Oedipus

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A bit of background . . .

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  • The prophecy at his birth: Oedipus will kill his father and marry his mother.
  • Naturally, they send him away to be killed.
  • Oedipus' life was spared and he was raised by the King and Queen of Corinth. He believed they were his real parents, so when he discovered the prophecy, he fled to avoid fulfillment.
  • "I cannot kill an innocent child (or, I want to thwart the prophecy?). I will leave him here to die on the mountainside."
  • One day he encountered an old man on the road. They quarreled and Oedipus killed him. Oops.
  • "You move, you young whipper-snapper!"
  • "You move, old man!"
  • Oedipus found out that the King of Thebes, Laius, had recently died (but he did not know this was the old man on the road that he had killed). To save the people, he answered the riddle of the Sphinx and was awarded Laertes's kingdom and the queen.
  • A man. Duh?
  • What goes on four feet in the morning; two feet in the afternoon; and three feet in the evening?
  • Oedipus married Queen Jocasta (yeah, his mom). They had four children, sons Eteocles & Polynices and daughters Isemene and Antigone. Oops again.
  • When Jocasta realized that she had married her son, she hanged herself. When Oedipus found her, he grabbed her brooches and put out both of his eyes (he thought of himself as a monster; thus, the hooves.) They did NOT live happily ever after. "Antigone" is about their daughter's ethical struggle after the death of both of her brothers. Spoiler alert: She dies too.
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