The pre oedipus story
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The Pre-Oedipus Story. All the knowledge that a student needs to know BEFORE reading “Oedipus ”. Once Upon a Time . . . It all began in Greece, in a city-state by the name of Thebes. King Laius and Queen Jocasta were expecting their first child when they received a disturbing prophesy :.

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The Pre-Oedipus Story

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The pre oedipus story

The Pre-Oedipus Story

All the knowledge that a student needs to know BEFORE reading “Oedipus”


Once upon a time

Once Upon a Time . . .

  • It all began in Greece, in a city-state by the name of Thebes.

  • King Laius and Queen Jocasta were expecting their first child when they received a disturbing prophesy:


Their son would kill his father and marry his mother

Their son would kill his father and marry his mother !!!


What to do

What to do?

  • Faced with a bad situation, Laius and Jocasta decide to KILL their new little baby.

  • They pierce their son’s ankles and give him to a shepherd to kill.


What to do1

What to do?

  • The shepherd doesn’t like this situation at all!!! He can’t kill the baby either!

  • He gives the baby to another Shepherded


Corinth

Corinth

  • Shepherd #2 gives the baby to King Polybus and Queen Merope of Corinth, who haven’t been able to have their own children.

  • They raise Oedipus as their child, never telling him that he is, in fact, adopted.


The truth

The TRUTH

  • At a wedding, a guest who has indulged a bit too much, tells Oedipus that Polybus and Merope are not his parents.


The pre oedipus story

  • Oedipus confronts Polybus and Merope, who promptly deny it.

  • He decides to go to the Oracle at Delphi to ask it about his parents (hoping for a straight answer).


The oracle at delphi

The Oracle at Delphi

  • Of course, the Oracle isn’t really good at straight answers.

  • Oedipus asks the Oracle if Polybus and Merope are his real parents.

  • The Oracle answers him by giving him a prophesy:


You will kill your father and beget have children by your mother

“You will kill your father and beget (have) children by your mother.”


Go west young man

Go west young man!

  • Oedipus decides that he can’t go back home (Corinth), otherwise he may kill his father (Polybus) and marry his mom (Merope).


But as readers we know

But, as readers, we know . . .

  • Polybus and Merope are not his real parents.

  • Therefore, he could go back to Corinth if he wanted to.

  • The worst way that he could head is towards Thebes.

  • Therefore, he heads towards Thebes


Meanwhile back in thebes

Meanwhile, back in Thebes . . .

  • A curse has beset the people of Thebes in the form of the Sphinx.

  • The Sphinx asks a riddle, and if you can’t answer it, well, you will die.

  • To help his people, King Laius decides to travel to the Oracle at Delphi to seek a solution.


At the crossroads

At the crossroads

  • Guess who meets at the crossroads of three roads?

  • Oedipus and King Laius

  • Oedipus running from the Oracle and Laius to it.


Father and son meet

Father and Son Meet

  • Only, neither knows that they are father and son!!

    They argue over who has the right of way.

  • Laius strikes Oedipus, and Oedipus gets angry.

  • They fight and Oedipus kills King Laius.


First part fulfilled

First part fulfilled

  • the first part of the Oracle’s prophesy has now been fulfilled.


Thebes

Thebes

  • Oedipus continues on to Thebes and meets the Sphinx, which is still terrorizing the people.

  • The Sphinx asks Oedipus its riddle:


What goes on four legs in the morning two legs at noon and three legs in the evening

“What goes on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three legs in the evening?”


His reward

His Reward

  • After correctly answering the riddle and ridding Thebes of the Sphinx, the people wish to reward Oedipus by making him their king (who has mysteriously disappeared).

  • The easiest way to accomplish this, is for him to marry the queen, Jocasta (his mom).


Second part of prophesy fulfilled

Second part of prophesy fulfilled!


Happily ever after

Happily ever after????

  • Oedipus and Jocasta marry and have four children.

  • About 18-20 years pass.

  • The play begins.


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