Ans. Oedipus, King of Thebes, comes out of his palace to meet a group of Thebans li by a priest. Oedipus asks the people what has brought them to him, and why the air is so full of hymns and prayers and lamentations. Oedipus addresses the priest respectfully, and asks him to tell him what fears or desires have brought the people to him. The priest, replies that these are not the only people who are before the palace, but many more people of all ages, “from the tenderest chicks to the age-bent seniors” sit in the market place, carrying boughs, around the twin altars of Pallas, and beside the river of Ismenus. The city of Thebes, the priest says, has been in the grip of a devastating blight. There are deaths everywhere : death in the fruitful flowering of her soul, death in the pastures, death in the womb of woman. It is a pestilence, a fiery demon gripping the city, stripping the house of Cadmus, to fatten hell with profusion of lamentation. In brief, the city is caught in a tide of death from which there is no escaping.