oediphus the king
Oedipus the King
Oedipus the King starts in the legend where Oedipus, king of Thebes, is trying get rid of the plague in his city. Oedipus sends Creon to the oracles at Delphi to get the answer to the city's problems. Creon is away for a long time, and he returns with Teiresias, the blind prophet. They repeat the oracles' statement: the plague will end only when Laios' murderer is discovered. Sophocles tells the events in order and finally unmask Oedipus as the murderer. That Oedipus acted like he didnít know anything about this was irrelevant; he feels he must be punished for his terrible crime, and so in his despair he blinds himself. His wife and mother Iocaste hangs herself. Creon ascends the throne of Thebes, and Oedipus goes into exile.
A priest of Thebes slowly advances toward Oedipus. He is hesitant and cautious before this famous person. You realize that Oedipus isn't looked up to just because he's the king; he's genuinely admired and respected. The priest speaks urgently, informing the king that the city of Thebes, once prosperous, is now in ruin. A mysterious, unnatural plague has settled on the countryside, causing unborn children to die, and the cattle to get sick. Perhaps today you'd look to science for a solution to such a calamity. In Sophocles' time, however, there would have been no doubt in anyone's mind that there are religious causes for this misery.
It appears that these people have come to seek comfort and advice from Oedipus, the "wisest in the ways of God." Oedipus, after all, solved the riddle of the Sphinx. Surely, they feel, Oedipus can now find a remedy for the plague. Only Oedipus can restore Thebes to its former glory.
Oedipus is genuinely touched by the spectacle of his suffering "children." He promises to investigate the unknown cause of the deadly plague. In fact, like any effective leader, he's already taken action. He explains that he's sent Creon, brother of his wife, Queen Iocaste, to the sacred city of Delphi to ask the oracles for a pledge that might yet save the city from destruction. Oedipus is worried, however, that Creon has been gone too long. Just then, Creon rushes in with a troubled expression on his face.
This revelation is a huge shock among the Theban citizens. But Oedipus, immediately presses for more specific information. He demands that Creon name the man responsible for the crime but Creon can only repeat the story of the c...