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2006-02-28 00:00


  A prophet warned King Laius of Thebes that because he had married his cousin Jocasta,he would be killed by his son.To avoid the disaster,he ordered his loyal shepherd to kill his newborn baby son.The good hearted slave,however,could not bring himself to do the evil deed. He pierced the baby' s feet  and tied them with ropes. Then he turned the baby over to the care of a fellow shepherd who happened to be the servant of the king of Corinth. The child was given the name of Oedipus,He was brought up by the childless royal couple as their son and successor.The prince had never doubted that the king was not his real father until one day he heard others talking about his parentage. Deeply troubled,he went to Delphi to require about his birth.There he was warned by Apollo not to return to his native country,because,should he do so , he would kill his father and marry his mother. The frightened young man turned his back on Corinth,determined not to return while his supposed parents lived.

  Oedipus had not gone far on his way to Thebes when he saw a cart coming towards him. The man sitting in the cart,angry at the young man in the way,whipped him on the face with an oath . Oedipus jumped onto the cart and killed him in his anger.of the five servants who followed their master on foot,only one escaped narrowly. Little did Oedipus think that the man sitting in the cart was King Laicus,his father. Presently the young manar rived in the kingdom of Thebes. Round about this time,the Thebans were troubled by a woman headed monster,called Sphinx, who produced a riddle to them. The crown and the hand of the widow queen were offered to anyone who could solve the riddle. Oedipus met Sphinx on a cliff. To the monster' s riddle,“What animal walks on four legs in the morning,on two at noon,and on three at night?”he offered the answer,“Man,Who creeps in infancy,walks upright in manhood,and supports his steps with a staff in old age.” Thus, Sphinx threw herself down into the valley. Oedipus became king of Thebes and husband of the queen,his mother.

  For a long time after this event,Oedipus lived in honour and prosperity. Four unnatural children  came out of this odd marriage,two sons and two daughters. Then the sad thing came.A plague raged throughout the land . Every family was affected,and not a day went by without new death. A prophet warned that the trouble would not be removed until the murderer of the former king Laius was driven out of the country. An old blind seer,Tiresias by name,was brought before the king and,outraged by the kings impolite language,declared that Oedipus himself was the hunted murderer. The king was shocked and annoyed. He called the Theban and Corinthian shepherds to prove the truth. As the two old shepherds had been concerned in his adoption as an infant,the truth finally became known. The queen hanged herself. Oedipus put out of his own eyes with a pin,so that he might not look on the sun again.he was driven out of the kingdom and wandered from one city to another,until he found protection in King Theseus'  Athens. There at the signal of Zeus' thunder,he mysteriously ended his poor earthly life.




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