American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Greek Mythology A son of Oedipus and Jocasta who agreed to reign in Thebes in alternating years with his brother, Polynices, but refused to resign after the first year.
“These two sons, according to one tradition, were twins: but the more usual view is that the elder was called Eteocles, the younger, Polynices.”
“The proud, dauntless, and warlike spirit of Eteocles which is designed and drawn with inconceivable power, is beautifully characterized in his reply to the above description:”
“A mythic narrative whose classic statement is found in the play by Aeschylus (467 BC) concerning the battle between the Seven led by Polynices, traditional Theban enemies, and the army of Thebes headed by Eteocles and his supporters.”
“Before the beginning of the play's action, Eteocles and Polynices, two brothers leading opposite sides in Thebes 'civil war, died fighting each other for the throne.”
“Creon, the new ruler of Thebes, has declared that Eteocles will be honored and Polynices disgraced.”
“Eteocles seems almost to relish the inevitable, mutual destruction.”
“When criticized for repeating himself, he substituted Eteocles and Polyneices for Cain and Abel.”
“I did not know the whereabouts of the fifth Ubar, Eteocles.”
“Sphinx's riddle, and so he became king of this land and received its sceptre as his prize, and married his mother, all unwitting, luckless wretch! nor did I his mother know that I was wedded to my son; and I bore him two sons, Eteocles and the hero Polyneices, and two daughters as well; the one her father called Ismene, the other, which was the elder, I named”
“Others hailed Eteocles: "Now art thou fighting for thy city; now, if victorious, thou hast the sceptre in thy power.”
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