Extract from the book Oedipus :
“Ah, Zeus, you are a tyrant. You have no pity upon Man. First you create him, then you fill his life with trials and tribulations.” If the great poet Homer uses these harsh words to take the lord of gods and men to task for the sufferings of Odysseus, what words will suffice to tell of the fate the gods reserved for Oedipus, when they cast him into the blackest depths of misery and misfortune? The destiny of Oedipus was fixed before he even came into the world. His father, Laius, was burdened with a dreadful curse. Welcomed as a guest by Pelops, king of Pisa, he had behaved so vilely towards his handsome son Chrysippus that the young man killed himself for shame. Wild with grief that could not be consoled, his father had cried out: “Son of Labdacus, it is you who killed my boy, and so I give you both my wish and my curse, too. My wish is that you never bear a son to know the pain of losing him—but if you do, may you be cursed to meet death at your own son’s hand!” Laius paid little heed to Pelops’ bitter words. He went back home to Thebes and in time inherited the throne of his father, Labdacus. Yet a day would come when he would pay a heavy price for having abused that hospitality so foully. Not only would he pay in person, but all the clan of Labdacus in their turn, and the innocent Oedipus most dearly of them all…
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