Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

Section 6 Summary (lines 1215-1350)

The old shepherd is now before them and Oedipus begins to question him. The messenger recognizes the shepherd and tells him that Oedipus is the same baby he gave to the messenger, though the shepherd becomes visibly disturbed by this admission and does not wish to speak about it further until Oedipus threatens him. It is only then that the shepherd reveals that the child he gave to the messenger was the son of Laius and Jocasta, and says the wife of Laius would know even more, since it was she who gave the baby to him in an attempt to foil the prophecy.

Oedipus asks the shepherd why he spared the baby (Oedipus) and the shepherd says he did it out of pity. Oedipus at last realizes what he most feared is true. Understanding at last whom he really is and the implications of his actions, he cries out that he is cursed and rushes off the stage.

The Chorus bemoans Oedipus's fate and the lives of all men before highlighting the most terrible parts of Oedipus's life. This section ends with the Chorus expressing how tragic these events are (and how the Chorus is affected by them.)

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