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This page was last modified December 7, 2011.

This explains the nonsenseabout "tragic flaws" and "hybris".

Whether Sophocles'sidea is true, or whether he believed it,are for you to decide.
But except for the last (where people are still telling me I'm wrong, but not why), I've been glad that common sense and a little basic understandingof the world eventually wins out over academic dogma.

If you want something nice,.What's here?

Commentators on Sophocles, beginning with Aristotle,have tried to cover over the obvious.
"What animal has four legs in the morning, two legs at noon,and three legs in the evening?" Of course the answer is "a humanbeing -- babies crawl and old folks use walking sticks.") Oedipusmarried Laius's widow, Queen Jocasta.

 

The Folk TaleWe don't know whether there was a historical Oedipus.


(You must assume that accidentally killing your father andmarrying your mother is a disaster.)Jocasta committed suicide, and Oedipus blinded himself and became a wandering beggar.


In those days, high rank got to go first, Oedipus identifiedhimself as heir to the throne of Corinth, and for some reason (again,don't worry about it) Laius's people simply attacked instead of explaining that he wasking of Thebes.


The Greeks pronounced it "oy-DEEP-us".

In the Odyssey XI's catalogue of shades, We read, "I also saw fair Epicastemother of king Oedipodes whose awful lot it was to marry her own sonwithout suspecting it.

To thwart the prophecy, Laiusand Jocastadecided to kill their baby.

He married her after having killed his father, but thegods proclaimed the whole story to the world; whereon he remained king of Thebes,in great grief for the spite the gods had borne him; but Epicaste went to thehouse of the mighty jailor Hades, having hanged herself for grief,and the avenging spirits haunted him as for an outraged mother --to his ruing bitterly thereafter."That's what Homer has to say about Oedipus.

To be extra-sure, they pierced his littlefeet and tied them together.

But people want to believe in the supernatural, and people like totell each otherabout the rare occasions when something happens that a psychicsaid would happen.

It may have beenintroduced to explain the hero's name.

The most famous example (Nostradamus and the gray monk in Varenneswoods) continues to be told, even though the tale of Louis XVIbeing disguised as a monk when he was captured thereis just a lie. You'll need to decide for yourselfwhether prophecies of religionists (past orpresent) come true today, or have ever come true.

He gave the baby to a friend, who took it to Corinth,another town.

Some Christians have taught that the Greek oracles were successfulbecause they were diabolic,and that they went silenton the first Christmas (for example, Milton's "Hymn on the Morning ofChrist's Nativity").