Seven against Thebes Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe Laius' character.

Laius is the King of Thebes in the play Laius and Oedipus. He is Oedipus' father who injures Oedipus' feet and leaves him to die. Oedipus mistakenly kills Laius. The curse on the city of Thebes originates from Laius.

2. Why did the Oracle of Apollo punish Laius and what was his punishment?

The Oracle of Apollo punished Laius because he kidnapped, assaulted, and murdered the young son of his friend Pelops. As punishment, if Laius fathered any children the city of Thebes would be destroyed.

3. Describe Laius' reaction to the Oracle's foreshadowing of Oedipus' life. Was his reaction justified? Explain.

Laius injures Oedipus' feet and leaves him to die in the wilderness. Laius' reaction was unjustified because he made the mistake of fathering children after being warned by the Oracle of Apollo.

4. What is the importance of the Oracle of Apollo?

The Oracle of Apollo is a source of wisdom, much like a prophet. The Oracle can foresee events of individuals and/or places. Without the wisdom of the Oracle, Laius would not have known that Oedipus would one day kill him and marry his mother.

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