3-5 - When Oedipus got to Thebes, there was a monster at...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
When Oedipus got to Thebes, there was a monster at the city gates, not letting anyone in or out. It had the body of a lion and the head of a woman – the Sphinx (Greek for “the strangler”). It would ask one who approached a question, and if they answered it, they were allowed to pass. If not, they were strangled. Oedipus approached, and the Sphinx asked him “What has four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three legs in the evening?” Oedipus answered: a man. Four legs as an infant, two as an adult, and three (2 legs and a cane) late in life. The Sphinx was disgusted that he got it right, so she threw herself off of a cliff. The people of Thebes were grateful to Oedipus and made him a hero, and since they had the problem of their king recently being killed on the road by a gang of thieves (according to the driver, the only witness), they had no king and he had left no heirs. Since Oedipus had been raised as a prince, they made him king of Thebes. As king, Oedipus inherited all of the old king Laius’ power, property…and the queen, Jocasta. He was young, she was older, both were at their sexual peak, so they got married and had children. This makes the children Oedipus’ sons and daughters as well as brothers and sisters. But more importantly, his marriage to Jocasta fulfilled the second part of the oracle – he had now killed his father and married his mother, and neither of them nor anyone else knew. As the years passed, Oedipus had thought that he had beaten the fate of the Oracle, since he had never gone back to Corinth and thought he had not killed his father and married his mother. Still, if even one person beat fate, it would have been horrible for human race, signifying that they could not depend on their gods to know the future. A plague fell over Thebes, and plagues were always thought to be sent by the gods. Oedipus, as king of Thebes, had to find out why the gods were angry and had sent a
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 3

3-5 - When Oedipus got to Thebes, there was a monster at...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online