The theme of fate is alive before the play even begins. Jocasta and Laius discover that their son will be the killer of his own father and will then marry his mother. Attempting to alter the fate of the family, they try to kill their son. He does not die though; a shepherd finds the boy and gives him to a messenger. The baby is then given to the king and queen of Corinth. They name the baby Oedipus, meaning ?swollen feet.?
Many years later, Oedipus is told that he will kill his father and marry his mother. Upon hearing this, he flees from Corinth. In his travels he gets into a fight with a stranger and kills the man. Resuming his journey he arrives at a city called Thebes. Oedipus saves the city from a sphinx and marries the queen. The play starts here in Thebes with Oedipus as the king and the city his plagued once again.
Oedipus is awaiting the return of Creon who was sent to the Delphic Oracle to find out how to stop this epidemic. When he returns, he tells Oedipus that the killer of the previous king of Thebes must be found. King Oedipus seeks help from Teiresias who then tells him that he, Oedipus, is the killer. Oedipus is outraged and begins to point fingers at Creon and Teiresias for plotting against him. He believes that Creon wants to be King, but Creon explains to Oedipus that he has all the same privileges without any of the headaches, so he has no desire to be king. Oedipus? hubris is causing him to deny his own fate, and it is also shielding him from the truth.
Further into the play, a messenger comes to Oedipus and tells him that his father Polybus is...