Oedipus Rex, a play by Sophocles, is a detective murder-mystery. It is the story of Liaus, a murdered king, and his sworn avenger, Oedipus. Oedipus, husband of Jocasta (Liaus's widow) is the current king of Thebes. The city is suffering under a terrible plague. Unsure of how to save his people, Oedipus sends a messenger, Creon, to Delphi. There, Creon consults the oracle of Apollo on how to save the city of Thebes.
When Creon brings the news from Delphi, Oedipus has the people listen with him. Here, Creon reveals that Liaus's murderer dwells in the city of Thebes. The plague, sent by the gods, will not subside until the killer is driven from the city. Upon hearing this, Oedipus declares himself the city's savior and Liaus's avenger. He vows not to rest until the murderer is driven from the city. Oedipus follows many steps to discover who the killer is.
First, Oedipus commands the citizens of Thebes to reveal any information they have on the murder. As an incentive, he offers amnesty to those who reveal information. He curses those who keep silent. Oedipus vows to punish all who withhold knowledge.
The king then sends for Creon to seek information about the assassination. '[Why,] with a king cut down like that, you did not seek the cause?' Creon replies that the Sphinx, a fierce creature, descended upon the city, allowing no opportunity to search for the truth. Survival, not vengeance, was the main focus of the people. Disappointed, but unyielding, Oedipus continues to pry. 'Was there ... no fellow traveler ...[who] might have helped you in your search?' Creon replies that the only survivor was a servant who returned unable to enlighten the people on the crime. All he could say was that...