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Oedipus Rex (Oedipus the King)

By Sophocles

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Book Id: WPLBN0002953631
Format Type:
File Size: 40.70 MB
Reproduction Date: 2010

Title: Oedipus Rex (Oedipus the King)  
Author: Sophocles
Language: English
Subject: Dramatic Works, Myths/Legends, Play
Collections: Audio Books Collection, Oedipus Rex (Oedipus the King)
Publication Date:
Publisher: LibriVox Audio Books


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Sophocles, B. (1912). Oedipus Rex (Oedipus the King). Retrieved from

The play begins years after Oedipus has taken the throne of Thebes. The Theban chorus cries out to him for salvation from the plague sent by the gods in response to Laius's murder. Oedipus searches for the murderer, unaware that he himself is guilty of that crime. The blind prophet Teiresias is called upon to aid the search, but, after his warning against following through with it, Oedipus oppugns him as the murderer, even though he is blind and aged. In response, an angry Tiresias tells Oedipus that he is looking for himself, causing the king to become enraged in incredulity. He then accuses the prophet of conspiring with Creon, Jocasta's brother, to overthrow him. Oedipus calls for one of Laius's former servants, the only surviving witness of the murder, who fled the city when Oedipus became king in order to avoid being the one to reveal the truth. Soon a messenger from Corinth arrives to inform the king of the death of Polybus, whom Oedipus still believes to be his real father. At this point, the messenger informs him that he was in fact adopted and that his true parentage is unknown. In the subsequent discussions between Oedipus, Jocasta, the servant and the messenger, the second-mentioned surmises the truth and runs away in shame. Oedipus remains stubborn and incredulous until a second messenger arrives with the shepherd, who reveals that Oedipus himself was the child abandoned by Laius. He realises what he is, and leaves in a rage. An attendant then breaks the news that Jocasta has hanged herself. On discovering her body, Oedipus gouges out his eyes with the golden brooches on her dress. The play ends with Oedipus entrusting his children to Creon and declaring his intent to live in exile. Although he initially begs for the company of his children, Creon refuses, and Oedipus is exiled alone. The theme can perhaps be summarized with a line spoken by Tiresias: Wisdom is a dreadful thing when it bringeth no profit unto its possessor (Sophocles). In the denouement, the chorus narrates his tragic history. (Summary from Wikipedia)

Electronic recorded live performance of a reading

Myths/Legends, Play, Literature, Poetry


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