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Oedipus Rex Hero's Journey Darby Rose Ah my poor children... You are all sick, I know it; and in your sickness there is not one of you so sick as I. Oedipus has been appointed King of Thebes, though not originally from the country, because he solved the riddle of the Sphynx. However, a great plague has fallen over the country: people are sick, infertile, the land is dry, etc. Oedipus is told the plague is the result of a crime which must be atoned for. Exile, or recompense of death for death; Since 'tis this blood makes winter to the city. The oracle has told Creon that the murderer of Laius must be brought to justice. Oedipus believes Teresias and Creon are traitors after his throne. Dost though boast so great a front of daring, as to come under my roof, the assassin clear of me, and manifest pirate of my royalty? pg20 Teresias (the messenger of Apollo) determines that Oedipus is Laius' murderer. The man you have been seeking, threatening him, and loud proclaiming him for Laius' murder, that man is here... and if you can detect me in a lie, then come and say that I am no true seer. pg17 ...for by Creon's advice I sent, twice over; and for some time, now, 'tis strange he is not here.pg11 Oedipus accuses Creon of treason, but he states he would rather have the respect of a king without the responsibility of ruling. Oedipus becomes untrusting of everyone, focused on his own salvation instead of his kingdom's. Kills Laius, travels to Thebes, solves riddle of Sphynx, marries Jocasta, compete with plague, struggle with Creon and Teresias, and then with his free will and fate. To Laius once there came an oracle...from his ministers, that so it should befall, that he should die by a son's hands, whom he should have by me. Jocasta tells Oedipus about the oracle's prediction of her, Laius', and her son's fate. This opens his eyes and he begins to realize that he is the true murderer. Oedipus considers that these prophecies may possibly be true, therefore destroying his journey

Call to Adventure

Refusal of Call

Supernatural Aid

Crossing the First Threshold

The Road of Trials

Meeting the Goddess

Overcoming Temptation (Father Figure)

and pride. The Big Picture Polybus was nought akin to you! - What, did not Polybus beget me? - No, No more than I did; just so much as I!pg 36 Oedipus realizes that Polybus was not his real father, and so the prophecy remains unfulfilled. Nay, it cannot be that having such a clue I should refuse to solve the mystery of my parentage!pg38 Oedipus is determined to discover who his true parents are and believes he can still avoid the prophecy. For Heaven's sake, if you care for your own life, Don't seek it! I am sick, and that's enough! pg38 Jocasta wishes for him to refrain from furthering his knowledge about the matter. She would rather they stay ignorant and blissful. [Messenger tells Oedipus that Polybus has died, wants Oedipus to come to Corinthe to rule.] Oedipus is looking for a former servant of Laius who supposedly delivered his son to a family instead of killing him. This would identify or deny him as the murderer and establish his true identity. Suppose him here, what do you want of him? - I'll tell you; if he should be found to say just what you said, I shall be clear from harm.pg30 The former servant is found and states that another man had saved the life of Laius' child, which he was supposed to kill. The prophecy is true and fulfilled. ...he to the worst of harms saved it! For if thou art the man he says, sure thou wast born destined to misery!pg42 [Jocasta realizes the prophecy is true and tries to stop his journey for self-knowledge.] Oedipus blinds himself as punishment and Jocasta hangs herself. Woe! It is all plain, indeed! O Light, this be the last time I shall gaze on thee...pg42 Oedipus accepts who he is (both son and husband, brother and father, seeing clarity but being blind) and pleads to be banished as both ruler and exile. Lead me to exile straight; Lead me, O my friends, the worst of murderers, of mortals most accurst...pg 47-48 Creon refuses to exile Oedipus and sympathizes with him as family. He exiles himself so he will not

The Ultimate Goal

Refusal of Return

The Chase

The Rescue

The Return Threshold

Master of Two Worlds


have to deal with the disgrace. Not as a mocker come I, Oedipus... the griefs of kin, fits best with decency... - Banish me from this county That must the God bestow.pg52-53 [Enlightens daughters, tells them everything, banishes himself, freeing himself from having to face the guilt every day.]