Priest Apollo asks King Oedipus of Thebes to help end the plague that is ravaging the city. In response, Oedipus reveals that he has already sent his brother-in-law, Creon, to consult with the oracle of Apollo at Delphi on the matter.
Creon returns with the message that for the plague to end, the murderer of Laius, the previous king of Thebes, must be brought to justice. Oedipus, who arrived in Thebes after Laius’s death, asks Creon for the details of the murder. Creon explains that Laius was killed by thieves while on his way to consult an oracle. Oedipus vows to exact revenge against the murderer and end the plague.
Oedipus summons the blind prophet Tiresias. Oedipus asks about the identity of the murderer. He tells Oedipus the truth will bring him misery. When Oedipus insults Tiresias and accuses him, he says Oedipus was the one who killed Laius. Oedipus angrily rebukes the Prophet. when Tiresias leaves he says one final prophecy: he is both the father and brother of his children, implying that he has married his mother.
After Tiresias leaves, Oedipus angrily confronts Creon, whom he believesis conspiring against him. He tells Creon to either leave Thebes or die. Theirargument is interrupted by the arrival of Jocasta, Oedipus’s wife and Creon’ssister. She scolds them for arguing when there are more important matters. Creon departs, leaving Jocasta and Oedipus to discuss the conflict. Jocasta advises him to distrust the prophecy.
As evidence, she cites Tiresias’s prophecy that her former husband, King Laius,would be killed by his own son. Laius was killed by thieves on his way to visit a prophet. Jocasta’s recounting of Laius’s murder startles Oedipus. He recalls his journey to Thebes, where he participated in an incident similar to the murder Jocasta describes. He fears that he is the man who murdered Laius.
One day, he overheard someone say that Oedipus was not truly King Polybus and Queen Meropes son. To obtain answers, Oedipus visited the oracle of Delphi, who did not confirm his parentage but instead foretold that Oedipus would murder his father and marry his mother. In order to circumvent the prophecy, Oedipus fled...