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One of the stories that draws my attention from Greek mythology is that of King Oedipus. It’s a story that begins in tragedy and ends in tragedy, it’s something like saying that everything that starts badly ends badly.
Oedipus was the son of the kings of Thebes, King Laius and his wife Jocasta. In Greek mythology, the oracle, who was a kind of prophetic diviner in those times and who was the one who informed the reality of the destiny of those who consulted him, predicted to the kings that his son would kill his father and marry his mother.
The king of Thebes was warned by the oracle that if he was able to have a male child, this child would kill him. Then King Laius decided not to sleep with his queen so he would not have to worry about a male child, but that one day the queen got him drunk and she laid him down next to get herself pregnant, this way she had her son.
The worried king hurt his newborn son, hurt his feet, pierced them with nails and made holes for him to hang and let him die. Not knowing that fate could not be stopped, the king decided to abandon his son. He thought that once his son died the prophecy was cut off and the destiny would not be fulfilled. The opposite happened; with his own conduct, he caused the prophecy to take its path.
The baby was found and brought before the king of Corinth, Polibo, who had no children, and Oedipus grew up in another kingdom in order to fulfill his destiny where he was given the name Oedipus due to his injured feet.
When Oedipus grows up he decides to find out about his true parents and the oracle confirms the story and his destiny. It’s when Oedipus decides to flee from Corinth to have nothing to do with the prophecy but accidentally goes in search of it; One day on his way to Thebes he meets a crossroads in the road and establishes a dispute for the right to pass, killing King Laius, without knowing that this was his father, with whom he disputed the passage of the road.
Oedipus tries to rid the kingdom of Thebes of a monster called the Sphinx that killed the subjects of Thebes and he did so just by answering the riddle that this monster gave him.
The riddle was this:
Which creature walks on all fours in the morning, walks at noon on three, and at dusk it walks on three legs. Oedipus replied: "Man walks on four feet when he is a baby since he crawls with his hands and knees, he walks on two feet when he is an adult and when he gets old he helps himself with a cane that are his three feet."
The sphinx was so upset because someone could answer her riddle that she jumped into the sea and drowned.
Because the kingdom of Thebes is without a king Oedipus becomes king of Thebes, since a prize had been given to him. Whoever managed to kill the monster of the town would be given the hand of the queen. The story of his feat makes him a great man and he marries his mother without knowing it.
It was with the passage of time that a plague seized the kingdom and when consulting a fortune-teller he replied that it was thanks to the murderer of King Laius. Oedipus decides to find out who the murderer is and ends up discovering his terrifying story. His wife, who is his mother, cannot bear the truth and commits suicide by hanging herself and King Oedipus pokes out his eyes with a pin.
Apparently the king was expelled and over the years died in Athens, the land where his remains rested being blessed.
It’s a story where tragedy is implicit in the life of a young man from birth and only when he dies would he end up with a cruel fate.