What is the situation in Thebes at the beginning of the play?
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The play opens in front of Oedipus' palace at Thebes. A plague besets the city, and Oedipus enters to find a priest and crowd of children praying to the gods to free them from the curse. A blight, the priest tells Oedipus, has destroyed their crops and livestock - and even rendered their women sterile, unable to have children. The priest implores Oedipus to save the city: “Raise up our city, save it and raise it up” (51).