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❶King Oedipus, subject of the most tragic story ever written, brought about his own downfall because of his excessive obsession to know himself. Knowing that the royal couple of the nearby city state of Corinth was childless, and desperately desired a son, the slave left the crying infant, its feet still pierced and bound by a pin, in a place sure to be found.




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I enjoyed your service a lot. I loved the help from this writing service and I could impress my teacher. I will indeed come back in future as well to if I need help with writing my assignments. Thanks a lot EssaysChief for making my essay excellent. I will definitely recommend your service to my friends as well. Just then, Creon arrived. Since he bore good news, he was wearing laurel leaves with berries around his head. Apollo himself had promised that a diligent investigation would reveal the murderer.

Oedipus was quite shocked at such negligence, not yet realizing that it was he who unwittingly had slain king Laius, his own father. Now he is a very old man, you know When you came to the city, he abruptly left for his hut in the mountains and has never since returned. Oedipus proceeded to put a formal curse on the murderer of the old king, whoever he was.

No citizen anywhere was allowed to give him shelter, food or hospitality. Ironically, Oedipus assured the people that he would do everything within his powers to avenge the death of the old king, just as if the late king were his own father.

Further, whoever came forward with information about the murder of Laius would be richly rewarded, and if the killer himself confessed, he would not be punished beyond having to leave the city permanently. On the other hand, if anyone concealed the killer, Oedipus said that he would be cursed and punished.

Next, Oedipus decided to consult the famous blind prophet, Teiresias, in hope to find out the divine truth. This respected seer advised Oedipus to forget this matter, to never even try to discover the murderer. At this, Oedipus became angry and accused Teiresias of being a false prophet, or, worse yet, a conspirator with murderers. Informing Oedipus that he is far too young to speak to him in that fashion, Teiresias told the king that "before the sun is down, you will find out yourself a husband and a son and brother of your children.

He proceeded to tell his wife about the crazy blind prophet. J ocasta then told Oedipus how, in her youth, an oracle had told her and Laius that he would be killed by his own son. She told how the baby son had been left to die in the mountains, and how Laius had been killed by robbers at a crossroad Rather than comforting Oedipus, her words began to worry him and to plant some seeds of doubt in his mind.

He began asking all sorts of questions from his wife: Where did the murder occur? How long before he had arrived to Thebes? What did Laius look like? With each answer, his mood grew darker. Could this be Laius? The course of what the ancient poets called peripeteia turn of events triggered the mechanisms of anagnorisis realization. At that crucial moment, a messenger from Corinth arrived with good and bad news: Oedipus was cautious of the news, hesitant to return to Corinth: He spoke how in his youth the Delphic oracle had warned him that he would kill his father and marry his mother, and that he had decided never to return home, lest somehow the prophecy came true.

Oedipus was anxious to go and see his mother while she was still alive, but as long as she lived, he still feared the woeful prophecy. The messenger then dropped the bomb on him -- He informed Oedipus that Queen Merope of Corinth was not his real mother and that he was adopted as a baby.

When Oedipus pressed him for details on how he knew this, the messenger replied that he was the one who had delivered him to his royal parents. He had gotten him from some shepherd who had found him wailing, with his feet pierced and bound, way up on Mount Cithaeron.

Hearing this, Jocasta turned pale and nearly fainted. She quietly implored Oedipus to cease his investigations regarding his heritage. She now realized everything, including the fact that she had married her own son, and was aghast at the turn of events.

Oedipus was determined to "know thyself" and was eager to unearth the truth regardless of the price. Just then the messenger from Corinth saw the old Shepherd approaching and recognized the man as the one who years ago had given him the baby boy.

He plead forgetfulness and implored Oedipus to let him go. Nothing doing -- the king was determined to learn the truth. Indeed the identity of the baby was established, but the question still remained as to whose baby it was.

Pressed for answers, the shepherd finally revealed the fact that the baby was the son of Laius and Jocasta: Only then came the full anagnorisis realization of the tragedy. Not only had Oedipus killed his own father, but he unknowingly had wed his mother and fathered children with her. From the palace emanated cries of anguish and woe -- Queen Jocasta was dying! She had hung herself in the very same bedroom that she had shared with father and son. With superhuman strength, Oedipus broke down her locked door.

Rushing into her chambers, Oedipus found her lifeless body. Utterly distraught, he grabbed the pin from her dress and poked out his eyes, stabbing them again and again. Following all that his eyes had just seen, and realizing the atrocities he had unwittingly committed, Oedipus felt that he must never again see the light of the sun.

The god Apollo gave him the morbid strength to gouge his eyes out of their sockets, according to Oedipus. Thus could the killer plague of Thebes be ended. Now Oedipus, at long last, knew himself; but the irony was that the knowledge of the self was only achieved by self-destruction. Much as he tried, Oedipus could not out-maneuver his Fate Now blind and truly wretched, Oedipus abandoned the throne of Thebes to Creon, the brother of the late queen, and went into self-imposed exile.

His dutiful daughters, Antigone and Ismene, followed him to the end. Staff in hand, Oedipus himself was thus the answer to the riddle of the Sphinx. Athenian king Theseus, the hero who slew the Minotaur, offered refuge to Oedipus and the girls.

His daughters returned to Thebes, and Antigone made preparations to marry Haemon, son of Creon. But a quarrel broke out between Eteocles and Polyneices, the twin sons of Oedipus. Eteocles exiled Polyneices, who then raised an army with seven prominent chieftains against his native Thebes the famous war of Seven Against Thebes in an attempt to regain power. The brothers proceeded to kill each other in combat. The tragically empty throne was left to Creon, who became the new king.

He ordered a funeral befitting a hero for Eteocles, defender of the city, while leaving the body of Polyneices out in the open air, forbidding anyone to bury him under severe punishment. Warned by divine omens and the old prophet Teiresias, the king finally relented and ordered the cave to be opened. Could things get any more tragic?

Haemon, having found his bride dead, cursed his father, spat in his face and then killed himself in his presence.


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