Oedipus Rex Characters Analysis

Oedipus - Oedipus is the protagonist of the play, and we follow him as he tries to uncover the mystery of King Laius's death, the former king of Thebes. Oedipus slowly uncovers that he was the true son of King Laius and Queen Jocasta, who had been given up as a baby because King Laius had received a prophecy that his son would kill him. The shepherd who was supposed to leave Oedipus in the forest rescued him and gave him to a Corinthian man who eventually gave him to Polybus, the King of Corinth. Oedipus grew up as one of the foremost citizens of Corinth but he later exiled himself from Corinth after he received a prophecy that he would murder his father and have children with his mother. However, he ended up fluffing the prophecy by unknowingly killing his real father Laius, and having children with his mother, Jocasta.

Jocasta - She is the queen of Thebes, mother to King Oedipus, and wife to both King Liaus and King Oedipus. Jocasta marries King Oedipus after he is given the kingdom as a present for defeating the Sphinx. She figures out the true relationship she shares with Oedipus before he realizes it, and she attempts to halt his search for the truth. Oedipus refuses to be hindered, and Jocasta abandons him. She returns to her bedroom and hangs herself.

Creon - He is Oedipus's brother-in-law and uncle, who eventually inherits the throne after Oedipus deposes himself. Oedipus sends Creon to the Oracle to learn about the cause of the plague that is running rampant through the city. Later onwards, Creon insists that Oedipus consult Tiresias about the murderer but Oedipus's meeting with the blind see goes so badly that he begins to suspect Creon of masterminding a plot against his rule. Creon defends himself bravely against Oedipus's baseless accusations and returns near the end of the novel to deal kindly with the now blinded Oedipus.

Tiresias - The blind seer of Thebes, who tries to avoid seeing Oedipus until his summons has become too loud to ignore. Tiresias is aware of Oedipus's reality and hopes to let it pass unknown. He tries to keep his mouth shut but Oedipus's accusations eventually anger him enough to make him speak. He tells Oedipus that he is living in an incestuous relationship and that he is the murderer that he is trying to find. However, Oedipus fails to pay heed to his words and instead begins to believe that Tiresias is in league with Creon who is trying to take his throne.

Polybus - He is the King of Corinth and the adoptive father of King Oedipus. Oedipus becomes exiled from Corinth after he hears a prophecy that he will kill his father and marry his mother. Jocasta receives a messenger from Corinth that informs her of Polybus's death, and the decision of the people to name Oedipus as their king.

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