Since he and his wife Merope were childless they adopted the child, naming him Oedipus swollen-footeda result of the cords with which his feet had been bound. Oedipus name is a direct reference to the fact that he was left on the side of a mountainside with his ankles pinned together; that injury symbolizes how his movements within destiny have been restricted since his birth.
The people of Thebes watched as their noble hero transformed into a tyrant.
It seems probable that Sophocles knew many or most of these men personally; it is certain that he was loved and esteemed as a man and artist by his polis city state Athens. Like most good Athenians, Sophocles was involved with the political and military affairs of Athenian democracy.
Sophocles hoped to fill the gap that existed in Greek literature, and more so on the myths and legends that defined the Theben society. The play that Sophocles presents is merely the very end of a long story, and some plot background must be provided to make the story understandable for modern audiences.
The Chorus warns the audience that mortal men must always look to their endings, and not suppose that they are happy until they die happy.