Various details appear on how Oedipus rose to power.
King Oedipus and Antigone. Statue by Rudolph Tegner, Rudolph Tegners Museum, Denmark. Euripides, Phoenician Women I am the one who came into high songs of victory, because I guessed the baffling riddle of the girl, half-maiden.
This misery was in store for you all the while, to become an exile from your country and die anywhere. He accidentally killed his father, and after solving the riddle of the Sphinxbecame King of Thebeswhere he unwittingly married his mother.
Later, as calamities accumulated, he was driven into exile after having put out his eyes and cursed his sons. The Oracle answered him not to go back to his native land because, if he did, he would murder his father and lie with his mother.
Having heard the prophecy, Oedipus left Delphi resolved to obey it, but believing himself to be the son of the royal couple who had adopted him, he did not return to Corinth.
It is during his rule that a new and heavy calamity befell Thebes: It was not difficult to find candidates; for when it comes to acquiring power, property, and women, there are always many disposed to go through no matter which risks and atrocities.
Accordingly, many came and many were destroyed by the Sphinxwho gobbled them up one after the other. Sphinx from a grave monument, ca. Oedipus solves the riddle After many men had perished, Oedipus heard the proclamation and came to Thebesdeclaring that he had solved the riddle.
So he went up, and meeting the Sphinxhe asserted that the riddle referred to man because as a little child he is four-footed, going on his arms and legs, as an adult he is two-footed, and as an old man he gets a third limb in a staff. This Oedipus knew only too well, who had his own feet mutilated, and already used a staff; but on hearing the solution, the Sphinx kept her promise and destroyed herself by throwing herself down from the citadel.
Oedipus King This is how, after having fulfilled the first part of the oracle by unwittingly killing his father, the way opened for him to fulfil the second part: Oedipus succeeded to the kingdom, and not knowing who she was, he married his own mother Jocasta, who in time gave him children: He then replied that if anyone died voluntarily for his country, the city would be free from the pestilence.
Sophocles, Oedipus the King Oedipus and the Sphinx. Painted by Gustave Moreau It has also been told that before Oedipus went into exile, his sons hid him behind bars, hoping that the disgrace might be forgotten, and that while he still was living in the house, he made the most unholy curses against his sons, praying that they may divide their inheritance with a sharp sword.
Since the brothers were scared by these curses, they agreed to alternate as kings, a deal they did not respect. And it is told that when Oedipus wished to leave Thebes he was not allowed to do so, but when he grew accustomed to stay at home, even as a prisoner, he was expelled.
Jocasta, his mother and wife, committed suicide; according to some, she hanged herself in a noose, but others say that she killed herself with a sword. There he was hospitably received by King Theseus of Athens.
It was while he still was in Colonus that dissension grew between his sons in Thebes. As war approached, an oracle became known which stated that victory would belong to those who had Oedipus for ally.
Later arrived Polynices, promising his father to bring him back to Thebes and re-establish him if he would support his party. But Polynices, who previously had expelled his father from Thebesreceived a renewed curse from Oedipus: Such curse I lately launched against you both, such curse I now invoke to fight for me … This curse I leave you as my last bequest: Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus This curse came to be.Later, when the truth became known, Jocasta committed suicide, and Oedipus (according to another version), after blinding himself, went into exile, accompanied by Antigone and Ismene, leaving his brother-in-law Creon as regent.
The Exile of Oedipus As Oedipus began to walk his long journey into an empty road of solitude, he suddenly stopped to think about the aftermath of all the chaos that had just taken place in Thebes. He soon came to realize that he would never again return to the city of Thebes after discovering the truth about himself and Laius' killer.
The blind king then goes into exile with only his daughter, Antigone, to guide him, and eventually dies in the town of Colonus. Detailed Summary Laius and Jocasta, the king and queen of Thebes, are having no luck conceiving a child. In Oedipus at Colonus, the loss of home through exile is a metaphor for the breakdown of Theban society.
Oedipus’ exile extends beyond his life, affecting even where he can be buried. Oedipus in exile.
Oedipus took refuge at Colonus in Attica, where he prayed in the precinct of the EUMENIDES. There he was hospitably received by King Theseus of Athens. It was while he still was in Colonus that dissension grew between his sons in Thebes.
Oedipus in Exile. Polynices and Eteocles would eventually exile Oedipus from Thebes, and to avoid violence over the succession of the throne, the sons of Oedipus decided that rule over Thebes would alternate yearly between the two.
Oedipus was thus forced to leave Thebes, and the blind former king was accompanied by his daughter Antigone.