Thebes II: Destruction

Incest, fratricide and patricideare central to the Theban myths explored in Athenian tragedy, particularly Sophocles’ Oedipus the King. Written during a plague at Athens, the play opens with plague at Thebes, which as Oedipus discovers, has been caused by his own unwitting murder of his father, Laius; he then marries and fathers children with his mother, Jocasta. This lecture explores the importance of the Oedipus myth at Athens; how it fits into the self-destructive and deviant myths which Athenian tragedy sets at Thebes, and how it still resonates for us, particularly after Freud wrote of it andused Oedipus’ quest for self-knowledge as an analogy for psychoanalysis. Copyright 2013 Rhiannon Evans / La Trobe University, all rights reserved. Contact for permissions.

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