Greek Mythology - The black fate of Oedipus
Finally, when Oedipus furiously accuses Tiresias of the murder, Tiresias tells Oedipus that Oedipus himself is the curse. Oedipus dares Tiresias to say it again, . With the opening of the play "Oedipus Rex," famines, fires, and plagues have beset the town of Thebes. Oedipus asks the people why they pray and "lament". In Greek mythology, King Laius or Laios (Greek: Λάϊος) of Thebes was a divine hero and key Oedipus refused to defer to the king, although Laius' attendants ordered him to. Being angered, Laius either Later, Thebes is cursed with a disease because his murderer has not been punished. Many of Laius' descendants.
Generally, the play weaves together the plots of the Seven Against Thebes and Antigone. The play differs from the other tales in two major respects. First, it describes in detail why Laius and Oedipus had a feud: Laius ordered Oedipus out of the road so his chariot could pass, but proud Oedipus refused to move. Jocasta commits suicide over the two men's dead bodies, and Antigone follows Oedipus into exile. In ChrysippusEuripides develops backstory on the curse: Laius' sin was to have kidnapped Chrysippus, Pelops ' son, in order to violate him, and this caused the gods' revenge on all his family.
Laius was the tutor of Chrysippus, and raping his student was a severe violation of his position as both guest and tutor in the house of the royal family hosting him at the time. Extant vases show a fury hovering over the lecherous Laius as he abducts the rape victim.
Euripides wrote also an Oedipusof which only a few fragments survive. At some point in the action of the play, a character engaged in a lengthy and detailed description of the Sphinx and her riddle — preserved in five fragments from OxyrhynchusP. The most striking lines, however, state that in this play Oedipus was blinded by Laius' attendants, and that this happened before his identity as Laius' son had been discovered, therefore marking important differences with the Sophoclean treatment of the myth, which is now regarded as the 'standard' version.
Some echoes of the Euripidean Oedipus have been traced also in a scene of Seneca's Oedipus see belowin which Oedipus himself describes to Jocasta his adventure with the Sphinx. These include Achaeus of EretriaNichomachus and the elder Xenocles. What is that which has one voice and yet becomes four-footed and two-footed and three-footed?
Oedipus in post-Classical literature[ edit ] Oedipus was a figure who was also used in the Latin literature of ancient Rome. Julius Caesar wrote a play on Oedipus, but it has not survived into modern times.
He makes no mention of Oedipus' troubled experiences with his father and mother. Seneca the Younger wrote his own play on the story of Oedipus in the first century AD. It differs in significant ways from the work of Sophocles. Seneca's play on the myth was intended to be recited at private gatherings and not actually performed.
It has however been successfully staged since the Renaissance. It was adapted by John Dryden in his very successful heroic drama Oedipuslicensed in The Oedipus was also the first play written by Voltaire. InImmanuel Velikovsky — 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. The book is presented as a thesis that combines with Velikovsky's series Ages in Chaosconcluding through his revision of Egyptian history that the Greeks who wrote the tragedy of Oedipus may have penned it in likeness of the life and story of Akhnaton, because in the revision Akhnaton would have lived much closer to the time when the legend first surfaced in Greece, providing a historical basis for the story.
Each of the major characters in the Greek story are identified with the people involved in Akhnaton's family and court, and some interesting parallels are drawn. Electra complex Sigmund Freud used the name "the Oedipus complex " to explain the origin of certain neuroses in childhood.
It is defined as a male child's unconscious desire for the exclusive love of his mother. This desire includes jealousy towards the father and the unconscious wish for that parent's death, as well as the unconscious desire for sexual intercourse with the mother. Oedipus himself, as portrayed in the myth, did not suffer from this neurosis — at least, not towards Jocasta, whom he only met as an adult if anything, such feelings would have been directed at Merope — but there is no hint of that.
He does not know that the person he killed on the road from Corinthwas Laius. What is the relationship between the curse Oedipus lays upon Laius' murder and Creon's statement that he doesn't speak idle words? That a most serious and sobering curse may end up being directedand carried out against the very speaker of such words is thereason why Theban King Creon says that Theban King… Oedipus' cursingstatement isn't made up of idle words.
The Oracle at Apollo'sshrine says that the pestilence that ravages the Theban population,livestock and crops may be stopped only by the identification andpunishment of the murderer or murderers of Theban King Laius. Oedipus promises that the manhunt and the sentence of execution orexile will be carried out even should the person or personsresponsible be found within his own household.
Ironically, Oedipus ends up being the very person whom he himselfmust seek. So he ends up having to hand himself over to harshsentencing.
Oedipus - Wikipedia
Then she led him to her bedchamber and slept with him in the same bed. Sure enough, nine months later the child was born whom Laius had been so anxious to avoid. It was a boy. His mother was delighted, but his father, fearing the oracle would prove true, had no thought in his mind but how he might destroy his son.
And so, before the child was three days old, he gave it to a faithful herdsman, with orders to take the infant high up on the slopes of Mount Cythaeron and leave it there to be devoured by wild beasts. Fearing the baby might somehow crawl away and be found by kindly people, he drove an iron rod through its feet, bound them with rope, and ordered the herdsman to tie the baby to a tree.
Her wailing drove out all thought of abandoning the child to the mercy of the wolves and vultures, and the poor fellow racked his brains to find a way of saving it. On the hillside he met an old friend of his, another shepherd who was tending the flocks of king Polybus of Corinth. Knowing the man to be a good-hearted fellow, he told him how the infant had been given him by a cruel nobleman, with orders to leave it in the mountains, where the wild beasts would devour it. Then the second shepherd cradled the baby gently in his arms and took him down to king Polybus in Corinth.
Oedipus spent his childhood in the palace of Polybus, believing the king and Merope to be his real parents. With the passing of the years he grew into a fine young man — handsome, strong, clever and brave. Victor in every athletic contest save for running and jumping, he was admired by all his peers. He had one failing: Once, at a drinking session, a young noble who had taken more wine than he could hold, started to laugh at Oedipus and make fun of him, forgetting it was the heir to the throne of Corinth that he was addressing.
Oedipus answered angrily, insulting the youth in front of everybody present, only to have an even deeper insult flung straight back in his face: Do you really think Polybus is your father? He voiced his fears to Polybus and Merope, who tried to allay them by assuring him he was their real son. When he came before the Pythoness to put his question, he was determined to accept whatever prophecy the god might grant to him, even if it revealed that he was the son of the humblest beggar.
Instead he took the road which led to Thebes, the city where his real father, Laius, lived and ruled. That very day, Laius himself had set out from Thebes for Delphi. He was coming to ask the oracle how the Thebans might be delivered from the Sphinx, a fearsome monster which was terrorising the city and all the lands about it. Drawn by his charioteer, Laius was accompanied by his herald and three serving men. As fate would have it, father and son, who were strangers to each other, were destined to meet at a crossing of the ways, where a road led off to nearby Daulis, and in a spot so narrow there was just room for one chariot to get through.
What followed was inevitable: Only one of them had not dared use his weapon, preferring to escape the danger as fast as his legs would carry him. After the killings at the crossroad, Oedipus continued on his way to Thebes, not guessing he had just slain the ruler of that city, and that this man was his father. As he was crossing Mount Phikion, he caught sight of the Sphinx, perched on a rock beside the road.