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Oedipus Tyrannus, chronologically the first play of the Oedipus trilogy, which includes Oedipus at Colonus (about 407 B.C.) and Antigone (about 441 B.C.), was actually written after Antigone and is generally considered the best of Greek tragedies.
Oedipus Rex illustrates the Greek concept that trying to circumvent prophet's predictions is futile…
The play includes three main prophecies: the one made to Laius concerning his death by the hands of his son, a similar one directed to Oedipus, and one made by Tiresias foretelling Oedipus discovery of the murderers identity. Both recipients of these oracles attempt to avoid their destinies, but both wind up following the paths which the Fates have prescribed. Laius had received a prophecy which declares that doom would strike him at the hands of [his] son.... Jocasta, in an attempt to ease Oedipus worries, endeavours to defame prophesy in general by describing Laius apparent circumvention of the augury. When Laius son was not yet three days old, the king had the infants ankles fastened together, and then gave the boy to a henchman to be flung onto a barren, trackless mountain; Jocasta believes her son dead. Laius had believed that by killing his only son, he would be able to avoid the oracles prediction. (Scodel, 1984) However, the shepherd entrusted with the terrible task of infanticide pitied the baby and gave him to another shepherd, who, in turn, donated the child to the King and Queen of Corinth.
This story was well known to Sophocles' Athenian audience. ...
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