King Oedipus opens with the people asking for him to deal with the pollution that has covered the city. This pollution has caused crops to die, women to give birth to stillborn children, and a plague. King Oedipus reassures the citizens with the news that he is aware of the pollution and that he has sent his brother-in-law, Creon, to ask the oracle how to remove it. Just as Oedipus says this, Creon appears and tells Oedipus and the citizens the oracle’s words. He says that the people who murdered the previous ruler, King Laios, have been living in and polluting the city. If the pollution is to end, the residents of the city must identify the murderers and punish them. With this, Creon begins to tell the known details of Laios’s death, which were originally told by the sole survivor. Laios was travelling when his caravan met a group of thieves, who killed all except the man who ran away. Oedipus then promises that he will investigate Laios’s death and exits. The aged men of Thebes pray to the gods asking them to rid Thebes of this pollution.
Episode One begins when Oedipus tells the city that they should turn in the killer if they know who he is, and that they should not allow him to participate in religious rituals because he is the cause of the city’s pollution. Afterwards, Teiresias, a blind prophet of Apollo, appears. Although at first unwilling, he tells ...
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...ed as the first among men. However, by the end of the play, the people of Thebes learn that he has committed the worst atrocities a man is able to: murder of his kin and incest. The wise men of Thebes now pity instead of revere him. Additionally, upon learning of his evils, Oedipus forfeits his home, his family, and his eyes. However, Oedipus did learn a valuable lesson. Throughout the play, he doubts the messengers of the gods and possibly the gods themselves. Before the events of the play, he attempted to avoid his fate by running away. He believes prophets cannot see what they claim to. This plays out most blatantly in his quarrel with Teiresias. However, at the end of the play, Oedipus is severely humbled at the power of fate and those that tell it. He agrees to wait for the gods to decide, and communicate their will through prophets, what is to be done with him.
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