Oedipus Rex (Script)
Narration: The play begins with the city of Thebes suffering appallingly. After Oedipus freed the people from the plague brought on them by the presence of the dreadful sphinx some years ago, another deadly pestilence is raging all over the city. Now, a bevy of priests and citizens come to the royal palace to ask their king of what to do.
*people marching towards the palace and Oedipus coming out.. Oedipus: My people, what is this huddle in front my humble abode all about? This pleading, what frightens you? Priest1: King Oedipus, the sovereign of our land! You see, young and old, came here today to address our pitiful situation. Crops fail, and citizens are ravenous. People are dying including the unborn ones. Sooner, there will be nothing left in this place but corpse and dry land. Citizen: So, you our most respected King, we plead with you to find for us a cure! Oedipus: (clearing his throat) Everyone, calm down! I, as the king had already anticipated this dilemma. I sent Creon, my brother-in-law, to the oracle of the god Apollo to find out what can be done. When he comes, whatsoever he should tell me from the gods ─that I must follow to the end. Let’s just wait patiently for his arrival and we shall solve everything.
*people looking invigorated…
Servant: (Screaming) Creon has arrived!
Oedipus: Creon, my brother! Finally you’re back. What do you have for us? Speak out, to all! Creon: (bowing down) Here is what the god had said. (taking a deep breath) The assassin of the murdered man, Laius, the king before the rule of Oedipus is still in the city. Death for death! They should be banished! Only then, all of these will be over. *people whispering audibly
Oedipus: Where on this earth are they! Well then, let us begin the search for the long lost traces of the crime! I shall spearhead on searching and punishing them! So now, I order for anyone of you here, who knows something about the crime to speak out!
*everyone looking perplexed
Narration: Oedipus summoned Tiresias, the blind prophet, to help with the investigation. Tiresias: (bowing down) You ordered me to come, my king. What can I do for you? Oedipus: Great, Mystic Tiresias. The god Apollo has sent an answer to us saying: “there will be no deliverance from the plague unless we seek the Laius killers and punish them with death or banishment”. Now, do not begrudge the smallest hint or evidence you know. Save yourself, this city, and save me! You are our last refuge. Please speak for the truth! Tiresias: Anguish to be wise when wisdom is a loss! That old lore, I had forgotten. Now, excuse me but I should go. Oedipus: Shame! No true-born patriot would withhold anything from the prophecy! What kind are you of not telling us what you know!? Yes, you may be blind but I know that you’re feeling the grief of our state! Please!! Tiresias: I apologize for I should really go. Besides, truth will always prevail though I or any prophet will remain mute. Oedipus: You’re ridiculous! Refusing to tell the truth in front of the king, that makes you so suspicious. Aha! You! Tiresias, might have played a part in this crime! Tiresias: Accusing me of a crime I did not do! You’re being so autocratic! If truth you want to know, then here’s the only story I have! You, Oedipus the King, is the reason of all these! Yes, you people gathered here today hears it! Our king is the assassin of Laius! Oedipus: (with voice of anger) What an asinine thought you have Tiresias! Who do you think would believe that?! I suspect you, very much! Maybe… someone offered you a bribe to spit out such lies! (turning his head to creon) You, plot this with my hypocrite brother, did you!? You both want to overthrow me from this kingdom? Creon: What drove you to say such thing?! That’s impossible! I am innocent and have nothing to do with the crime and Tiresias! Oedipus: Your speech is unnecessary! (taking steps towards the people) My people, this man right here, my brother creon, is a fraud! He’s a threat to our kingdom for betraying me, us! I the king, speaking to all of you here today, declares a punishment of banishment or execution to my brother-in-law, creon!
*people hissing and Jocasta coming out of the palace…
Jocasta: This can’t be! No banishment or execution will happen! My brother, creon, is innocent!
*people nodding and murmuring
Oedipus: My decision is not to be discussed anymore! It’s final! Jocasta: My king, aren’t your words too sudden? Please come to think of it first! Don’t be overrated with the thoughts of seers and prophets. They’re not all real! Just like the prophecy about my first husband. (walking towards Oedipus) It was said that he would be killed by our own son in a triple crossroad, but a stranger did and our son was left to die in the alps, though the description of the place was right. Oedipus: So, do you mean to infer my wife that it should go through a process? Ok then, an investigation with witnesses and proofs, that I shall do. But I should concede that oracles have played a great part in my life though. I was prophesied that I would kill my father and marry my own mother ─the very reason why I left Corinth and never returned. (A messenger walking towards the king)
Oedipus: What is your arrival all about messenger, anything new? Messenger: Yes my king! I came here to announce that your father, King Polybus of Corinth, has died and is now in his grave Oedipus: What?! By treachery or sickness?
Messenger: He was beset with diseases brought by his old age. Oedipus: That news staggered me! Now, the prophecy I’ve been living my whole life seemed to blear. My father’s dead yet my mother’s still alive. (looking puzzled) Messenger: Don’t worry Oedipus, my King! The King and Queen of Corinth whom you used to know as parents were not really related to you! I, myself, was the one who brought you to the royal family as a gift. You were found and given to me by a shepherd in the alps.
*people in shocked reactions..
Jocasta: My King, please desert now the search for your origins. Let the past be forgotten and enjoy what’s in the present. Oedipus: You don’t know what you’re conferring about my queen! I should claw the stories about my birth! I should! Messenger: There! There my King is the shepherd who gave you to me (pointing to the shepherd who was in the crowd) Oedipus: Old man, this messenger here, I’m sure you know him. What do you know about me, your king?! Sheperd: (looking anxious while ogling at the King and Queen) I don’t have any clue of anything that messenger is blabbing about! Oedipus: Speak! Or I shall punish you with death!
Sheperd: (with sweat cascading on his head) I was ordered before to assassinate the son of King Laius and Queen Jocasta. But My conscience arose so I saved him and gave it to him (pointing to the messenger). Creon: This discussion has now come to a denouement (moving forward, closer to the crowd). Oedipus is the child of Laius, which makes Jocasta the mother! Oedipus: No! This is all just a delusion! It can’t be!
Messenger: All these, is in accordance to your prophecy! You can’t escape it!
*Jocasta looking perplexed ran out of the hall with sobs.
Oedipus: (stammering) Th..Th..This is not happening! (walking out) Narration: Queen Jocasta, due to great depression and despair ended her own life. Oedipus on the other hand, gouges out his eyes with such sobs, scowls and screams. The whole palace was filled with sorrow and melancholy. Oedipus: (with his eyes covered with a cloth) I now have faced my fate. So vile and vicious I am. Just grant me one small boon, I ask this not on my behalf, but of all! Creon: What is it?
Oedipus: Set me to some wilderness where no mortal voice shall greet me anymore. Creon: That’s what I believe I should do but I also should consider the sentiments of the gods. I shall consult this matter to them. Narration: Creon, after consulting an oracle, grants Oedipus’s request and banishes him from Thebes.