How did Oedipus become King of Thebes?
Oedipus becomes the King of Thebes as a reward for defeating the riddling Sphinx that plagued the city. He encounters the creature on his journey away from Corinth, a journey he hopes will prevent him from fulfilling the oracle’s prophecy about the death of his father. Oedipus correctly answers the Sphinx’s riddle and frees the people of Thebes who, coincidentally, are mourning the loss of their king. They offer him the throne and the hand of the Queen, Jocasta, as a symbol of their thanks, not knowing that Oedipus is both the son and killer of King Laius.
Why does Oedipus blind himself?
Oedipus blinds himself as a form of self-punishment once he discovers that he is the doomed man responsible for bringing death and destruction upon the city of Thebes. Prior to his realization, he decrees that whomever is responsible will face exile or death in order to end the curse. When Oedipus does find out that he is the one who killed his father and married his mother, he stabs his eyes out so that he never again has to see the world that caused him so much pain. His literal blindness also symbolizes the metaphorical blindness, or ignorance, he possesses as he fails to see the truth of his family’s lineage.
Why does Oedipus go to Colonus?
As they wander in exile, Oedipus and his daughter, Antigone, find themselves in Colonus. Although they did not specifically seek out Colonus, Oedipus quickly realizes that the city is part of Apollo’s prophecy when he learns that it is home to a grove sacred to the Furies. The prophecy indicates that Oedipus’s final resting place will be at Colonus and that his death will bring blessings to the land where he is buried. His presence there leads to the conflict among his two sons and Creon, for they also know of Apollo’s prophecy and want to bring him back to their lands in order to reap the good fortunes that Oedipus’s death will bring.
Why does Antigone feel it is important to bury her brother?
In Oedipus at Colonus, Polynieces asks Antigone for a proper burial if he dies in the battle he plans to wage against their brother Eteocles in Thebes. Antigone begins with the titular character vowing to defy Creon’s orders that Polynices remain unburied, despite the punishment of death for anyone who attempts to bury him. Antigone feels that her moral and spiritual obligations to her brother outweigh the state’s law, arguing that both brothers fought equally and therefore deserve to be laid to rest honorably. Her sense of duty to her family and her gods outweighs her belief in arbitrary, manmade laws, especially those she perceives as unjust.
Why does Antigone commit suicide?
After Creon condemns Antigone to a “living death” by locking her in a tomb, she commits suicide by crafting a noose of fine linens and hanging herself. Her death is, in many ways, an act of defiance against Creon and his laws which she argues are unjust. By killing herself, she takes away Creon’s power to continue inflicting pain on her. Antigone also becomes a martyr figure symbolizing the ultimate commitment to family, faith, and moral justice. She willingly sacrifices herself to take a stand for what she believes in. Antigone’s death also drives Haemon and Eurydice to kill themselves as well, an outcome which inevitably punishes Creon for his abuse of power and defiance of the gods.