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A terrible plague has infected the city. This priest begs of Oedipus' assistance in the time of struggle. It demonstrates Oedipus' noble disposition and how the city of Thebes looks up to him to solve problems.
"Oedipus, greatest in all men's eyes, we pray, find some strength again and rescue our city."
Oedipus sends Creon to Delphi the oracle who can tell him how to fix the plague that haunts his city of Thebes. Creon returns with a message from the oracle, saying that the plague will end when the murderer of Laius is caught and expelled from the city.
People of Thebes: I have sent Creon to Delphi to retrieve the answers we seek. I promise to save the city.
Tiresias, a blind prophet, is summoned by Oedipus and asked what he knows about the murder. The two argue ferociously and Tiresias instigates Oedipus' temper. Oedipus then threatens Creon with death due to his belief that Creon had conspired with the prophet. Jocasta, his wife, walks in and Oedipus tells her that the prophet blames him for Laius' murder.
"It has except for you . You have no power or truth. You are blind, you ears and mind as well as eyes."
Jocasta explains to Oedipus that prophecies are false. For example, she says that an oracle once told Laius, her husband that she'd be murdered by her son and that Jocasta would marry her own son, but the baby was cast out of Thebes and Laius was murdered by thieves supposedly. Oedipus seems familiar with Laius' death and asks for further explanation. Jocasta explains that he was murdered at the crossing of 3 highways. Oedipus remembers that once an oracle told him that he would kill his father and marry and mother, so he ran away, and unknowingly killed his own father, Laius, that night.
A messenger arrives and alerts Oedipus that his father Polybus has died. Oedipus then believes that his prophecy is false. Even though he knows that he did not kill his father, the thought of marrying his mother still haunts him. The messenger tells Oedipus not to worry because they were not his biological parents, instead Jocasta and Laius were, thus making his prophecy true.
"You had your ankles pinned together, and I saved you."
When Oedipus realized who is parents are and what he has done, he screams and exclaims that he has seen the truth. Jocasta hangs herself and when Oedipus finds her dead, he uses the pins on her dress to stab out his eyes. He begs and pleads to Creon to exile him after he says one last goodbye to his daughters, Antigone and Ismene. Creon accepts.
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