- a king of Thebes, the son of Laius and Jocasta, and the father by Jocasta of Eteocles, Polynices, Antigone, and Ismeme: as was prophesied at his birth, he unwittingly killed his father and married his mother and, in penance, blinded himself and went into exile.
Examples from the Web for oedipus
Probably John Gielgud's during the dress rehearsal of Peter Brook's production of Seneca's Oedipus at the Vic.Kevin Spacey on Casino Jack
December 14, 2010
The notion of intra-family sex has inspired—and revolted—onlookers from Oedipus to Deliverance.Incest's Defenders
September 28, 2009
Oedipus and Amyntor and Theseus cursed their children, and their curses took effect.Laws
Many and many an Oedipus arrives; he has the whole mystery teeming in his brain.Essays, Second Series
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Agamemnon, the Oedipus, the Bacchae are not to be explained wholly by them.The Legacy of Greece
He had fortunately, at that time, just finished his Oedipus at Colonos.
Remember that at your age one has need, like Oedipus, of an Egeria!The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard
- Greek myth the son of Laius and Jocasta, the king and queen of Thebes, who killed his father, being unaware of his identity, and unwittingly married his mother, by whom he had four children. When the truth was revealed, he put out his eyes and Jocasta killed herself
Word Origin and History for oedipus
son of Laius and Jocasta, the king and queen of Thebes, Greek, literally "swollen-foot," from oidan "to swell" (from PIE *oid-; see edema) + pous (genitive podos) "foot" (see foot (n.)). Oedipus complex (1910) coined by Freud. In Latin, figurative references to Oedipus generally referred to solving riddles. Oedipus effect (1957) is Karl Popper's term for "the self-fulfilling nature of prophecies or predictions."
In classical mythology, a tragic king who unknowingly killed his father and married his mother. The Delphic oracle predicted that King Laius of Thebes, a city in Greece, would be killed by his own son. To save himself, Laius ordered his newborn son placed on a mountaintop and left to starve. The infant was rescued by a shepherd and raised in a distant city, where he was given the name Oedipus. Years later, King Laius was killed while on a journey by a stranger with whom he quarreled. Oedipus arrived at Thebes shortly thereafter and saved the city from the ravages of the Sphinx. He was proclaimed king in Laius' stead, and he took the dead king's widow, Jocasta, as his own wife.
After several years a terrible plague struck Thebes. The Delphic oracle told Oedipus that to end the plague, he must find and punish the murderer of King Laius. In the course of his investigation, Oedipus discovered that he himself was the killer and that Laius had been his real father. He had therefore murdered his father and married his mother, Jocasta. In his despair at this discovery, Oedipus blinded himself.