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king who unwittingly killed his father and married his mother (Greek Mythology)

Oedipus Oidipous (Greek) Swollen-footed; Theban hero, son of Laius, named by the shepherd who found him with his feet swollen from the holes bored in them when he was exposed by his father, as it was predicted that he would kill his father and marry his mother -- which he subsequently did. In many cosmogonies there are characters who slay their fathers or who are represented as both husband and son of the same goddess. This symbolism, being interpreted literally in Oedipus' case, has made a fine story of horror for the tragedians. Oedipus is also famous for having solved the riddle of the Theban Sphinx. Oedipus' romantic and tragic history formed the theme of three plays by Sophocles and by Aeschylus. The essential significance of the story is the inescapable consequences following upon karmic causes, from which there is no escape once these causes have been set in motion by man.

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]

  similar words(3) 

 king oedipus 
 oedipus rex 
 leontocebus oedipus 

Oedipus ( or ; Oidípous meaning "swollen foot") was a mythical Greek king of Thebes. A tragic hero in Greek mythology, Oedipus accidentally fulfilled the prophecy, despite his efforts not to, that he would kill his father and marry his mother, and thereby bring disaster on his city and his family. When they discovered what had happened, his wife hanged herself, and Oedipus gouged out his own eyes. They had had four children together. The story of Oedipus is the subject of Sophocles's tragedy Oedipus the King, which was followed by Oedipus at Colonus and then Antigone. Together, these plays make up Sophocles's three Theban plays. Oedipus represents two enduring themes of Greek myth and drama: the flawed nature of humanity and an individual's role in the course of destiny in a harsh universe.

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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) King Oedipus, Oedipus Rex
(hypernym) mythical being
(classification) Greek mythology

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