Play summary by Oedipus the King

Oedipus the King is a play that develops as a murder mystery, thriller, political and a psychological detective novel (Finglass, 2018). The author, Sophocles put more emphasis on the irony of a man who is determined to track down, expose the activities of an assassin who unfortunately turns out to be him in the mythic story of incest and patricide. The poem begins with the Thebes citizens pleadingwith the king to lift the plague that threatens the life of the town. However, the king who is Oedipus sent Creon who is his brother in law to the oracle to find out the solution. Though after the return of Creon, Oedipus gets informed that the answer to the plague is to find and punish the person who murdered the previous king that ruled the city before Oedipus. The king sets out an immediate plan to solve the problem based on the available information.

It is interesting that after the king had set his plans to find the person who murdered the previous king, the blind prophet called Tiresias declines to speak to the King because he knew Oedipus caused the death of the former king (Finglass, 2018). The king responded angrily while also mocking the prophet. The blind prophet left under the authorization of Oedipus; however, he later traced him to find out the truth because he felt terrified by the stories he heard as a young man from Oracle that he would kill his father and marry his mother. The blind prophet declined to speak for the second time, but after he was threatened, he revealed the truth. Oedipus murdered his father and married his mother. When he came back to the palace, he found the queen had committed suicide, and feeling disappointed by the misery and pain caused; he raked his eyes out.




Finglass, P. J. (Ed.). (2018). Sophocles: Oedipus the King(Vol. 57). Cambridge University Press.

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