The story of Oedipus is one of the most famous Greek myths and has been told in many different ways throughout history. The legend was first recorded in Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey, but it was not until Sophocles wrote a tragedy about Oedipus that the story became one of the most well-known tragedies ever written.
Oedipus is a legendary Greek king of Thebes who fulfilled a prophecy that said he would kill his father and marry his mother. In Sophocles’ tragedy Oedipus Rex, Oedipus discovers that he has fulfilled the terrible prophecy, and in this way he becomes the tragic hero of the play.
The story begins with King Laius and Queen Jocasta of Thebes. They had a son named Oedipus who was destined to die at birth because he would kill his father and marry his mother. In order to avoid this fate, King Laius ordered that the child be abandoned on a mountainside where he was left to perish from exposure or wild animals. However, Oedipus was rescued by a shepherd who took him to Polybus and Merope, king and queen of Corinth who adopted him as their own son.
As an adult, Oedipus learned that he had been adopted by Polybus and Merope as well as learning about his true identity as son of King Laius and Queen Jocasta of Thebes. He decided to leave Corinth and return home where he would fulfill the prophecy by killing his father (Laius) and marrying his mother.