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Added by Nusch on 17 Jun 2016 06:53
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Oedipus

Oedipus (US /ˈidᵻpəs/ or /ˈɛdᵻpəs/ or UK /ˈiːdᵻpəs/; Ancient Greek: Οἰδίπους Oidípous meaning "swollen foot") was a mythical Greek king of Thebes. A tragic hero in Greek mythology, Oedipus accidentally fulfilled a prophecy that he would end up killing his father and marrying his mother, thereby bringing disaster to his city and family.

The story of Oedipus is the subject of Sophocles's tragedy Oedipus the King, which was followed by Oedipus at Colonus and then Antigone. Together, these plays make up Sophocles's three Theban plays. Oedipus represents two enduring themes of Greek myth and drama: the flawed nature of humanity and an individual's role in the course of destiny in a harsh universe.

In the most well-known version of the myth, Oedipus was born to King Laius and Queen Jocasta. Laius wished to thwart a prophecy, so he left Oedipus to die on a mountainside. However, the baby was found by shepherds and raised by King Polybus and Queen Merope as their own. Oedipus learned from the oracle at Delphi of the prophecy that he would end up killing his father and marrying his mother but, unaware of his true parentage, believed he was fated to murder Polybus and marry Merope, so left for Thebes. On his way he met an older man and quarrelled, and Oedipus killed the stranger. Continuing on to Thebes, he found that the king of the city (Laius) had been recently killed, and that the city was at the mercy of the Sphinx. Oedipus answered the monster's riddle correctly, defeating it and winning the throne of the dead king - and the hand in marriage of the king's widow, and (unbeknownst to him) his mother Jocasta.

Years later, to end a plague on Thebes, Oedipus searched to find who had killed Laius, and discovered that he himself was responsible. Jocasta, upon realizing that she had married both her own son, and her husband's murderer, hanged herself. Oedipus then seized two pins from her dress and blinded himself with them.

The legend of Oedipus has been retold in many versions, and was used by Sigmund Freud to name and give mythic precedent to the Oedipus complex.
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