The family relations in Sophocles’ three Theban Plays (Oedipus Rex, Oedipus in ~ Colonus and Antigone) are a key part of the renowned tragedies. These familial relationships are the key factors in expertise the plays themselves. Oedipus’s family tree is anything however straightforward, with characters often being related in two various ways at once. The is usual knowledge that Oedipus married his mother, Jocasta, however it is vital to understand this incestuous marriage’s implications that curses the family members for 3 generations.

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Oedipus is the child of Laius and also Jocasta. The marries his own mother, and she offers birth to two sons (Polynices and Eteocles) and also two daughters (Ismene and Antigone). Being the offspring the mother and son, this four kids are both the children and grandchildren the Jocasta and the children and also siblings of Oedipus in ~ once.

Another family members dynamic precious highlighting is Jocasta’s brother, Creon, who has a boy with his wife Eurydice named Haemon. Haemon is both first and 2nd cousin to Oedipus and Jocasta’s four children, while also being Oedipus’s very first cousin and nephew at once. Creon is both an uncle and also a brother-in-law come Oedipus.

Oedipus Rex and the Prophecy: The patricide/incest the Oedipus

It is important to know just how Oedipus and Jocasta came together initially since this partnership is constantly at the main point of the Theban Plays. Even when the couple is lengthy gone, the effects of your cursed relationship is felt by their youngsters over the food of the 3 plays. Prior to the story in Oedipus Rex (which is sometimes translated as Oedipus Tyrannus, Oedipus the King or Oedipus the King of The Thebes), there is a prophecy that Oedipus will certainly kill his father, the king Laius of Thebes, and also marry his mother, Jocasta. To prevent the prophecy from gift fulfilled, they setup to murder your son, yet he escapes with the servants’ aid and gets embraced by a pair unaware of his identity.

Upon learning this prophecy, Oedipus to escape home, not wanting to harm his parents, not understanding they actually embraced him. In his escape, Oedipus comes across a male with his servants and fights him, leading to Oedipus unknowingly killing his very own father, who additionally does not identify him as his son. The killing of Laius by Oedipus fulfills the very first part that the prophecy. Upon resolving the riddle the the Sphinx, that was terrorizing Thebes, Oedipus is rewarded v the title of king for encountering the Sphinx and, v that, marries Jocasta. Eventually, both realize the Jocasta is Oedipus’ true mother and that the prophecy – death the father, marry the mom – has been completed.

This terrible truth was found after Thebes challenged a damaging plague. Oedipus, then the king of Thebes, sends his uncle/brother-in-law Creon to seek guidance indigenous the oracle, who suggests that the afflict is the product that a spiritual curse because the murder of the previous King Laius was never lugged to justice. Oedipus consults v the remote prophet Tiresias, that accuses that of having a hand in the killing of Laius.

As an ext details indigenous the day King Laius to be murdered concerned the surface, Oedipus and also Jocasta start to put the pieces together and also finally conclude the their union is built on patricide and also incest and also that the prophecy was true.

Upon finding out the truth, Jocasta commits self-destruction by hanging and, Oedipus, disgusted with his actions, blinds himself and begs to it is in exiled, asking his brother-in-law/uncle Creon to care for his children, saying how sorry that is to bring them come the civilization into such a cursed family.

His 2 sons and also brothers, Eteocles and Polynices, try to refuse their father/brother in his wish to exile self and, due to the fact that of that, Oedipus lays a curse ~ above both of them that they will certainly kill us in battle.

Oedipus at Colonus and the curse: death of The Family


Oedipus walk on the road with his daughter/sister Antigone’s company, wandering around for years. Since his story the incest and patricide horrified and also disgusted anyone he come across, Oedipus to be expelled indigenous every city the visited. The only city that would certainly take him was Colonus, a component of the Athenian territory. His two sons continue to be to dominance Thebes together, through the setup of each brothers spending alternative years ~ above the throne.

At the finish of the an initial year, Eteocles refuses to offer up the throne and also banishes his brother, accusing the of gift evil. Polynices goes to the city the Argo, whereby he marries the daughter of the king and assembles an army to aid him get back the throne the Thebes. During the battle, Oedipus’s sons/brothers duel and mortally wound every other, leaving Creon come go ago to the throne as king of Thebes. His curse ~ above his boy is fulfilled, Oedipus then dies peacefully.

Oedipus’ family members tree is, in ~ the end of Oedipus at Colonus, decimated. Jocasta is the first one to go, having actually committed suicide at the end of Oedipus Rex. Oedipus and also his two sons/brothers die at the finish of Oedipus at Colonus. In the final Theban Play, Antigone, that Oedipus’ household tree, just his two daughters/sisters in Antigone and also Ismene remain, along with Haemon (his cousin/nephew) and also his uncle and also brother-in-law Creon, who currently serves together king.

Antigone and death: The continues to be of Oedipus and also Thebes

Antigone deals generally with the desire the Antigone to give her brothers Polynices a proper and respectful burial ~ being killed in battle. In ~ the same time, Creon wants to offer him come the dogs because he perceives Polynices as a traitor. An additional layer come the household tree is the Haemon is promised come marry Antigone, his cousin.

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At the finish of the play, Antigone commits self-destruction after gift imprisoned by Creon because that attempting to provide a ideal burial for Polynices. A distressed Haemon, upon finding her body, stabs himself to death. Eurydice also commits self-destruction after detect out about her son, slashing her very own throat. Therefore, at the finish of the Theban plays, Oedipus survives just by his daughter/sister Ismene and Creon, his brother-in-law/uncle, that is left alone in the chaotic Thebes.