Oedipus

(redirected from Oedipe)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms.
Related to Oedipe: Antigone

Oedipus

(ĕd`ĭpəs, ē`dĭ–), in Greek legend, son of Laius, king of Thebes, and his wife, Jocasta. Laius had been warned by an oracle that he was fated to be killed by his own son; he therefore abandoned Oedipus on a mountainside. The baby was rescued, however, by a shepherd and brought to the king of Corinth, who adopted him. When Oedipus was grown, he learned from the Delphic oracle that he would kill his father and marry his mother. He fled Corinth to escape this fate, believing his foster parents to be his real parents. At a crossroad he encountered Laius, quarreled with him, and killed him. He continued on to Thebes, where the sphinxsphinx
, mythical beast of ancient Egypt, frequently symbolizing the pharaoh as an incarnation of the sun god Ra. The sphinx was represented in sculpture usually in a recumbent position with the head of a man and the body of a lion, although some were constructed with rams'
..... Click the link for more information.
 was killing all who could not solve her riddle. Oedipus answered it correctly and so won the widowed queen's hand. The prophecy was thus fulfilled. Two sons, Polynices and Eteocles, and two daughters, Antigone and Ismene, were born to the unwittingly incestuous pair. When a plague descended on Thebes, an oracle declared that the only way to rid the land of its pollution was to expel the murderer of Laius. Through a series of painful revelations, brilliantly dramatized by Sophocles in Oedipus Rex, the king learned the truth and in an agony of horror blinded himself. According to Homer, Oedipus continued to reign over Thebes until he was killed in battle; but the more common version is that he was exiled by Creon, Jocasta's brother, and his sons battled for the throne (see Seven against ThebesSeven against Thebes,
in Greek legend, seven heroes—Polynices, Adrastus, Amphiaraüs, Hippomedon, Capaneus, Tydeus, and Parthenopaeus—who made war on Eteocles, king of Thebes.
..... Click the link for more information.
). In Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus, Oedipus is guided in his later wanderings by his faithful daughter, Antigone.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Oedipus

 

in ancient Greek mythology, a king of Thebes.

In Sophocles’ tragedy Oedipus Tyrannus (c. 425 B.C.), Oedipus’ father, Laius, having received an oracle that he would be slain by his son, orders his wife Jocasta to abandon their new-born baby on Mount Cithaeron. The infant is saved by shepherds and is brought to Polybus, king of Corinth, who raises him as his own son. Upon reaching manhood, Oedipus is told by the Delphic oracle that he will slay his father and wed his mother. Afraid to return to Corinth, which he considers his homeland, Oedipus sets out on the road. While on the road he quarrels with and kills an unknown nobleman, who in fact is Laius. Subsequently, Oedipus solves the riddle of the Sphinx and frees Thebes; in return he is proclaimed king of Thebes and marries the widowed Jocasta. For 20 years he lives in happiness, unsuspecting that the prophecy of the Delphic oracle has come true. When a plague breaks out in Thebes and the Delphic oracle prophesizes that only the banishment of Laius’ murderer will save the city, Oedipus learns of his crimes. In despair, he puts his eyes out with a clasp from the dress of Jocasta, who has hanged herself, and goes into exile, accompanied by his loyal daughter Antigone. Oedipus dies in Colonus, a suburb of Athens.

Versions of the myth appeared in the works of classical authors, including Euripides and Seneca, and in literature and music beginning with the Renaissance, for instance, in the works of P. Corneille, J. Cocteau, T. S. Eliot, and I. F. Stravinsky.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Oedipus

exiles himself for killing father and marrying mother. [Gk. Lit.: Oedipus Rex]

Oedipus

blinded self on learning he had married his mother. [Gk. Lit.: Oedipus Rex]

Oedipus

unknowingly marries mother and fathers four sons. [Gk. Lit.: Oedipus Rex]
See: Incest

Oedipus

lamed by Laius with a spike through his feet in infancy. [Gk. Myth.: Benét, 730]

Oedipus

kills father in argument not knowing his identity. [Gk. Lit.: Oedipus Rex]

Oedipus

blinds self upon learning of his crimes. [Gk. Lit.: Oedipus Rex]
See: Remorse
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In his two chapters treating Balzac's novels, Laforgue discusses two different varieties of Balzac's oedipe. In Le Pere Goriot, he discusses the peculiar function of the sphinx, or enigma, as linked to Romantic symbolization and de-symbolization.
Of those left, placed form last time out is essential, so that's Room 101 for Oedipe and Verasi.
In 1781, after several years composing opera in Italy, Germany and England, he settled in Paris, where he completed four French operas--Renaud, Chimene, Dardanus and Oedipe a Colone (a fifth, Arvire et Evelina, was unfinished at his death).
Oedipe delivered an impressive performance at Kempton on Boxing Day, and he must play a big role if lining up for the Jewson Novices' Handicap Chase.
From Oedipe onwards, Voltaire proclaimed fidelity to absolutist culture in his tragedies, but in fact undermined it, and when in 1778 he was ostensibly crowned on the stage as the author of Irene, it was in reality for having defended Jean Calas.
It continued to capture the imagination of writers in the 20th century--particularly after Sigmund Freud chose the term Oedipus complex to designate a son's subconscious feeling of love toward his mother and jealousy and hate toward his father--as in Andre Gide's Oedipe and Jean Cocteau's La Machine infernale.
Well known among those of the first category were Antigone (1922; translated as 1962); Orphee (1926; translated as Orpheus, 1962); Oedipe - Roi (1928; translated as Oedipus Rex, 1962); La Machine infernale (1934; translated as The Infernal Machine, 1936), also on the Oedipal theme; Les Chevaliers de la Table Ronde (1937), drawn from Arthurian legend; and Bacchus (1951).
Good record Nicky Henderson, who runs Rajdhani Express, is the trainer to follow in the race having won it with Oedipe (2006), Boomshakalaka (2007) and Polyfast (2009).
NAOMI MATTHEW: 2.20 Kanad, 2.50 Donald Will Do, 3.20 Oedipe, 3.50 King Ar Aghaidh, 4.20 Jumbul Sale, 4.50 Another Storm.
Oedipe, well handicapped again, hinted of a revival at Sandown when staying on late behind Monkerhostin.