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A Tragic Myth – House of Thebes Myth – old story rooted in a A Tragic Myth – House of Thebes Myth – old story rooted in a particular society that explains a belief, ritual or some mysterious aspect of nature Some try to explain human suffering May explain suffering in terms of the workings of the gods –fate that cannot be avoided or curses that haunt generation after generation

He will kill his father and marry his mother King Lais and Queen Jocasta He will kill his father and marry his mother King Lais and Queen Jocasta of Thebes had a son They learned from an oracle that the child would kill his father and marry his mother They gave baby to shepherd with orders to leave the infant to die on the mountain

Laios and Jocasta story continued Shepherd couldn’t do that Gave child to a Corinthian Laios and Jocasta story continued Shepherd couldn’t do that Gave child to a Corinthian shepherd Shepherd gave baby to the childless king and queen of Corinth Named him Oedipus

Oedipus the young man He learned about the prophecy when a young man Horrified; Oedipus the young man He learned about the prophecy when a young man Horrified; thought king and queen of Corinth were his parents He ran away from home in horror Lonely wandering occurred

Encounter with old man Met an arrogant old man who tried to run him Encounter with old man Met an arrogant old man who tried to run him off the road with his chariot Honor was at stake They fought Oedipus killed the stranger (probably not unusual at this time ) Thought nothing of it, continued his journey to Thebes

Meeting Monster Sphinx Encounters Sphinx – monster with wings of an eagle, body of Meeting Monster Sphinx Encounters Sphinx – monster with wings of an eagle, body of lion and breasts and face of a woman Sphinx had been ambushing travelers going to Thebes; Thebes was under seige, famine was near at hand Must answer a riddle before proceeding; if can’t they would be devoured by the monster

The Riddle What creature goes on four legs in the morning, two legs in The Riddle What creature goes on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon and three legs in the evening Answer: Man who crawls on all fours as an infant, walks on two legs as an adult, and leans on a cane in old age

Reaction of Sphinx Oedipus The answered correctly sphinx Leaped off a high rock Thebes Reaction of Sphinx Oedipus The answered correctly sphinx Leaped off a high rock Thebes was saved

Hero’s Welcome in Thebes – unknown to Oedipus- the city where he was born Hero’s Welcome in Thebes – unknown to Oedipus- the city where he was born Welcomed as their savior Thebans offered Oedipus the throne and Jocasta his bride (king was recently killed) So he married Jocasta, had four children

Children of Oedipus Polyneices, Eteocles Antigone Ismene All goes well for many years then… Children of Oedipus Polyneices, Eteocles Antigone Ismene All goes well for many years then…

Problems at home Plague struck People, crops, and animals dying Oedipus was desperate to Problems at home Plague struck People, crops, and animals dying Oedipus was desperate to find out why his country was having so many problems Oedipus sent Jocasta’s brother –Creonto consult the oracle at Delphi to find out why the land was so troubled

A Horrible Discovery Oracle warned the plague would not end until Thebes had punished A Horrible Discovery Oracle warned the plague would not end until Thebes had punished the murderer of King Laios The murderer lived among them in Thebes Oedipus vowed to save Thebes and find this murderer

Truth revealed Blind prophet, Teiresias, tells that the man he killed on the road Truth revealed Blind prophet, Teiresias, tells that the man he killed on the road years before was his father Discovered he was not the son of king and queen of Corinth, but of Laios and Jocasta He had fulfilled the prophecy of killing his father and marrying his mother

Reaction to the Truth Jocasta killed herself Oedipus gouged out his eyes to punish Reaction to the Truth Jocasta killed herself Oedipus gouged out his eyes to punish himself for having been blind to the truth

Creon as Ruler Creon took over Eventually exiled Oedipus Accompanied by his daughter Antigone, Creon as Ruler Creon took over Eventually exiled Oedipus Accompanied by his daughter Antigone, Oedipus wandered the countryside as a beggar Reaching the sanctuary of Colonus, he died

Antigone’s Returned where brothers had agreed to rule in alternate years Eteocles ruled first, Antigone’s Returned where brothers had agreed to rule in alternate years Eteocles ruled first, refused to give it up when the time came Polyneices fled to Argos, raised an army, returned and attacked Thebes In the end, Eteocles and Polyneices killed each other.

Creon as ruler Gave Eteocles a hero’s burial Declared Polyneices’ body left unburied, to Creon as ruler Gave Eteocles a hero’s burial Declared Polyneices’ body left unburied, to rot in the sun outside the city gates A terrible punishment according to Greeks If burial rites were not performed, the soul of the dead person would be condemned to eternal unrest. Antigone and Creon in conflict with this decision So the story of Antigone begins

Do you see how the study of civil law and divine law might fit Do you see how the study of civil law and divine law might fit here Creon – the king Antigone – the strong willed young woman Whom do you think will support civil law Whom do you think will support divine law