Shimmying down the list brought me to Sophocles. I started off with his Theban plays, being Antigone, Oedipus the King (or Rex), and Oedipus at Colonus.

Antigone picks up roughly where Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes left off. The sons of Oedipus have killed each other. [K|C]reon, Oedipus' brother-in-law/uncle ends up king. Antigone wants to bury both of hers brother properly but Kreon forbids such a burial for Polyneikes, the brother who attacked Thebes. Antigone does it anyway. Kreon has her killed. But, wacky twist, Kreon's son was in love with her and kills himself because he can't live without her. To top things off, Kreon's wife offs herself as well when she discovers that her husband's tyranny has caused so much death. It was counter-productive to say the least. Basically, the gods really like funeral rights. Kreon got in the way of what the gods want, so bad things had to happen to him. That's textbook Greek tragedy. On the bright side, at least the girl who is her father's sister didn't end up marrying her double-cousin.

Oedipus of Oedipus the King is probably the most famous character of Greek tragedy. Unfortunately, thanks to Freud, people have some pretty funny ideas about Oedipus' appetites. Oedipus doesn't actually want to kill his father and sleep with his mother. This just sort of happens because Apollo said so. This is unfortunate because Oedipus is generally a pretty awesome king who, before becoming king, saved Thebes from that damned Sphinx in a play that is sadly now lost. Rather, Freud argues that the continual retelling of Oedipus-related stories by the Greeks was a symptom of a Greek preoccupation with murdering one's father and fucking one's mother, a preoccupation that Oedipus himself did not share. He killed his father in self defense. The two did not recognize each other since Oedipus was abandoned as an infant. And he was abandoned because his parents heard Apollo's prophecy about what Oedipus would eventually do. Prophecy's a bitch like that, I guess. In fact, Oedipus is so appalled by what he has done that he gouges out his own eyes when he finds out. And he tries to have himself executed since he had vowed to bring the killer of the previous king, his father, to justice. His demand for execution is refused and he is later exiled. Now, I can't really fathom Freud's idea that some people are preoccupied with fucking their mothers. The father thing, however, makes sense at a lot of points in history. Generally, a prince can't become a king until his father is dead. And poor ancient Roman guys weren't even real adults until their fathers died. They had no role in politics and couldn't marry. I can easily see how being a 40-year-old unmarried "adolescent" could induce murderous rage.

Oedipus' exile is told in Oedipus at Colonus. The blind king is escorted by his daughter, that classy dame Antigone. In opposition to Oedipus insane sons, Antigone is the epitome of virtue. The plot of the play revolves around a whacky new prophecy: keeping Oedipus and eventually Oedipus' corpse would mean prosperity for Thebes. Now, when the Thebans change their minds about exiling Oedipus, he has already made it to Colonus, the Athenian equivalent of a suburb. And because the Thebans wouldn't execute him like he wanted and instead exiled him, Oedipus really doesn't give two fucks about what happens to them. As such, he refuses to go back. So Kreon kidnaps Antigone and Oedipus' other, less awesome, daughter. The king of Athens puts a stop to this nonsense. As repayment, Oedipus blesses Athens by immediately deciding to die near Athens but where no-one can ever find his corpse. Thus, Athens got all the prosperity and good luck and such that the gods told Thebes they could have. So if anyone asks why ancient Athens was great, don't say philosophy or democracy or math or any of that stuff. No, it's because they once helped out a blind dude. I'm not saying you shouldn't be nice to the blind; I'm just saying that there were likely other factors at play.