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What happened before the play Oedipus Rex begins….

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Presentation on theme: "What happened before the play Oedipus Rex begins…."— Presentation transcript:

1 What happened before the play Oedipus Rex begins…

2  Cadmus was told by the Oracle at Delphi to follow a cow and where the cow stopped he should build a city and call it Thebes.  So he did.

3  Until Cadmus discovered a nasty dragon who was guarding the well.  So, he killed it.  Unfortunately, this particular dragon was the god Apollo’s favorite.

4  And cursed Cadmus’ family for generations to come.  The Oracle at Delphi (Apollo’s oracle) said that at some point in time a king and queen of Thebes would have a son who would kill his father and marry his mother. Apollo - God of light - and the sun. Also of truth, prophecy, healing, plague, and music.


6  King Lauis and Queen Jocasta had a baby. Sadly, King Lauis knew of the curse put on his family by Apollo.

7  And put a metal bar between the baby’s feet and gave him to a Messenger (#1) who put the baby out in the woods to die.  Feeling sorry for the baby, the Messenger (#1) gave the baby to a shepherd who took him home.

8  The Queen, Merope, was having trouble conceiving  The Shepherd gave the baby to Queen Merope and King Polybus  The King and Queen were elated and never told the baby he was adopted.  The named him Oedipus or “Swollen foot”

9  …But poor Oedipus had to deal with rumors that he was not his parents’ real son.  He defied their wishes and went to the Oracle at Delphi for answers.  They told him that he would murder his father and marry his mother.

10  He traveled away from Corinth and got into a fight with a man on the road  Oedipus, enraged that the man would not move out of the way, killed him  The next town he came to was Thebes.

11  And poor Thebes was dealing with one who went about burning buildings and killing people.  According to legend, a sphinx has the head of a woman, body of a lion, tail of a serpent and wings.  No one could solve her riddle: What goes on four legs in the morning, two at midday, and three in the evening?”

12  Said Oedipus and so they made him King of Thebes, since the previous king had never come back from a trip he had taken.  Oedipus also married the Queen, Jocasta, and had several children.

13  Even after the sphinx left town there was still a plague. People were dying, crops were failing, and nothing seemed to be going right.  So begins Oedipus Rex

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