Oedipus Rex

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Oedipus Rex Characters


Long before the play begins, Oedipus became king of Thebes by solving the riddle of the Sphinx. His sharp mind and quickness to action have made him an admired and successful leader. When the priests… (read full character analysis)


Brother of Jocasta. Whereas Oedipus is the charismatic leader who speaks openly in front of his people, Creon is more political and perhaps more scheming. Creon is offended and alarmed when Oedipus accuses him… (read full character analysis)


The blind prophet or seer. He knows that the terrible prophecy of Oedipus has already come true, but doesn't want to say what he knows. Only when Oedipus accuses him of treachery does Tiresias suggest… (read full character analysis)


Wife of Oedipus. Also, mother of Oedipus. When the play begins, she no longer believes in the prophecies of seers. She tries to convince Oedipus not to worry about what Tiresias says. As more… (read full character analysis)

The Chorus

In this play, the chorus represents the elder citizens of Thebes, reacting to the events of the play. The chorus speaks as one voice, or sometimes through the voice of its leader. It praises, damns… (read full character analysis)
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A Messenger

The messenger from Corinth informs Oedipus that King Polybus and Queen Merope of Corinth were not his actual parents. The messenger himself gave Oedipus as a baby to the Corinthian king and queen. He got… (read full character analysis)

A Shepherd

The former servant of King Laius who took pity on the baby Oedipus and spared his life. The shepherd was also an eyewitness to the death of King Laius. When Oedipus commands the shepherd to… (read full character analysis)
Minor Characters
A Priest
He comes to the royal house to tell Oedipus of the city's suffering and to ask Oedipus to save Thebes once more.
Daughter of Oedipus and half-sister of Oedipus. Still a small child in Oedipus Rex, Antigone appears at the end to bid farewell to her father. She is the main character of Sophocles's Antigone.
Daughter of Oedipus and half-sister of Oedipus. Like Antigone, Ismene is a small child and appears only at the end of the play when her father says goodbye to her.