Oedipus Rex Questions and Answers
by Sophocles

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In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus gives a practical set of reasons why he should seek out the murderer. List one of these reasons.

In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus desires to seek out the murderer of King Laius to end the deadly pestilence that is destroying Thebes. As king, Oedipus accepts the responsibility to protect and support the citizens, which influences him to discover and banish the murderer. Oedipus also desires to obey the gods and follow their instructions by exiling King Laius's murderer from the city. By avenging King Laius, Oedipus recognizes that he is also protecting himself from the murderer.

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At the beginning of the play, King Oedipus listens to the crowd of citizens lament about the terrible plague that has consumed Thebes. The priest refers to the plague as a "death surge" and informs Oedipus that crops cannot grow, herds of animals are sick, and children die unborn. The citizens petition Oedipus to find a remedy to end the destructive plague, and the priest reminds Oedipus to think about how his kingship will be remembered. In an effort to end the plague, King Oedipus sends his brother-in-law Creon to the oracle in hopes of discovering a solution. When Creon returns, he informs Oedipus that the gods demand that they expel King Laius's murderer from the land by either exile or death to end the plague.

After receiving Creon's message, Oedipus vows to find King Laius's murderer and gives a practical set of reasons for why he should conduct the investigation. The most practical reason for Oedipus to find and expel King Laius's murderer is to end the deadly plague and restore...

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