Oedipus: Living a Freudian nightmare
Oedipus ( swollen-footed) was the son of Laios and Iokaste, king and queen of Thebes. Concerned over his long childlessness, Laios consulted the oracle of Delphi, which informed him that his lack of offspring was a blessing in disguise since any child born to him was destined to kill him. Laios giving no explanation to his wife, kept away from her bed, which caused her distress and sorrow. Thus aggravated, Iokaste got Laios drunk, slept with him and bore him a son later known as Oedipus.
Laios seized the baby from his nurse’s arms and gave him to a servant with orders to kill him far away from the city of Thebes. Some say that Laios himself pierced his newborn son’s ankles with two golden rings tying them together before giving him off to be exposed away on mount Kithairon at the sacred grove of Hera. Nevertheless, the servant pitying the baby, gave it to a Korinthians shepherd serving the royal couple of Korinthos. Childless, king Polyvos and queen Merope, rejoiced adopting Oedipous, who grew up thinking them his biological parents. Taunted by a drunk over his descent, Oedipus sought answers from Delphi only to be told that he was destined to kill his father and marry his own mother. Deeply disturbed by the news, Oedipus decided to abandon Korinthos heading instead towards Thebes. At a crossroads called Schisti he came across his biological father, Laios, who was on his way to Delphi seeking advice against the Sphinx, a winged monster, half woman and half lion, sent by Hera from the depths of Ethiopia to devastate the land. Fighting over the right of way, a ragging Oedipus killed Laios fulfilling the first part of the oracle.
Continuing his way towards Thebes, Oedipus encountered the Sphinx (sphingein = to grip or to tighten), who, sitting on mountain Fikion, stopped all travelers and imposed upon them a riddle which they were to solve, or die in her claws. The riddle was: “what is this creature with a single voice that in the morning walks on four legs, at noon on two, and in the evening on three.” Oedipus, still fresh from his father’s murder, had no difficulty responding that the creature was the human that early in life crawls on all fours, as an adult walks on two legs, and later on in life leans on a cane to keep going. As foretold, the minute the riddle was solved, the Sphinx jumped off the cliff and was killed relieving Thebes from the affliction. Once the deed became known, the people of Thebes appointed Oedipus king of Thebes giving him the widowed queen, Iokaste, for a wife completing thus the Delphic oracle. The tragic couple had four children: Eteocles, Polynikes, Antigone and Ismene.
Time went by when a terrible plague descended upon Thebes killing people by the hundreds. Oedipus, now king of Thebes, sought word from Delphi on how to end the curse. The response urged him to find and kill, or expel from Thebes Laios’ murderer. Oedipus, in tragic irony, pledged to find the killer, punish him, and end the plague. In the process of the investigation, the seer Teiresias revealed the bitter truth, however Oedipus was not convinced before an emissary from Korintos arrived to announce the death of king Polyvos and confirm Oedipus’ adoption. Utterly devastated, Iokaste hanged herself, while Oedipus using a brooch off her garment blinded those eyes that had failed him. This final action juxtaposes Oedipus to the seer Teiresias, who, although physically blind, maintained a clear view of the truth. Oedipus assisted by his daughter Antigone wandered about the world seeking to make sense of his horrible destiny. The long, woeful journey ended in the city of Athens, where in Kolonos and at the sanctuary of the Eumenides, Zeus eased him off his mortal existence as Oedipus transcended to a state of divine benevolence.
Cassandra: The prophet of bad tidings
Echo and Narcissus: A tale of love, lust and desperation
Cassandra, whose name became a synonym of prophet of bad tidings, was the fourth and most beautiful daughter of Priam, the king of Troy.
Eros and Psyche: Their separation led to the first love strike
Echo drama begins later when she falls in love with Narcissus, the handsome but vain son of the Nymph Liriope of Thespia. Echo would follow him everywhere longing to address him but would be unable to speak.
Harmonia's necklace: The goddess of harmony and unity
Psyche, whose name means soul in Greek was neither a goddess nor a divine creature of mythology. She was just a woman, but an extraordinary woman.
Icarus: The sky was not meant for men
Harmonia in Greek mythology is the goddess of harmony and unity, the exact opposite of Eris. She is the patron goddess of the love that unites all people, the embodiment of order and civic unity.
Icarus was the son of Daedalus, the most talented Athenian craftsman of his time.