Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

Section 3 Summary (lines 573-767)

Creon is upset by the accusations Oedipus made against him and a senator tries to diffuse the situation by saying that Oedipus only spoke out of anger. Oedipus assumes it must be Creon who is plotting against him because Oedipus knows that he himself did not kill Laius (he's wrong, of course.)

Oedipus stubbornly persists that Creon is his enemy, but Creon argues that he has no motive to be king since he enjoys all the pleasures of being royalty without having to shoulder any of the burdens. He also urges Oedipus to go to Delphi and verify that he's reported the message word for word—even offering his life if the oracle speaks otherwise.

Jocasta enters and asks what has transpired, and both Oedipus and Creon speak against one another. Here the Chorus interacts with the characters on a greater level than before, and beseeches Oedipus to show restraint toward Creon, to not be rash in his decision making. Jocasta again asks what's happened, and the Chorus is hesitant to take sides, so speaks ambiguously. The Chorus declares its confidence in Oedipus. Oedipus concedes to release Creon, but Creon says justice will come to Oedipus. The Chorus urges Jocasta to comfort Oedipus and ends by again asserting its confidence in Oedipus.

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