The most famous riddle of all times is solved by Oedipus. When asked by the Sphinx what creature has only one voice and sometimes two legs, sometimes three, sometimes four, and is weaker the more legs it has, Oedipus answers, "man." The age of the Anthropocene has begun on a mythical level. The sphinx is dead. But now that the riddles are solved, the problems begin. Oedipus, who has just been prophesied to kill his father and marry his mother, is given dominion in Thebes as thanks for his triumph. An unprecedented decision by the city to give power to a stranger. At first, his "reasonable" reign seems to prove the citizen petition right. Under his rule, the city prospers. But unknowingly he slides deeper and deeper into his fate. With his mother Iokaste he begets four children: the sons Eteokles and Polyneikes and the daughters Antigone and Ismene. Then a plague epidemic breaks out in Thebes. This is the hour of the return of religion. Apollo, the priestess and the seer Teiresias strike back. The enlightened Oedipus leads the first circumstantial trial in world literature against himself. But in a final act of self-empowerment, he defends himself against the legacy of an absolute truth. In vain?
With "Oedipus" Sophocles has written a masterpiece of literary history. To this day, the tragedy inspires numerous reinterpretations of the power and truth complex to which a society is subject.
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