The power of a prophecy and the effects that come from the words of the messengers play a critical role in both Oedipus the King and the beginning of the Oedipus at Colonus. In every scene, the messengers put all the pieces of the puzzle together while the prophecy carries out the flow of the story. 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 will be caused by him and the prophecy that said he will sleep with his mother. When the messenger from Corinth tells the news that Polybus, Oedipus’ father, is dead, Oedipus concludes he should no longer worry about the prophecies. In the quote, “Polybus / packs off to sleep with him in hell!” (1062–1063), Oedipus clearly states that he no longer believes in prophecies. 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 his wife, are not Oedipus’s biological parents. So far, the messengers carry news that is crucial to both Oedipus and the audience. Moreover, Jocasta kills herself and Oedipus then blinded himself when the messenger reveals that Oedipus unknowingly killed his father and married his mother, Jocasta. All the main events happen after the news come out from the messengers which proves that the words from the messengers are as important as the prophecies. Oedipus was banished 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.
Oedipus has already done both events that the prophecies stated and every character in the play take action either to follow the prophecies or prevent the prophecies. The words from the messengers solve the mystery and the predictions from the prophecies foreshadow dramatic future events. For that reason, they both become memorable and useful to the audience.