Q.18. How did Oedipus happen to become the king of Thebes and marry Jocasta?

Short-Note

Short-Note


Ans.
King Laius of Thebes was told by the oracle of Apollo that the son born to his queen Jocasta would kill his father and marry his mother. To prevent the oracle from taking place, Läius riveted the ankles of the newborn baby (Oedipus) and handed it over to one of his servants and told him to leave it in the mountain to die from exposure there. The servant was very compassionate and handed it over to a shepherd of Corinth. The Corinthian shepherd gave the child to the childless king Polybus of Corinth. The child was named ‘Oedipus’, and was brought up as the prince of Corinth. When he became young he heard vague rumours that he was not the son of Polybus. We went to consult the oracle of Apollo which repeated the same prophecy as was made to Laius.. Believing that Polybus and his queen Merope were his real parents, he decided never to return to Corinth in order to avoid harming his parents. He travelled through Greece and came into the vicinity of Thebes. At a crossroads he met a man (Laius) in chariot with whom he fell out on the question of right of way. He killed the man (not knowing that Laius was his own father) along with all his companions except one who escaped. Outside the city of Thebes he met the monster, the Sphinx, who gave every Theban who happened to pass by a riddle to solve, and if he could not she ate him up. Oedipus salved the riddle, and the Sphinx leaped from the Mount Phicium and killed herself. The Thebans acclaimed him as a great hero, and made Oedipus their new king, and married him to queen, Jocasta.

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