The Story Before the Story
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Transcript of The Story Before the Story
What happened before the play Oedipus Rex begins
Cadmus was told by the Oracle at Delphi to follow a cow and where the cow stopped he should build a city and call it Thebes.
So he did.
Until Cadmus discovered a nasty dragon who was guarding the well. So, he killed it.Unfortunately, this particular dragon was the god Apollos favorite.
And cursed Cadmus family for generations to come. The Oracle at Delphi (Apollos oracle) said that at some point in time a king and queen of Thebes would have a son who would kill his father and marry his mother.Apollo - God of light -and the sun. Also of truth, prophecy, healing, plague,and music.
King Lauis and Queen Jocasta had a baby. Sadly, King Lauis knew of the curse put on his family by Apollo.
And put a metal bar between the babys feet and gave him to a Messenger (#1) who put the baby out in the woods to die. Feeling sorry for the baby, the Messenger (#1) gave the baby to a shepherd who took him home.
The Queen, Merope, was having trouble conceivingThe Shepherd gave the baby to Queen Merope and King PolybusThe King and Queen were elated and never told the baby he was adopted. The named him Oedipus or Swollen foot
But poor Oedipus had to deal with rumors that he was not his parents real son. He defied their wishes and went to the Oracle at Delphi for answers.They told him that he would murder his father and marry his mother.
He traveled away from Corinth and got into a fight with a man on the roadOedipus, enraged that the man would not move out of the way, killed himThe next town he came to was Thebes.
And poor Thebes was dealing with one who went about burning buildings and killing people.
According to legend, a sphinx has the head of a woman, body of a lion, tail of a serpent and wings.
No one could solve her riddle: What goes on four legs in the morning, two at midday, and three in the evening?
Said Oedipus and so they made him King of Thebes, since the previous king had never come back from a trip he had taken. Oedipus also married the Queen, Jocasta, and had several children.
Even after the sphinx left town there was still a plague. People were dying, crops were failing, and nothing seemed to be going right.
So begins Oedipus Rex