DRAMATIS PERSONAE ANTIGONE and ISMENE—daughters of Oedipus and sisters of Polyneices and Eteocles.
Ismene, sister of my blood and heart, See’st thou how Zeus would in our lives fulfill The weird of Oedipus, a world of woes!
Antigone, daughter of Oedipus, the late king of Thebes, in defiance of Creon who rules in his stead, resolves to bury her brother Polyneices, slain in his attack on Thebes.
But you by special summons I convened As my most trusted councilors; first, because I knew you loyal to Laius of old; Again, when Oedipus restored our State, Both while he ruled and when his rule was o’er, Ye still were constant to the royal line.
O Oedipus, by reckless pride undone!
Such is the policy by which I seek To serve the Commons and conformably I have proclaimed an edict as concerns The sons of Oedipus; Eteocles Who in his country’s battle fought and fell, The foremost champion—duly bury him With all observances and ceremonies That are the guerdon of the heroic dead.
O King, thy willful temper ails the State, For all our shrines and altars are profaned By what has filled the maw of dogs and crows, The flesh of Oedipus’ unburied son.
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Freud named a psychological disorder after mythical King Oedipus. Freud described an Oedipus complex as appearing in children between the age of three and five who are thought to want to sexually possess the parent of their opposite gender, and exclude the parent who shares their gender.
It would have required the penetration of Oedipus or the Sphinx to have divined the irony the count concealed beneath these words, apparently uttered with the greatest politeness.