Laius and oedipus relationship

Oedipus | Greek mythology |

laius and oedipus relationship

Oedipus: Oedipus, in Greek mythology, the king of Thebes who unwittingly killed Oedipus's wife and mother hanged herself when the truth of their relationship According to one version of the story, Laius, king of Thebes, was warned by an. Oedipus tries to run from this fate, but ends up running right into it. He kills Laius in a scuffle at a crossroads, not knowing he's his real dad. Later, he wins the. Laius had gone to Delphi to learn how to rid Thebes of the Sphinx, but reports of his demise by bandits Oedipus became king of Thebes and married Jocasta.

Most important for us, Polydorus and Nycteis had a son named Labdacus, whose son, Laius, fled Thebes to take refuge with Pelops at Elis in the northwest Peloponnese. There, Laius fell in love with Pelops' son, Chrysippus. He lured Chrysippus out of town and raped him, then fled back to Thebes as Pelops cursed him for his transgression. When he returned, his father's successors to the throne of Thebes were dead, and the Thebans had Laius ascend to the vacant throne, where he married Jocasta. An oracle informed him that he would be killed by his own son, and, as a result, Laius refrained from intercourse with his wife, until one night, in a drunken rage, he had intercourse with her anyway.

Greek & Roman Mythology - Greek Tragedy

When Jocasta bore a son, Laius had his feet pinned together to keep his ghost from walking and ordered a shepherd to abandon the baby on Mount Cithaeron near Thebes. Instead, the shepherd gave the baby to a friend from Corinth. This friend delivered the baby to Polybus, king of Corinth, and he and his wife, Meriope, adopted the child, giving him the name "Oedipus", which seems to mean "swollen foot" or "sore foot".

When he was older, a drunken man questioned Oedipus' parentage, though his mother would not speak to him about the matter. Instead, he went to Delphi to learn about his background, where the oracle instead told him that he would kill his father and marry his mother. Horrified, he abandoned Corinth, and headed towards Thebes where he decided to try his luck as an exile. On the way, a chariot ran him off the road and grazed his foot.

In anger, Oedipus killed the driver, the passenger, and all of his retainers except one, who escaped. Upon arriving at Thebes, he encountered the monstrous Sphinx, possibly sent by Hera as punishment against the Thebans for failure to atone for the crimes of Laius.

The Sphinx was eating Thebans. Before killing them, the monster posed a riddle: Laius had gone to Delphi to learn how to rid Thebes of the Sphinx, but reports of his demise by bandits came back to Creon, brother-in-law of Laius and acting ruler of Thebes. Creon decreed that whoever could solve the riddle would become the next king.

Oedipus encountered the Sphinx and quickly realized that the answer was "man". The Sphinx, in her anger, threw herself off a cliff.

laius and oedipus relationship

Oedipus became king of Thebes and married Jocasta. She bore two sons, Polynices and Eteocles, and two daughters, Antigone and Ismene. A plague followed and the stage was set for the action of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex.

Following Oedipus' exile, his sons agreed to share the rule of Thebes, alternating in rule every year.

The Story of Oedipus

However, Eteocles refused to give up his power after the first year and drove out Polynices. He fled to Argos, taking with him the gifts which the gods had given Harmonia at her wedding, including the necklace.

Meanwhile, in Argos, Adrastus, king of Argos, had learned from an oracle that he must "yoke his daughters to a boar and a lion.

Oedipus the King - Sophocles - Ancient Greece - Classical Literature

He saw Polynices and Tydeus, an exile from Calydon, fighting. One of them had a boar painted on his shield, the other a lion. Adrastus immediately recognized the true meaning of the oracle, stopped the fight, and married his daughters to them.

He further agreed to restore them to their homelands, starting with Thebes. Adrastus summoned heroes from Argos to lead the campaign against Thebes. Meanwhile, the exiled Oedipus, accompanied only by Antigone, made his way to the Grove of the Furies at Colonus, territory under the control of Athens. The inhabitants demanded that he leave before he defiled the grove, and they summoned Theseus, ruler of Athens.

laius and oedipus relationship

Ismene arrived, reporting on the fighting between Polynices and Eteocles, and she revealed that the Delphic oracle has declared that the city which possessed the bones of Oedipus could not be captured. Creon and Polynices both arrived to kidnap Oedipus, but Theseus made them leave, though not before Oedipus could curse Polynices. He then withdrew, blessed his daughters, and vanished before Theseus.

As Adrastus and the army approached Thebes, they sent Tydeus on ahead to try to talk Eteocles into abdicating the throne. He entered the city, defeated all the best Thebans at wresting, and killed all but one of the fifty men who were set in ambush to overwhelm him.

In the battle at Thebes, there were seven heroes on each side, and seven gates of the city. The Thebans learned from the seer Tiresias that only if Menoeceus, Creon's son, were sacrificed to Ares could they win the war.

Menoeceus gladly killed himself outside the city. Oedipus has already sent Creonhis brother-in-law, to consult the oracle at Delphi on the matter, and when Creon returns at that very moment, he reports that the plague will only end when the murderer of their former king, Laius, is caught and brought to justice.

Oedipus vows to find the murderer and curses him for the plague that he has caused. Oedipus also summons the blind prophet Tiresiaswho claims to know the answers to Oedipus ' questions, but refuses to speak, lamenting his ability to see the truth when the truth brings nothing but pain.

He advises Oedipus to abandon his search but, when the enraged Oedipus accuses Tiresias of complicity in the murder, Tiresias is provoked into telling the king the truth, that he himself is the murderer. Oedipus dismisses this as nonsense, accusing the prophet of being corrupted by the ambitious Creon in an attempt to undermine him, and Tiresias leaves, putting forth one last riddle: Oedipus demands that Creon be executed, convinced that he is conspiring against him, and only the intervention of the Chorus persuades him to let Creon live.

laius and oedipus relationship

Oedipus ' wife Jocasta tells him he should take no notice of prophets and oracles anyway because, many years ago, she and Laius received an oracle which never came true. This prophecy said that Laius would be killed by his own son but, as everyone knows, Laius was actually killed by bandits at a crossroads on the way to Delphi. The mention of crossroads causes Oedipus to give pause and he suddenly becomes worried that Tiresias ' accusations may actually have been true.

When a messenger from Corinth arrives with news of the death of King Polybus, Oedipus shocks everyone with his apparent happiness at the news, as he sees this as proof that he can never kill his father, although he still fears that he may somehow commit incest with his mother.

The messenger, eager to ease Oedipus ' mind, tells him not to worry because Queen Merope of Corinth was not in fact his real mother anyway. The messenger turns out to be the very shepherd who had looked after an abandoned child, which he later took to Corinth and gave up to King Polybus for adoption.

He is also the very same shepherd who witnessed the murder of Laius.

laius and oedipus relationship

By now, Jocasta is beginning to realize the truth, and desperately begs Oedipus to stop asking questions. But Oedipus presses the shepherd, threatening him with torture or execution, until it finally emerges that the child he gave away was Laius' own son, and that Jocasta had given the baby to the shepherd to secretly be exposed upon the mountainside, in fear of the prophecy that Jocasta said had never come true: With all now finally revealed, Oedipus curses himself and his tragic destiny and stumbles off, as the Chorus laments how even a great man can be felled by fate.

A servant enters and explains that Jocastawhen she had begun to suspect the truth, had ran to the palace bedroom and hanged herself there.