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Edipus and the sphynx. Options
Posted: Friday, July 30, 2010 4:36:12 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/4/2010
Posts: 45
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Location: Buenos Aires

I'd like to know what were the exact words pronounced by the sphynx when Edipus was standing in front of her.
I remember the sphynx asked Edipus to solve a dilemma. If I knew the play, then I'd have half a problem solved. But, on the one hand, Edipus is in plays by both Sofocles and Aeschilo. And on the other hand, the total number of plays with Edipus as a character is large. Any suggestion would be welcome. Thanks for reading.

Posted: Tuesday, August 03, 2010 3:39:57 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/13/2009
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Location: Canada
Hello, Enrique!

I believe what had to be solved was an enigma, not a dilemma. Sorry, just being picky.

Here is what wikipedia says:

wikipedia wrote:

The Riddle of the Sphinx

The Sphinx is said to have guarded the entrance to the Greek city of Thebes, and to have asked a riddle of travelers to allow them passage. The exact riddle asked by the Sphinx was not specified by early tellers of the stories, and was not standardized as the one given below until late in Greek history.

It was said in late lore that Hera or Ares sent the Sphinx from her Ethiopian homeland (the Greeks always remembered the foreign origin of the Sphinx) to Thebes in Greece where she asks all passersby the most famous riddle in history: "Which creature in the morning goes on four legs, at mid-day on two, and in the evening upon three, and the more legs it has, the weaker it be?" She strangled and devoured anyone unable to answer. Oedipus solved the riddle by answering: Man—who crawls on all fours as a baby, then walks on two feet as an adult, and then walks with a cane in old age. By some accounts (but much more rarely), there was a second riddle: "There are two sisters: one gives birth to the other and she, in turn, gives birth to the first." The answer is "day and night" (both words are feminine in Greek).

I'm not sure what play this could be in though, or what were the exact words in their original language, but I hope that helps!
Posted: Monday, August 09, 2010 8:12:09 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/4/2010
Posts: 45
Neurons: 135
Location: Buenos Aires
Sorry I took so much time to reply, but I've just discovered where in TFD I can find the threads I have originated. And thank you very much for your kind reply. I now remember to have read that somewhere (and long ago). Best wishes.
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