He kills King Laios and Laios' men not realizing that the king is his biological father. Af ter reaching Thebes he becomes the new king by solving a riddle and lifting a plaque from the city. Oedipus quickly marries a woman named Iocaste, the queen, and together they have four children. In Thebes the murder of the old King Laios remains unknown, a plaque is again placed upon the city by the gods. Oedipus, being the new leader of Thebes, pledges to discover the identity of the murderer so he can end the disaster.
In the Oedipus at Colonus, there are three major themes of the play, prophecy, guilt and death. Each of them is part of how Oedipus’ life plays out. The prophecy told that he was the killer of his own father and married his mother, and how the guilt, he had for committing these acts, by gouging out his own eyes; and how after his family disowned him then wanting him to help them knowing that whoever was on Oedipus’ side would win the war. Also where Oedipus’ body should be laid to rest after his death. What is a prophecy you ask?
As he seeks for the reason for this child being sent away he stumbles upon the fact that the child was prophesized to kill his father and he would lay with his mother. From this he became suspicious that the child may be him. He realized that while he had been considered a hero at the same time he had been doing what the oracle told him he would do. Jocasta and Lauis, then Oedipus didn't want the oracle's prophecies to come true and they tried everything that they could to go against it, however by trying to avoid this they ran right into the prophecy. He had killed his father and married his mother without knowing it.
Oedipus orders him to leave, but before he leaves, Tiresias hints of an incestuous marriage, future of blindness, infamy, and wandering. Oedipus then attempts to gain advice from Jocasta. She told him to ignore prophecies because a prophet once told her that Laius, her husband, would be killed by her son. According to Jocasta, the prophecy did not come true because the baby died, and Laius himself was killed by a band of robbers.Oedipus becomes distressed by Jocasta's answers because just before he came to Thebes he killed a man who resembled Laius. To learn the truth, Oedipus sends for the only living witness to the murder, a shepherd.
Oedipus summons Creon and accuses him of conspiring with Tiresias against him and threatens him with death or exile. Jocasta, Oedipus's wife, enters and asks why the men are fighting. Jocasta reassures Oedipus saying that prophecies cannot be trusted. She sites as proof a prophecy given by the oracle of Delphi who said that Laius would be murdered by his own son. However, their only son was killed as a baby and Laius was murdered by a band of thieves at a place where three roads meet.
So in an effort to get away from this horrible fate, they give their son to a shepered to pierce his ankles and to never be seen again. They thought that was the end of it. Thus making Oedipus an outcast from his kingdom that when his father leaves is his to rule. But their son oedipus, who grows up in corinth finds that the king and queen there are not his biological parents. He sets out to find his parents on the way he kills all but one man on a caravan that tried to run him off the road.
The story follows Oedipus, who was predicted to murder his own father and marries his mother; as a result, his father planned to kill since he was an infant but failed due to pityness and luck. Oedipus was then adopted by the king and queen of Corinth; Oedipus then leaves Corinth when he grew up, for he believed it prevent him from the prophecy of him killing his (real)parents. Oedipus then met with his real father, King Laius of Thebes, and unknowingly killed him without even knowing that that was his real father. Oedipus then continues towards Thebes, defeated the Sphinx, crowned King of Thebes (for the old king was dead), (also unknowingly,) marries his mother and together bore four children together. Oedipus then revealed of the truth about the prophecy later in the story, when he had to find the truth to protect his city.
He states "I stand revealed at last - cursed in my birth, cursed in marriage, cursed in the lives I cut down with these hands! "³ He then finds his mother after she has committed suicide and proceeds to gouge out his own eyes with her brooches. Here in lie's the real tragedy of this play. Oedipus was ignorant of the fact that his father had discarded him at birth because of another prophet's predictions, but the twist of fate reveals all, condemning him to loose all things dear to him and to be pitied by the his loyal followers and the audience.
Orestes and Pylades arrive. Orestes says that he has come to Apollo's shrine to pledge himself to avenge his father's murder. Orestes, concealing his identity, talks with Electra about the recent happenings in Mycenae. She admits that she is sad that her brother had been taken away at such a young age and the only person that would recognize him would be her father's old servant. She also discusses her scorn of Aegisthus desecrating the monument over Agamemnon's grave and his ridicule of Orestes.
Oedipus and his family take action to ensure the prophecy of him killing his father and sleeping with his mother would not come true. The play is saturated with irony. Oedipus steers himself directly into his fate after trying to avoid it for most of his life. While fate played a small role in spurring Oedipus' actions, he ultimately brought his ruin upon himself.