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Word Count: 942
Summary Oedipus steps out of the royal palace of Thebes and is greeted by a procession of priests who are in turn surrounded by the impoverished and sorrowful citizens of Thebes The citizens carry branches wrapped in wool which they offer to the gods as gifts Thebes has been struck by a plague the citizens are dying and no one knows how to put an end to it Oedipus asks a priest why the citizens have gathered around the palace The priest responds that the city is dying and asks the king to save Thebes Oedipus replies that he sees and understands the terrible fate of Thebes and that no one is more sorrowful than he He has sent Creon his brother-in-law and fellow ruler to the Delphic oracle to find out how to stop the plague Just then Creon arrives and Oedipus asks what the oracle has said Creon asks Oedipus if he wants to hear the news in private but Oedipus insists that all the citizens hear Creon then tells what he has learned from the god Apollo who spoke through the oracle the murderer of Laius who ruled Thebes before Oedipus is in Thebes He must be driven out in order for the plague to end Creon goes on to tell the story of Laiuss murder On their way to consult an oracle Laius and all but one of his fellow travelers were killed by thieves Oedipus asks why the Thebans made no attempt to find the murderers and Creon reminds him that Thebes was then more concerned with the curse of the Sphinx Hearing this Oedipus resolves to solve the mystery of Laiuss murder The Chorus enters calling on the gods Apollo Athena and Artemis to save Thebes Apparently it has not heard Creons news about Laiuss murderer It bemoans the state of Thebes and finally invokes Dionysus whose mother was a Theban
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