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Oedipus Rex Summary First Half

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    At the beginning of the play, the city of Thebes is cursed terribly. Citizens are dying from plague, crops fail, women are dying in childbirth and their babies are stillborn. Some priests come to the royal palace to ask for help from Oedipus, the current king of Thebes who once saved them from the tyranny of the terrible Sphinx. By this time, Oedipus has sent his brother-in-law, Creon, to the oracle of the god Apollo to seek advice from divine sources. But before Oedipus had ever arrived in Thebes, the previous king, Laius, was murdered under mysterious circumstances and the murderer was never found.

    When Oedipus arrived in Thebes and saved the city, he was made king and married the widowed queen, Jocasta, sister of Creon. Now Creon returns with the oracle’s news: for the plague to be lifted from the city, the murderer of Laius must be discovered and punished. The oracle claims that the murderer is still living in Thebes. Oedipus curses the unknown murderer and swears he will find and punish him. He orders the people of Thebes, under punishment of exile, to give any information they have about the death of Laius.

    Then, Oedipus sends for Tiresias, the blind prophet, to help with the investigation. When Tiresias refuses to tell Oedipus what he has seen in his prophetic visions Oedipus accuses Tiresias of playing a part in Laius’s death. Tiresias grows angry and says that Oedipus is the cause of the plague—he is the murderer 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.

    Convinced that Creon is plotting to overthrow him, Oedipus declares his intention to banish or execute his brother-in-law. Jocasta and the chorus believe Creon is innocent and beg Oedipus to let Creon go. He relents, reluctantly, still convinced of Creon’s guilt. Jocasta tells Oedipus not to put any stock in what prophets and seers say. For as an example, she tells him the prophecy she once received—that Laius, her first husband, would be killed by their own son.

    And yet, Laius was killed by strangers, and her own infant son was left to die in the mountains. But her description of where Laius was killed—a triple-crossroad—worries Oedipus. It’s the same place where Oedipus once fought with several people and killed them, one of whom fit the description of Laius. Now, with that new information, Oedipus is left with an uncertain question that haunts him. Could Teresias be right? Could he, Oedipus himself, be the true murderer of Laius?

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    Oedipus Rex Summary First Half. (2016, Sep 02). Retrieved from

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    What happens in Part 1 of Oedipus Rex?
    Oedipus the King Scene 1. At an altar, outside his palace, Oedipus finds a delegation of citizens and a priest of Zeus. He approaches them in order to hear what they have to say, as he cares about them and does not want to send a messenger.
    What happens in Scene 2 of Oedipus Rex?
    Oedipus enters and tells the people that while praying is good, they should seek to avenge the death of LaiusLaiusLaius was the son of Labdacus. He was the father, by Jocasta, of Oedipus, who killed him. › wiki › LaiusLaius - Wikipedia as the oracle directed in order to alleviate their suffering. Oedipus knows nothing of the murder or how to find the murderer, since he was not a citizen of Thebes until after Laius's death.
    What is the opening scene of Oedipus Rex?
    The opening scene is set in the royal house of Thebes, where Oedipus, the king of Thebes, discusses with a procession of priests the plague that has recently come to the city.
    What is the plot summary of Oedipus Rex?
    The Plot. The plot of Oedipus Rex is a straightforward interpretation of a Greek myth. When the king and queen of Thebes give birth to a son, Oedipus, an oracle tells them that their child will kill his father. To avoid this the king, Laius, orders the child to have his feet broken and then be left for dead.

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