——— A WEB WEAVING OF ERIC CHAPMAN AND ANTIGONE FUNN, WOODEN OVERCOATS
i. wooden overcoats, david k barnes / the sweet taste of death, beth anderson / and where were you that summer, francisca matos / the cinnamon peeler, michael ondaatje /
ii. david k barnes (2) / antigone, sophocles / the year winter became floral, cyanide skies / sophocles (2)
iii. david k barnes (3) / the asylum for wayward girls, emilie autumn / funeral parade of roses, toshio matsumoto / invisible monsters, chuck palahniuk / citrus szn, sophia rose / dialogues on love #4, sue zhao
iv. beth anderson (2) / david k barnes (4) / intimacy, angelica alzona / lee reum / david k barnes (5) / beth anderson (3)
v. the seven husbands of evelyn hugo, taylor jenkins reid / antigone, jean anoulih / david k barnes (6) / movie matinee, victoria crayhon / the affliction, marie howe
vi. david k barnes (7) / tumblr, nonblooming / aquarian odyssey: a photographic trip into the sixties, don snyder / king and lionheart, of monsters and men / david k barnes (8)
The Life and Death of Oedipus.
Oedipus...what a prick.
So anyway, Oedipus (pronounced Ee-dip-us btw) was abandoned by his irl mummy and daddy, the king and queen of Thebes, bc there was this mad curse on him where the Oracle of Delphi said ‘you’re gonna mash up your dad and pound your mum xoxoxo’ and the parents were like ‘ew wtf’ so they left him with a shepherd to put him on a mountain when Oedipus was just a wee little baby. (Fun fact Oedipus got his name because his feet were pinned together when he was abandoned and forever walked with a limp, his name in Ancient Greek literally means ‘Swollen-Foot’).
Turns out this shepherd had a huge hero complex and was all like ‘nah this baby cute af let’s give it to someone else to save it’ and gave it to the king and queen of another city state. The ‘distant city of Corinth’ to be exact. Oedipus grew up in Corinth with his adopted parents fully believing they were his real mummy and dada and they didn’t have the heart to tell the poor lad, he was already battling his foot fungus or whatever was going on with his feet since they unpinned them.
So Chinese whispers comes round, y’know the good ol gossip train, and Oedipus is like ‘what do you mean there’s a curse on me?’ And he runs to his parents like ‘wtf, a curse???’
Parents are all like: ‘yes, totally legit son of our, basically you’re supposedly gonna fuck your mother and kill your father’ and Oedipus is like ‘who tf are you to tell me what to do? I’m Oedipus Ebony Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way, and I do whatever tf I want’ and struts off. He’s kinda gone mad about it and before his adopted parents can actually tell him he’s adopted he runs off to avoid fulfilling the curse. Oopsidaisy.
Oedipus, while on his travels round the block, sees some absolute Chad in a chariot run past him and get mud on his clothes. Oedipus is all like ‘uh wtf who the hell are you?’ and is like, omg what if I kill this guy for shits and giggles?? Stop I’m such a crackhead. In his crackhead energy he kills the mega Chad and carries on with his life— now remember this the mega Chad comes up later.
So, on mandem's travels he comes across Thebes and he's all like 'wow this place is so cool', but the people that actually live in Thebes are like 'no it's not lmao'.
Turns out some milf Sphinx with mad mummy milkers is sucking Thebes dry because no one can solve her riddle. If you can solve her riddle she would let you go, but since no one can think over the sound of her cacophonous cheek claps no one can come up with the answer. Instead if you can't answer it she literally eats you. Gobbles you up. So far no one had cracked the case, or were too pussy to try.
Oedipus is like I'm super smart and funny and clever I could work out her riddle. He goes up to her and is all acting hard but she isn't having it and is like are you gonna solve the riddle or what? I'm trying to girlboss rn and you're kind of in the way.' He's kind of miffed and he's like 'well your pussy stink anyways soooo', and starts to try to think of an answer to her riddle. She constantly makes fun of Oedipus the clown by repeating her riddle, 'What goes on four feet in the morning, two feet at noon, and three feet in the evening?' Eventually our egghead Oedipus comes up with the answer: A human being. A person as a baby in the morning of their life crawls on 'four feet' (hands and knees), then as an adult in the noon of their life, they walk on two feet, but when they are old, in the evening of their life, they walk with a cane, on 'three feet'.
When Oedipus answered the riddle correctly, the Sphinx was so upset that she fainted, like that Karen that had a meltdown in the Victoria Secret.
So, crisis averted, Oedipus went back into Thebes. And he was so annoying. Like all the parties people were throwing because the Sphinx is dead, people were whispering like 'bro don't invite Oedipus, nah man because he won't stfu about the fact he solved the riddle when no one else could. Dick.' After an absolute mashup, everyone was steaming and they made Oedipus their new king.
How could they do this if they already had a king and queen? King Laius and queen Jocasta, to be precise. Well, King Laius was killed recently so Jocasta was a 'hot widowed milf (literally but that comes later) in your area' kinda deal and she got married to Oedipus. They also banged, and you're sat there thinking 'wtf why would you add that', but it's important just wait.
Everyone started to love Oedipus and he was like 'life doesn't get much sweeter fam, kill your dad and fuck your mum my arse. I'm living my best life while my parents are still in Corinth.' Little did the poor bastard know...
So y'know that mega Chad I was telling you to remember. Yeah, that was King Laius. And to make matters worse a fucking plague came over Thebes and the Oracle of Delphi said it would only stop when king Laius' killer was found. Oedipus, unaware it was literally him, puts all his best men and loads of money into finding the killer. This is where Oedipus' arrogance comes into play. He is so metaphorically blind to his own prophecy (that he will shag his mum and kill his dad) that he brings about his own downfall and literal blindness.
Eventually dummy Oedipus, our own hubristic boi, realises that man he killed was Laius, Jocasta's ex-husband. Coincidentally, Jocasta tells Oedipus about her baby son that same night. She tells him 'how weird it is you have pin shaped marks on your feet because my baby's feet were pinned together. And the exact same birthday as my dead baby! Plus your name is Oedipus, and that's what me and Laius called our kid too! Actually you have the same eye colour as my baby too... small world isn't it ahaha! You can't be him though because we abandoned him to a shepherd since there was a prophecy he would kill Laius and fuck me.'
Oedipus, trembling and shitting himself, 'ahaha yeah that's so weird. Imagine if you were my mum lol uhm, would you excuse me?'
Finally our arsehole Oedipussy realises that even though after all this time he was running from his prophecy, he was really fulfilling it. So not only has he pumped his mum (see why I included the fact they banged? yeah) but also killed his dad, and not even just his dad, but the previous king. Who's killer has a bounty on their head. This is a classic case of peripeteia, the Ancient Greek word for “reversal”, it simply means the reversal of the protagonist's fortunes from good to bad, often because of his own arrogance (hubris: the pride that goes before the fall).
((tw mentions of Jocasta's offing herself and Oedipus' specsavers incident. Just gross stuff lol, but it's Ancient Greece what do you expect?))
Obviously Oedipus gives himself up and the people are like 'ew mandem, we thought you were cool. Kind of a stuck up arsehole, but a fair king nonetheless. That's super gross man.' Jocasta, so distraught that she has had sex with her own son and that he killed her husband, actually kills herself rather than deal with the shame. Oedipus, though, the self interested bastard is like 'omg guys I just lost my mum and my wife and lover in the same day, you can't kill me'.
Fr though, he's actually really distressed by the news, but the people need him to answer for his crimes (killing Laius) so they can end the plague (by bringing him to justice as the Oracle predicted they should do). So, Oedipus bargains that living a life suffering in exile is ten times worse than just a simple death. So, being subtle, he fucking physically blinded himself by poking out his eyes with the long gold pins from his dead wife's brooches.
(Fun fact time, it's said he did this because of his shame of seeing Jocasta naked and the brooches were used to keep the gown on the woman's body.) (Also, coming back to that point of symbolism, especially in Sophocles' retelling of Oedipus Rex, Oedipus blinds himself as a symbol of self-realisation and insight. It is an irony because he chooses to be physically blind after seeing everything he has done. He realises that he was figuratively blind throughout the play, therefore he punishes himself by literally blinding himself.)
Now there's no happy ending for our boy Oedipus. He went from zero to hero to mommy? sorry. mommy? sorry. mommy? literally in about three minutes. What a whiplash. In the end he does fulfil his exile, leaving his brother-in-law Creon as king of Thebes. Bare in mind in Ancient Greece if you have been exiled then you have all your human rights stripped from you-- not even being dramatic, they're literally taken away and you have less rights then a slave or a prisoner.
So he dies, like all must. His final resting place is Colonus near Athens, where he was swallowed into the earth and became a guardian hero of the land.
'Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud chose the term Oedipus complex to designate a son’s feeling of love toward his mother and of jealousy and hate toward his father, although those were not emotions that motivated Oedipus’s actions or determined his character in any ancient version of the story.' -- Britannica. So you have Oedipus to thank when your therapists suggests you secretly want to fuck your mum.
And there you have it. The life, exile, and death of Oedipus. The king.