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Oedipus Rex or Oedipus the King Study Guide

by Sophocles

Oedipus Rex (Oedipus the King) study guide contains a biography of Sophocles, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

When the play opens, Thebes is suffering a plague which leaves its fields and women barren. Oedipus, the king of Thebes, has sent his brother-in-law, Creon, to the house of Apollo to ask the oracle how to end the plague. Creon returns, bearing good news: once the killer of the previous king, Laius, is found, Thebes will be cured of the plague (Laius was Jocasta's husband before she married Oedipus). Hearing this, Oedipus swears he will find the murderer and banish him. The Chorus (representing the people of Thebes) suggests that Oedipus consult Teiresias, the blind prophet. Oedipus tells them that he has already sent for Teiresias.

When Teiresias arrives, he seems reluctant to answer Oedipus's questions, warning him that he does not want to…

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