Oedipus | Greek Mythology

Oedipus was the son of the King Laius and the Queen Jocasta of Thebes. A curse on the Laius fortold that any son born of Jocasta would kill him. When Jocasta did bear a son, the child’s feet were pierced and he was left do bleed to death. However, a shepherd found him and took him to King Polybus of Corinth, who adopted him. He named the child Oedipus, which means “swelled foot”.

When he grew older, he sought advice from an oracle. The oracle told him that he was destined to kill his father and marry his mother. Fearing that he would harm Polybus, he fled the kingdom. As he left, he found Laius travelling. The charioteer treated him rudely, so he killed him and his entire party.

He arrived in Thebes he found the people troubled with Laius’ death, and plagued by a monster, the Sphinx. he managed to outwit the Sphinx and kill it. Fullfilling his destiny, Oedipus then took the thrown of Thebes, marrying his mother, Jocasta.

Sophocles retold this famous myth in his tragic play, Oedipus Rex (Oedipus the King) you can read a full text of his play here: Oedipus Rex.

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