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I appreciate your help greatly. Thank you very much. I thank you not only because you provided me a good essay but also you are affordable and reliable. This creature, a winged lion with the head of a woman, had taken up residence outside of the city of Thebes and was terrorizing the populace.
Anybody who passed by the monster was asked this riddle by her: Who in the morning walks on four legs, at midday on two, and in the evening on three? Her rock and lair was surrounded with a pile of human bones, for the Sphinx ate those who could not answer the riddle.
Yet Oedipus was wise and not about to be devoured by a foul-smelling monster. He replied that the answer is Man: Crawling on all fours as a baby; walking on two legs as an adult; and as an old man, leaning on a cane.
The riddle was solved and the Sphinx had to throw herself down from the cliff to her doom. The road to Thebes was now free of terror. Also, why on earth did she not fly away, rather than dropping like a stone to the bottom of the cliff?
Oh, well, I suppose the Sphinx had some serious issues Having rid the city of Thebes from this monster with her ridiculous riddle, brave Oedipus was welcomed as a hero by the people Still, you have to wonder at their intelligence, not being able to figure out the riddle long before Oedipus did The citizens informed him that their king, Laius, just recently was killed in a highway robbery on his way to Delphi, where he had traveled to ask the oracle how best to get rid of the Sphinx.
With the death of Laius the Theban throne was left conveniently empty, and the widowed queen Jocasta was still very attractive. The young stranger seemed to be of noble birth, was obviously quite intelligent and probably would make a good king, thought the people of Thebes.
The grateful citizens offered Oedipus the throne together with the queen Jocasta, who was not reluctant to marry this young handsome hero. For years Oedipus and Jocasta ruled wisely and lived happily, and their marriage produced four children: All was well, till, many years later, a horrific plague suddenly struck the city of Thebes, decimating the populace. Plants, animals, and people were all dying.
After all, this was why he had been chosen as their king, to save them in times of crisis. Oedipus was a decent ruler who cared deeply for his people.
Unsure of what to do, he sent Creon, brother of Jocosta, to ask the oracle of Delphi as to the cause of the plague, and how to eliminate it. Oedipus told the crowd that Creon was late returning, but as soon as he got back, Oedipus promised to do whatever the oracle said. Just then, Creon arrived.
Since he bore good news, he was wearing laurel leaves with berries around his head. Apollo himself had promised that a diligent investigation would reveal the murderer. Oedipus was quite shocked at such negligence, not yet realizing that it was he who unwittingly had slain king Laius, his own father.
Now he is a very old man, you know When you came to the city, he abruptly left for his hut in the mountains and has never since returned. Oedipus proceeded to put a formal curse on the murderer of the old king, whoever he was.
No citizen anywhere was allowed to give him shelter, food or hospitality. Ironically, Oedipus assured the people that he would do everything within his powers to avenge the death of the old king, just as if the late king were his own father. Further, whoever came forward with information about the murder of Laius would be richly rewarded, and if the killer himself confessed, he would not be punished beyond having to leave the city permanently.
On the other hand, if anyone concealed the killer, Oedipus said that he would be cursed and punished. Next, Oedipus decided to consult the famous blind prophet, Teiresias, in hope to find out the divine truth. This respected seer advised Oedipus to forget this matter, to never even try to discover the murderer. At this, Oedipus became angry and accused Teiresias of being a false prophet, or, worse yet, a conspirator with murderers. Informing Oedipus that he is far too young to speak to him in that fashion, Teiresias told the king that "before the sun is down, you will find out yourself a husband and a son and brother of your children.
He proceeded to tell his wife about the crazy blind prophet. J ocasta then told Oedipus how, in her youth, an oracle had told her and Laius that he would be killed by his own son. She told how the baby son had been left to die in the mountains, and how Laius had been killed by robbers at a crossroad Rather than comforting Oedipus, her words began to worry him and to plant some seeds of doubt in his mind.
He began asking all sorts of questions from his wife: Where did the murder occur? How long before he had arrived to Thebes? What did Laius look like? With each answer, his mood grew darker. Could this be Laius? The course of what the ancient poets called peripeteia turn of events triggered the mechanisms of anagnorisis realization.
At that crucial moment, a messenger from Corinth arrived with good and bad news: Oedipus was cautious of the news, hesitant to return to Corinth: He spoke how in his youth the Delphic oracle had warned him that he would kill his father and marry his mother, and that he had decided never to return home, lest somehow the prophecy came true. Oedipus was anxious to go and see his mother while she was still alive, but as long as she lived, he still feared the woeful prophecy.
The messenger then dropped the bomb on him -- He informed Oedipus that Queen Merope of Corinth was not his real mother and that he was adopted as a baby. When Oedipus pressed him for details on how he knew this, the messenger replied that he was the one who had delivered him to his royal parents.
He had gotten him from some shepherd who had found him wailing, with his feet pierced and bound, way up on Mount Cithaeron. Hearing this, Jocasta turned pale and nearly fainted. She quietly implored Oedipus to cease his investigations regarding his heritage. She now realized everything, including the fact that she had married her own son, and was aghast at the turn of events. Oedipus was determined to "know thyself" and was eager to unearth the truth regardless of the price. Just then the messenger from Corinth saw the old Shepherd approaching and recognized the man as the one who years ago had given him the baby boy.
He plead forgetfulness and implored Oedipus to let him go. Nothing doing -- the king was determined to learn the truth. Indeed the identity of the baby was established, but the question still remained as to whose baby it was. Pressed for answers, the shepherd finally revealed the fact that the baby was the son of Laius and Jocasta: Only then came the full anagnorisis realization of the tragedy.
Not only had Oedipus killed his own father, but he unknowingly had wed his mother and fathered children with her.
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