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Oedipus is the king of Thebes. He is renowned for his intelligence and his ability to solve riddles—he saved the city of Thebes and was made its king by solving the riddle of the Sphinx, the supernatural being that had held the city captive. However, Oedipus is stubbornly blind to the truth about himself- it becomes his downfall. As an infant he was taken from the house of Laius, and left in the mountains with his feet bound together. On his way to Thebes, he killed his biological father, not knowing who he was, and proceeded to marry Jocasta, his biological mother.

Jocasta is Oedipus’s wife and mother, and Creon’s sister. Her first words, were an attempt to make peace between Oedipus and Creon, pleading with Oedipus not to banish Creon. She is comforting to her husband and calmly tries to urge him to reject Tiresias’s terrifying prophecies as false. Jocasta solves the riddle of Oedipus’s identity before Oedipus does, and she expresses her love for her son and husband in her desire to protect him from this knowledge.

Creon is Jocasta's brother. He shares one third of Thebe's riches with Oedipus and Jocasta. Creon is a devout follower of the oracle of Apollo. Throughout the play he remains loyal to Oedipus despite accusations against him.

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