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Pronunciation : EHD-uh-puhs

(Greek Mortal) OEDIPUS

Class : Mortal
Spouse : It's a suprise!
Offspring : Polynices, Eteocles, Antigone, Ismene

Clever clogs son of King Laius and Queen Jocasta of Thebes. Oedipus solved the riddle of the Sphinx, but that was pretty much the highlight of his entire life.

Baby Oedipus was abandoned on a mountain side after yet another version of the ever-popular family tragedy prophecy, and the accusing finger was pointing in his general direction before he was even born. Did the Delphi oracle ever have good news?

Being hog tied with a nasty wooden stake driven through your feet was the Kings solution to the potential problem and led to Oedipus's nickname 'swollen foot' but if it wasn't for a friendly shepherd baby Oedipus would surely have perished in a most terrible manner.

Oedipus was passed to Polybus and Merope, King and Queen of the neighboring Corinth who raised him as their own, but a run-in with a drunken lout sowed the seeds of doubt in his head.

The drunk claimed Polybus and Merope weren't his real parents, which, of course, they denied, and an oracle refused to get involved without stringent Dna tests - a rare luxury in Ancient Greece - though it did confirm the prophecy of the original oracle.

Oedipus, head spinning, put two and two together and came up with eight and as quick as a flash he fled Corinth for Thebes to avoid bringing any harm to the only parents he had ever known.

En-route Oedipus killed a rude charioteer who was blocking his path, clever clogged his way right past the Sphinx, and couldn't believe his ears when the now curse-free locals offered him the vacant Kings position complete with a recently widowed Queen. Was his luck finally changing? ... Nope.

Some time later a plague hit Thebes and the Delphi good news oracle insisted the only way to lift the curse was to exile or otherise deal-with the killer of King Laius. There was almost an oracle death match as local prophet Tiresias insisted this wasn't such a good idea, well there might have been if he wasn't blind, and when Oedipus pressed him for answers they were all bad.

As it turns out the charioteer he killed years earlier was Laius, his real father, and the queen he inherited was Jocasta, his real mum. Having married and bore him Polynices, Eteocles, Antigone, and Ismene, the Queen hung herself out of shame and Oedipus was so disgusted that he gouged his own eyes with her brooch-pins. After exiling himself Antigone led him all the way to Colonus before he bled to death, a mere mile from his birthplace of Athens.

Attention all oracles : Prophecies ruin lives!
Family Tree ...
Parents : Laius and Jocasta
Spouse : Jacosta, too
Offspring : Polynices, Eteocles, Antigone, Ismene
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'OEDIPUS' - Greek entry : 26 April 2007
Page last modified on 27 Mar 2013
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