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Summary of Oedipus Rex

The storytelling method that is employed in most classical writing, i.e. the Iliad and the Odyssey as well as Greek tragedy, allows for the development of two stories. One is the story of the "now." The "now" is told through the actions and events of the play or story. The other story that is told is the "past." The "past" is composed of stories that are told by characters and gives needed background information about the main characters and events. In Oedipus Rex, the realization of Oedipus's tyrannous rise to power is the "now" story. The story of Oedipus's birth and placement in the world is the "past" story. Both of these stories are woven into the play and each holds a place in the overall telling of the story.The "now" story in Oedipus begins with the scene in front of the palace of Oedipus at Thebes. In this scene, we find out that Thebes is experiencing hard times. The citizens of Thebes have come to Oedipus to find a solution. He sorrowfully tells them that he can think of no solution to the problem, however, he has sent Creon to ask the god Apollo for help. Creon returns and has good news. Apollo has given him the knowledge to remove the pestilence that is in Thebes. Oedipus, along with the other citizens of Thebes, is very interested in this information. Creon tells that the only solution to the pestilence is to expel the murderer of Laius, the former king of Thebes. Once again there is an unanswered question. How to find the murderer of Laius?Oedipus and Creon's pondering of the situation results in only one lead. One of the men that accompanied Laius when he was murdered lived through the ordeal. He knows only that it was a group of robbers that murdered Laius, not a single man. Seeming to be stuck on this problem, Oedipus takes the advice of Creon and sends for the seer Teiresias.Teiresias arrives. He does not bring the same news that Creon brought. Creon brought hope but Teiresias brings myster...

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