The power of a prophecy and the effects that come from the words of the messenger play a critical role in both Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus. In each scene, the predictions from the prophecies carry out the flow of the story while the message the messenger from Corinth carried puts all the pieces of the puzzle together.
In ancient time, people utterly believed in prescient properties of dreams and prophecy, including the King himself. Oedipus has two prophecies that he worries about: the prophecy that said the death of his father would be caused by him and the prophecy that said he would marry his mother. When the messenger tells the news that Polybus, Oedipus’ father, is dead, Oedipus concludes he should no longer bear the worrisome.
The quote, “But now, all those prophecies I feared-Polybus packs them off to sleep with him in hell!” (1061–1064) confirms his decision. Still, Oedipus is still in despair over the second prophecy, but the messenger prevails on him to curtail his worrisome when he informs that Polybus and Merope are not Oedipus’s biological parents. So far, the messenger carries news that is crucial to not only Oedipus but also the audience. Moreover, Jocasta kills herself and Oedipus then blinded himself when the messenger reveals that Oedipus unconsciously killed his biological father, Laius, and married his biological mother, Jocasta. He then puts his son in charge and asks to be cast out of the country. All these main events happened after the news came out from the messenger which proves that the words from the messenger are as important as the prophecies. Oedipus was exiled from Thebes, but when he’s is at the Colonus, his sons and Creon from Thebes try to take Oedipus back only because of a prophecy that said Oedipus’s burial place will bring lucks to the place. Creon merges into Colonus and the King Of Athens starts to get involved in their affair which might be because the King is genuinely kind or maybe because he also wants to take advantage of Oedipus’s death.
Every character in the play takes action either to follow the prophecies or prevent the prophecies. The messenger solves the mystery and the predictions from the prophecies give an outline for upcoming dramatic events. For that reason, they both are remarkably memorable and useful to the audience.