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oedipus rex
n : (greek mythology) a tragic king of thebes who unknowingly killed his father laius and married his mother jocasta; the subject of the drama `oedipus rex' by sophocles [syn: oedipus, king oedipus, oedipus rex]

Oedipus the King (, Oidipous Turannos), also known by the Latin title Oedipus Rex, is an Athenian tragedy by Sophocles that was first performed c. 429 BC. It was the second in order of Sophocles's actual composition of his plays dealing with Oedipus. Thematically, however, it would be the first in the dramatic historical chronology, followed by Oedipus at Colonus and then Antigone. Oedipus Rex chronicles the story of Oedipus, a man who becomes the king of Thebes- whilst in the process unwittingly fulfilling a prophecy that he would murder his father Laius and marry his mother Jocasta. The play is an example of a classic tragedy, noticeably containing an emphasis on how Oedipus's own faults contribute to the tragic hero's downfall, as opposed to having fate be the sole cause. Over the centuries, Oedipus Rex has come to be regarded by many as the Greek tragedy par excellence.

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1. (Greek mythology) a tragic king of Thebes who unknowingly killed his father Laius and married his mother Jocasta; the subject of the drama `Oedipus Rex' by Sophocles
(synonym) Oedipus, King Oedipus
(hypernym) mythical being
(classification) Greek mythology

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