Oedipus Rex Detailed Summary

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Oedipus Rex Detailed Summary Part Two:

The leader of a tribe asks Oedipus to seek help from Tiresias, the seer. Oedipus is probing the clues leading to the death of Laius. Tiresias is seen coming. Oedipus requests him to save the Theban nation:

Greatness: save me; save all that yet doth groan
Under the dead man’s wrong!”

Tiresias says that he knows it of since long but it is not useful knowledge. It is neither in his benefit nor in the benefit of Oedipus to probe the murderer. But Oedipus insists while the seer, Tiresias, declines. In a fit of anger, Oedipus accuses the seer of murder. Upon this, he curses Oedipus but Oedipus won’t listen to him; he wants to know of the murderer. Tiresias finally tells him that Oedipus himself is the killer: “Thou seek’st this man of blood: Thyself art he”. He also tells Oedipus the painful fact of his existence that he, the king of Thebes, is living in shame:

“Thou livest with those near to thee in shame
Most deadly, seeing not thyself nor them.”

Oedipus does not stop at this. He keeps on irritating and instigating the seer. Oedipus also blames Creon to be conspired with the seer against Oedipus:

“Creon mine own Comrade, comes creeping in the dark to ban And slay me; sending first this magic-man And schemer, this false beggar-priest, whose eye Is bright for gold and blind for prophecy?”

Tiresias is in a rage:

“I am blind, and thou
Hast mocked my blindness. Yea, I will speak now.”

He tells Oedipus that he is bound to be damned forever. Oedipus calls him blind and fool. Tiresias opens up completely and says: “The two who gave thee birth, they held me wise”. Oedipus is now startled. He wants to know of his whereabouts. He further tells him that “This day shall give thee birth and blot thee out”. Tiresias finally tells him that soon enough people shall call him:

“Behold the brother-father of his own
Children, the seed, the sower and the sown,
Shame to his mother’s blood, and to his sire
Son, murderer, incest-worker”.

Then, there is Chorus guessing and vaguely discussing who and where could be the possible murderer of the king Laius. After Chorus disappears, Creon is complaining to the Leader and others about the accusations cast by Oedipus. Oedipus is still certain that Creon is plotting against him while Creon is furious and dismayed over ill-judgment by Oedipus:

“The man who thinks that bitter pride alone
Can guide him, without thought-his mind is sick.”

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