Sophocles Questions and Answers

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Why have the citizens of Thebes come in supplication to their king?

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Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles (c. 497 – c. 406 B.C.) was first performed around 429 B.C. Although the events portrayed in Oedipus Rex occurred first chronologically, Oedipus Rex is the second of three plays written by Sophocles which center on the ancient Greek myth of Oedipus.

Antigone, chronologically the second play, was written first, in 441 B.C. , towards the beginning of Sophocles's playwriting career, and Oedipus at Colonus was written in 406 B.C., shortly before his death.

In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus is at a highpoint in his life. He saved Thebes from the tyranny of the Sphinx, was made King of Thebes, and was given the hand of the former Queen, Jocasta, in marriage. Since that time, Oedipus has had four children with Jocasta, two boys and two girls, and Thebes has been at peace.

At the opening of the play, a group of supplicants of all ages, as representatives of the Theban people, has gathered at the...

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