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Why did the lone surviving slave of Laius's party plead with Jocasta to leave Thebes...

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hco | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 13, 2010 at 9:02 AM via web

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Why did the lone surviving slave of Laius's party plead with Jocasta to leave Thebes when he saw Oedipus on the throne in Oedipus Rex?

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lizbv | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted April 14, 2010 at 2:30 AM (Answer #1)

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Laius' sole surviving slave (now working as a farmer) begged to be allowed to leave when he realized who Oedipus was, specifically, Laius' murderer.  Oedipus in his arrogance has sworn that he will rid the city of Thebes of its plague by finding the murderer of Laius, not realizing that he is the one who killed Laius, nor realizing that he is in fact Laius' son, destined at birth to kill his father and marry his mother Jocasta (which he did).  Jocasta is trying to learn more about her late husband's death and so interrogates the slave for information, yet the slave fears Oedipus' anger if he should tell him the truth.  Therefore, he sees leaving Thebes a safer option than telling him who the murderer is.

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