Major Characters: Oedipus:The King of Thebes. Son of Laius and Jocasta. Believes that the queen and king of Corinth are his real parents because of prophecies. Through out the book he is seeking the killer of Laius. The Priest of Zeus: He is the one that tells Oedipus to save the city from the curse. Creon:Jocasta’s brother and Oedipus’ uncle. Ascendant to Oedipus’s throne and in the end will become the king of Thebes. Chorus of the Old Men of Thebes: A group of people that help create the story.
Jocasta: Oedipus’s mother and widower or Laius. She gave Oedipus away as a baby because of a oracle. She later realizes who Oedipus is and asks him to stop his journey and when he refuses she hangs herself. Tiresias: Blind prophet who is supposed to tell Oedipus who murdered Laius. Messenger from Corinth: He is the one that tells Oedipus that Polybus is dead. Also the messenger tells Oedipus the prophecy wont come true. Servant: He tells what happened at the palace after Jocasta and Oedipus realize the truth. Polybus: The person Oedipus believed to be his dad and who also helped raise him.
Summary of the novel: This novel begins with Oedipus asking the people of Thebes if they need help and the Priest tells him that he needs to save the city. Oedipus sends Creon to seek answers from Pytho. Upon Creons return, Creon asks Oedipus to find who killed Laius and Oedipus agrees and also says he will punish them as well. Oedipus puts a big curse on whoever killed Laius saying that he is to be exile from Thebes and also hopes that nothing grows from their farms and can not have any children.
Oedipus asks Creon how the murder had occurred and he tells him that been killed by robbers supposedly. Oedipus does not believe the rumor of Laius being murdered by robbers but instead thinks there was a conspiracy in Thebes. Tiresias tells Oedipus that he is the pollution of the land and is the reason for all the problems the land is having. Tiresias tells Oedipus a prophecy stating,
“he is both his wife’s son and lord and his father’s fellow-sower and slayer.” Oedipus then asks his wife about where Laius was killed and what he looked like. She tells him he got killed in a place where the road spilt in three directions and he was built a lot like Oedipus. The messenger comes to Oedpius and Jocasta and tells them that Polybus is dead which is who Oedipus believed was his father.
Jocasta thinks that the prophecy was not true and they are both relieved but the messenger tells Oedipus that Polybus was not his real father and the messenger reveals that he found Oedipus because a Sheppard gave a baby to him and then the baby was given to Polybus that’s why he was believed to be his father. Oedipus then demands that the Sheppard telll him who gave the child to him and then it is revealed that Jocasta is Oedipus’ mother..
Jocasta then hangs herself after finding out the truth and Oedipus gouges his eyes out from his sorrow. Oedipus the asks to see Creon and then asks Creon to take care of Oedipus’ daughters. The end.
Literary devices: Foreshadowing: Tiresias: I will leave after I have sais what I came to say, Not fearing your face, you cannot destroy me. I say to you: That man, whom you have long sought. Threatening him and naming as the murderer Of Laius, that man is here. An immigrant in theory, soon he will be Revealed a native Theban, though he will not be Happy to learn it; for blind instead of seeing, A beggar instead of rich he will travel Foreign earth, tapping n with his staff. He will be revealed to live with his children As brother and father both; and to his parents He is both his wife’s son and lord and his father’s Fellow-sowerand slayer. Go inside and Consider this. Should you find that I am lying, You will prove I have no skill at prophecy. Rhetorical questions: Oedipus says, “ Oh Zeus, why have you willed me to do this?”
Themes Sin and retribution: This is a big theme through out the play because Oedipus sinned by killing Laius and his fellow companions and by marrying and having children with his mother. The retribution comes from his wife/mother hanging herself and him gouging his eyes out and banishing himself from the land.
Social/Historical Relevance: The social/historical relevance of this play is that there is a big Greek festival that Sophocles was invited to. Then his plays were played out in a period of one day.
evaluation of the work as a whole… We thought the book was good overall. We enjoyed the irony in the book. We also felt the book was very short and to the point which made it an easy read. We would recommend it to other people. By Sam Kurylo and Demi DePastino