Oedipus der Tyrann - Plot

King Oedipus of Thebes consults the oracle to seek advice concerning the plague which has afflicted the city. He receives the answer that first the unexplained murder of the old King Laius must be expiated. The subsequently consulted seer Tiresias accuses Oedipus in dark and ambiguous words as being guilty of murder.

Oedipus in turn had previously been forced to leave his ducal family in Corinth because there a prophecy had been spoken which predicted that he would kill his father – who was assumed to be the Duke Polybos – and would marry his mother. He tells his worried wife – the queen and widow of Laius – of a battle on a journey through Greece in which his opponent, an older man, was killed.

When a messenger brings news of the death of Polybos and his wife, Oedipus and Jocasta are relieved as the curse appears to have been averted. However, when the messenger reveals that Oedipus was not the legitimate child of the royal couple but had been abandoned by a shepherd of King Laius of Thebes, first Jocasta and then Oedipus discover the real truth. Despite all attempts on the part of his natural parents and those affected by the curse, all events prophesised have inevitably come to pass. Jocasta hangs herself and Oedipus leaves Thebes after having blinded himself.[1]

 

(Oedipus: Norbert Schmittberg; Staatstheater Darmstadt 2006)
(Oedipus: Norbert Schmittberg; Staatstheater Darmstadt 2006)

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[1] www.egotrip.de/theater/0607/0607_Oidipus.html, Großes Haus des Staatstheaters Darmstadt, performance in December 2006  
Fig: Barbara Aumüller     

 

First performance

Plot