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 the baby from a Theban shepherd whom he met in the woods. Oedipus's ankles were pinned together at the time—in Greek, the name "Oedipus" means "swollen ankles."
A Messenger Quotes in Oedipus Rex
The Oedipus Rex quotes below are all either spoken by A Messenger or refer to A Messenger. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of Oedipus Rex published in 1982.
If you are the man he says you are, believe me you were born for pain.
Related Characters:A Shepherd (speaker), Oedipus, A Messenger
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Explanation and Analysis:
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The timeline below shows where the character A Messenger appears in Oedipus Rex. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Jocasta enters and makes an offering to Apollo to appease Oedipus's mind. Just then, a messenger—an old man—arrives from Corinth, with news that the people there want to make Oedipus their...
The messenger asks what Oedipus is afraid of. Oedipus tells him the prophecy—that he would kill his...
The messenger tells Oedipus that he (the messenger) came upon a baby on the side of Mount...
...the secret of his birth, no matter how common his origins. A shepherd approaches. The messenger confirms that it's the same man who gave him the baby. Oedipus and the messenger...
...to torture the shepherd does the shepherd admit that he gave the baby to the messenger. The shepherd then refuses to name the father and mother of the baby. Oedipus threatens...
...come to pass, Oedipus lets out a terrible cry and rushes into the palace. The messenger and shepherd exit.
The chorus and the messenger are struck with grief and pity. Oedipus enters, but they can't bear to look at...
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Lichtenstein, Jesse. "Oedipus Rex Characters: A Messenger." LitCharts. LitCharts LLC, 22 Jul 2013. Web. 17 Nov 2017.
Lichtenstein, Jesse. "Oedipus Rex Characters: A Messenger." LitCharts LLC, July 22, 2013. Retrieved November 17, 2017. http://www.litcharts.com/lit/oedipus-rex/characters/a-messenger.