Voltaire (1694-1778) was a prolific French philosopher, historian, velist, poet, essayist--and popular playwright and opera librettist. Oedipus, produced in 1718, was his first drama, a recasting of Sophocles's play of the same name. Voltaire highlights the tension by introducing the character Philoctetes, a suitor of Queen Jocasta before she married Laius or Oedipus, and later a companion to Hercules. Philoctetes returns to Thebes, which is being punished by the gods because King Laius's murderer has t yet been punished--and becomes the chief suspect in the crime. Young King Oedipus is forced to investigate, but in the process reveals himself to be the killer--and uncovers the fact, previously unkwn to him, that Jocasta is t only his wife, but his mother! The ensuing scandal destroys his family, his world, and himself. A brilliant debut by one of the world's great writers!