Summary

Oedipus’s wife, Jocasta, enters and convinces Oedipusthat he need to neither kill nor exile Creon, though the reluctantking remains encouraged that Creon is guilty. Creon leaves, and theChorus reassures Oedipus the it will always be faithful to him. Oedipus explainsto Jocasta just how Tiresias condemned him, and Jocasta responds thatall prophets room false. Together proof, she uses the truth that the Delphicoracle said Laius he would be murdered by his son, when actuallyhis boy was cast out that Thebes together a baby and also Laius was murderedby a band of thieves. Her narrative that his murder, however, soundsfamiliar come Oedipus, and he asks come hear more.

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Jocasta tells him that Laius was eliminated at a three-waycrossroads, just prior to Oedipus arrived in Thebes. Oedipus, stunned,tells his mam that he may be the one who murdered Laius. That tellsJocasta that, lengthy ago, as soon as he to be the prince that Corinth, he heardat a banquet the he was not really the son of the king and also queen,and so visited the oracle that Delphi, i m sorry did no answer the butdid tell that he would certainly murder his father and sleep v his mother.Hearing this, Oedipus fled indigenous home, never to return. It was then,on the trip that would take him come Thebes, that Oedipus was confrontedand harassed by a group of travelers, whom he eliminated in self-defense,at the an extremely crossroads wherein Laius to be killed.

Hoping the he will certainly not be determined as Laius’smurderer, Oedipus sends out for the shepherd that was the only male tosurvive the attack. Oedipus and Jocasta leaving the stage, and also theChorus enters, announcing that the world is ruled by destiny and also denouncingprideful men who would defy the gods. In ~ the same time, the Chorusworries that if all the prophecies and oracles are wrong—if a proudman can, in fact, triumph—then the gods may not preeminence the world afterall. Jocasta enters indigenous the palace to offer a branch wrapped inwool come Apollo.

Analysis

Whatever sympathy we might have lost for Oedipus amidhis ranting in the second section, we reclaim at the very least partiallyin the third. After ~ Jocasta intercedes in the fight between Oedipusand Creon, Oedipus calms down and also recalls the there is a riddlebefore him that he, together the leader of Thebes, has actually a responsibilityto solve. Consequently, his incessant inquiries become much more purposefulthan they to be in his conversations with Tiresias and also Creon. Wesee the Oedipus logically and also earnestly pursues the truth whenhe does not have actually a preconceived idea that what the reality is. WhenOedipus seizes upon the detail of the three-way crossroads (805–822),he proves the he to be not merely grandstanding in the first sceneof the play as soon as he to express his desire to it is in forthright v hiscitizens and to subject himself to the same laws he imposes uponothers. In his decided at currently 848–923,Oedipus mirrors that he truly believes he eliminated Laius and also is willingto expropriate not only the responsibility but the punishment for theact. The speech is heartbreaking due to the fact that we understand that Oedipus hasarrived in ~ only fifty percent the truth.

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In this section, Jocasta is both careless and maternal.She tells Oedipus the prophecies perform not come true, and also she usesthe fact that one oracle incorrectly prophesied the Laius wouldbe killed by his very own son as evidence. Jocasta’s failure is similarto Oedipus’s in the vault section: she confuses conclusions andevidence. As Oedipus assumed the Tiresias’s unpleasant claims couldonly be treason, so Jocasta presume that because one prophecy hasapparently not concerned pass, prophecies have the right to only be lies. WhileOedipus’s hasty and also imperfect reasonable in the second section has actually muchto execute with his pride, Jocasta’s in this section seem attached toan unwitting desire to soothe and also mother Oedipus. Once Jocasta isnot answering Oedipus’s questions, she is calming him down, askinghim to enter the palace, telling him that he has nothing to worryabout—no must ask more questions—for the remainder of his life. Jocasta’scasual perspective upsets the Chorus, which continues to be faithful toOedipus throughout this ar (see 761–767).The Chorus’s ode at lines 954–997 servesas a reminder the neither Oedipus, Jocasta, no one the sympatheticaudience must feel calm, due to the fact that oracles speak come a function andare inspired by the god who manage the destiny of men. Throughoutthe play, the Chorus has been miserable, desperate because that the plagueto end and also for stability to be restored to the city. Nevertheless,the Chorus hold staunchly come the belief that the prophesies ofTiresias will come true. For if they perform not, over there is no bespeak on earthor in the heavens.