In Oedipus Rex, according to Ode 1, which god will inevitably punish the murderer of Laius?

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Susan Woodward eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although Athene, Artemis, and Apollo are called upon in this Ode to help the people of Thebes, it is ultimately Zeus who is called upon to slay the murderer of King Laius.

Father Zeus, whose hand
Doth wield the lightning brand,
Slay him beneath thy levin bold, we pray,
Slay him, O slay!

King Laius had been killed at a crossroads when he and Oedipus met and each refused to give the right of way on the road to the other.  Odepius killed Laius and then arrived in Thebes.  He was ultimately was given the crown of Thebes and the widowed queen as his wife when he solved the riddle of the Sphinx.  Oedipus did not know the man he killed was the king, not did he know that Laius was his biological father, and the woman he married, Jocasta, was his biological mother.

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Oedipus Rex

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