What does Oedipus realize when Queen Jocasta, his wife, tells him where King Laius was killed?

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mperez-mugg21 | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

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In the story of Oedipus the King, Queen Jocasta and Oedipus discuss the prospect of Oedipus being the murderer of King Laius.  This discussion happens directly after Teiresias attempts to persuade Oedipus that he is the killer of Laius, and Oedipus in turn blames Creon for the murder due to this accusation.  Jocasta enters the scene to interject herself between her quarreling husband and brother and begins to question Oedipus about what has upset him.  Oedipus confesses that he has been accused of being a murderer and recounts his frustration with the accusation.  He then begins questioning Jocasta regarding the details surrounding Laius' death.  She tells him that Laius was killed by a group of highway robbers and describes the very intersection where Laius was murdered.  At this point in the story, Oedipus discovers that King Laius was murdered near a spot that he traveled through during the same time period.  Because Oedipus is familiar with the crossroads he recounts a story about traveling through the area on his way from Corinth and having a conflict with a group of men traveling on the same road.  The conflict results in Oedipus killing all of the men on his way to Thebes.  It is at this point that Oedipus begins to consider the possibility that he is in fact the murderer of Laius, but he concludes that he must hold onto hope until the lone surviving messenger can confirm Jocasta's story. 

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