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This is where Oedipus was adopted as the son of the King and Queen.
Photo provided by Flickr
To Laius, King of Thebes, an oracle foretold that the child born
to him by his queen Jocasta would slay his father and wed his mother.
So when in time a son was born the infant's feet were riveted together
and he was left to die on Mount Cithaeron. But a shepherd found the
babe and tended him, and delivered him to another shepherd who took
him to his master, the King or Corinth. Polybus being childless
adopted the boy, who grew up believing that he was indeed the King's
son. Afterwards doubting his parentage he inquired of the Delphic god
and heard himself the weird declared before to Laius. Wherefore he
fled from what he deemed his father's house and in his flight he
encountered and unwillingly slew his father Laius. Arriving at Thebes
he answered the riddle of the Sphinx and the grateful Thebans made
their deliverer king. So he reigned in the room of Laius, and
espoused the widowed queen. Children were born to them and Thebes
prospered under his rule, but again a grievous plague fell upon the
city. Again the oracle was consulted and it bade them purge
themselves of blood-guiltiness. Oedipus denounces the crime of which
he is unaware, and undertakes to track out the criminal. Step by
step it is brought home to him that he is the man. The closing scene
reveals Jocasta slain by her own hand and Oedipus blinded by his own
act and praying for death or exile.
Oedipus the King is certainly a tragedy, and as Dr.
Photo provided by Flickr
Perhaps we, in our scientific confidence, in the optimisticspirit with which we think we can deal with fate, may turn out to be likeOedipus, going up against something much more mysterious and complex andmalignant than we can imagine.
The same debate applies to Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus.
Photo provided by Flickr
Yea, Oedipus, my sovereign lord and king,
Thou seest how both extremes of age besiege
Thy palace altars—fledglings hardly winged,
and greybeards bowed with years; priests, as am I
of Zeus, and these the flower of our youth.
Meanwhile, the common folk, with wreathed boughs
Crowd our two market-places, or before
Both shrines of Pallas congregate, or where
Ismenus gives his oracles by fire.
For, as thou seest thyself, our ship of State,
Sore buffeted, can no more lift her head,
Foundered beneath a weltering surge of blood.
A blight is on our harvest in the ear,
A blight upon the grazing flocks and herds,
A blight on wives in travail; and withal
Armed with his blazing torch the God of Plague
Hath swooped upon our city emptying
The house of Cadmus, and the murky realm
Of Pluto is full fed with groans and tears.
Therefore, O King, here at thy hearth we sit,
I and these children; not as deeming thee
A new divinity, but the first of men;
First in the common accidents of life,
And first in visitations of the Gods.
Art thou not he who coming to the town
of Cadmus freed us from the tax we paid
To the fell songstress? Nor hadst thou received
Prompting from us or been by others schooled;
No, by a god inspired (so all men deem,
And testify) didst thou renew our life.
And now, O Oedipus, our peerless king,
All we thy votaries beseech thee, find
Some succor, whether by a voice from heaven
Whispered, or haply known by human wit.
Tried counselors, methinks, are aptest found 
To furnish for the future pregnant rede.
Upraise, O chief of men, upraise our State!
Look to thy laurels! for thy zeal of yore
Our country's savior thou art justly hailed:
O never may we thus record thy reign:—
"He raised us up only to cast us down."
Uplift us, build our city on a rock.
Thy happy star ascendant brought us luck,
O let it not decline! If thou wouldst rule
This land, as now thou reignest, better sure
To rule a peopled than a desert realm.
Nor battlements nor galleys aught avail,
If men to man and guards to guard them tail.
Oedipus's fate ruined his life and lead him to a horrible death.
It has been suggested that the myth of Oedipus is a metaphor for the ancient scapegoat ritual. The scapegoat ritual was practiced when a community was in a state of emergency e.g. in the grip of a plague or famine, and it involved expelling a pharmakos (human scapegoat) from the town. The pharmakos was often a person of little consequence, such as a criminal or a cripple. The pharmakos would be led like a sacrificial animal to a sacred precinct and either killed or beaten (sources disagree on this point) and then ejected from the city, taking with it the evils and sins of the community and, thus, purifying the town. The Oedipus story parallels this practice quite closely, as Oedipus (technically a cripple) would normally be of little consequence to the city of Thebes. Furthermore, he is physically harmed, albeit by himself, and exiled from the city. It has been said (in ' version of the story) that when Laius' killer has been removed from Thebes the plague will abate, thus implying that Oedipus is taking with him the sins of the community, filling the role of the pharmakos and ending the crisis in the town.
Unlike Oedipus most people today don't believe in predestined fate.
There has been much debate concerning the responsibility of Oedipus and the "fairness" of his punishment. In Greek tragedy and myth in general, it is the norm that someone will suffer some terrible fate as punishment for wrongdoing or some sacrilege. However, it seems as though Oedipus himself has done nothing to warrant the punishment of his awful fate. In fact, the citizens of Thebes in ' Oedipus the King revere him as the most intelligent of men and as a good ruler, even referring to him as a father. As a result, this story has often been read as a comment on the indiscriminate nature of fate, and that even the best of men can be cursed with an unfair fate, which even the gods are unable to divert. This suggestion would imply that Oedipus himself is not to blame for his actions, and thus deserves no punishment for them. An alternative explanation has already been given above, that it was not Oedipus himself who was cursed, but rather the entire line of Laius as payment for his rape of a young prince. Still others suggest that Oedipus is allotted his fate as a pre-emptive penalty for the crimes proscribed in the prophecy, implying that Oedipus would have committed these atrocities whether they were fated or not, and thus the realisation he has committed them is fitting punishment for him. Whichever explanation one finds most convincing, it can be agreed that Oedipus is not being punished for a simple, tangible crime as is the case with many tragic heroes of Greek myth.