequences play a crucial role in character and plot development within literature and Greek tragedy in particular. The Theban Cycle was as familiar to Athenians as the and , so everyone in the audience would have known what was going to happen to Oedipus. Oedipus curses everything about his life and wishes he had never been born.
It's the same place where Oedipus once fought with several people and killed them, one of whom fit the description of Laius. The townspeople call on their king Oedipus to save the city. Bothered by this, he questioned an oracle about his parentage. They relate that they know nothing of the murder and the killers. Yet Laius was killed by robbers, not by his own son, proof that the oracle was wrong. And off he goes to his doom. The queen, sister of Creon, arrives and calms Oedipus down.