Seven Against Thebes

Seven Against Thebes

The story of Seven Against Thebes is one of the plays that were written by the great tragedian Aeschylus. It is the story of the war the broke out after Oedipus was exiled from the city of Thebes, and his sons Eteocles and Polynices ascended to the throne. The two brothers had initially agreed to share the throne, and rule in an alternating fashion. However, when Eteocles' time finished and it was Polynices' turn to rule, Eteocles refused and exiled his brother.

Polynices went to Argos, where he raised an army that was led by seven leaders. These were Tydeus, Capaneus, Adrastus, Hippomedon, Parthenopeus, Amphiaraus, and Polynices himself. During the battle, they were confronted at the seven gates of Thebes by an equal number of defenders, whose names were Melanippus, Polyphontes, Megareus, Hyperbius, Actor, Lasthenes and Eteocles. Just before Eteocles confronted his brother at the seventh gate, he remembered his father's curse that the two brothers would divide the kingdom by the sword. With this in mind, Eteocles exited through the gate to confront his brother. In the following act of the play, a messenger appeared saying that the attackers had been repelled, and the bodies of the two brothers were brought on stage. The story ended there; however, Sophocles wrote the continuation of the story in his tragedy Antigone.

See Also: Oedipus, Eteocles, Polynices, Tydeus, Capaneus, Adrastus, Hippomedon, Amphiaraus, Melanippus, Megareus, Actor, Antigone

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