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Oedipus the Tyrant


Oedipus, after having solved the puzzle of Sphinx and set free the city from her bounds, became the King of Thebes, for he married Iokaste, the widow of King Laios, who had just been killed.

Now the city is suffering from a deadly plague. Oedipus together with the Council of the city decided to ask for help from the Oracle of Delphi. The Oracle answered that they had to expel from the city the infamous one. Oedipus commands the citizens to tell him the name of that man, who caused the rage of gods and sent a servant to fetch Teiressias, the famous prophet, in order to consult him.

Teiressias revealed to Oedipus the horrible truth, that he, Oedipus was the shame of the city, for having married his mother and had children with her. He also revealed that a shepherd of Laios could verify all that, for he knew the truth. Oedipus raged cursed the prophet,called him an ungrateful and sent him away. Then he commanded the shepherd to be brought in front of him

The shepherd arrives and trembling from fear reveals the whole truth: King Laios had received from the Oracle of Delphi the prophecy that his son would kill him. So as soon as his son grew up a little he tights up the child's feet and gives it to the shepherd with the order to throw it on the mountain Kithairon and let it die there. The shepherd pitied the poor child and instead of killing him, he gave him for adoption to Periandros, the Tyrant of Korinthos, who had no children.Periandros adopts the boy and names him Oedipus (which means someone with swollen feet:and they were really swollen because of the ropes).

Oedipus, when he grew up and found out that he was adopted, he leaved Korinthos for the Oracle of Delphi, to find out, who his real parents are. Before reaching Delphi, outside the city of Thebes, he met a carriage with four man, one old with aristocratic appearance and three younger. The old man insulted him and Oedipus killed them all. After that he solved the puzzle of Sphinx and the citicens of Thebes declared him King by giving him as a wife the widow of Laios, who had just been killed by an "unknown stranger".

As soon as the horrible truth was revealed, Iokaste cimmited suicide by hanging herself and Oedipus after having taken out his very eyes, leaves in exile in mounten Kitheron, (where he was supposed to die in the first place).

In Thebes, Kreon, his brother-in-law, becomes the new King.