Oedipus rex detailed Summary-Part III, a play by Sophocles



Suddenly, Oedipus asks him the year of the slaying of Laius. Creon says he does not remember. Creon tells Oedipus that ever since he ascended the throne, he has helped and served him well. Further, there is more satisfaction in enjoying silent powers; whilst Oedipus is king, all stately powers rest with Creon then why he should plot against him for mere show. Both argue and draw out their swords.

At this moment, queen Jocasta enters the scene. She asks them both to stay away from each other. She also asks Creon to go home but he does not. He takes an oath that he never meant harm to Oedipus but he would not listen. Creon leaves the scene. Then Jocasta inquires the matter. She tells him of the prophecy given to Laius and she believes the prophecy was not true:

"Thus did we cheat
Apollo of his will. My child could slay
No father".

During conversation she mentions the three way road where Laius died. This awakens and reminds Oedipus something. He asks her to tell him the exact when her husband died and how he looked. Oedipus is quite certain of something. He is tense and asks of the only survivor among the companions of the king Laius while he was slayed. She calls forth man.

Oedipus tells his wife, Jocasta, that he lived in Corinthia. He is the son of the king. But a man abused him once of not being the true son of his parents. He demanded from his parents but they satisfied him. Then he went to the oracle for seeking a reply. Oracle, instead of answering, issued a prophecy that he shall marry his mother and murder his own father. He tells that he ran away:

"I heard, and, hearing, straight from where I stood, No landmark but the stars to light my way, Fled, fled from the dark south where Corinth lay".

Oedipus tells her that it was probably him that slayed her later husband in a fit of rage and proud. He awaits the man that survived to ask him again the story of the murder while Jocasta says she has lost her only son due to a prophecy, so she utters: "And I will no more turn mine eyes This way nor that for all their prophecies".

We see Chorus and Jocasta praying that the suspicions of Oedipus prove false. A stranger brings the news of the death of Oedipus father from Corinth. Upon hearing the news Oedipus says:

"They foretold
Me for my father's murderer; and behold,
He lies in Corinth dead, and here am I
And never touched the sword..."
Jocasta makes fun of the seers and oracles:
"Prophets deem
A deed wrought that is wrought but in a dream."




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