Oedipus at Colonus (The Theban Plays, #2) by SophoclesThe latest title to join the acclaimed Greek Tragedy in New Translations series, Sophocles Oedipus at Colonus tells the story of the last day in the life of Oedipus. It was written at the end of the fifth century BCE in Athens, in the final years of the Golden Age of Athenian culture, and in the last year of Sophocles own life. At the center of the play is the mysterious transformation of Oedipus from an old and blind beggar, totally dependent on his daughters, to the man who rises from his seat and, without help, leads everyone to the place where he is destined to die. In the background of this transformation stands the grove of the Furies, the sacred place of the implacable goddesses who pursue the violators of blood relationships. Although Oedipus, who killed his father and married his mother, is an obvious target of the Furies vengeance, he enters their grove at the beginning of the play, sure that it is the resting place Apollo has predicted for him. The reversals and paradoxes in the play speak to the struggle that Oedipus life and the action of the play bring vividly before us: how do we as humans, subject to constant change, find stable ground on which to stand and define our moral lives? Sophocles offers his play as a witness to the remarkable human capacity to persevere in this struggle.
Oedipus at Colonus – Sophocles – Ancient Greece – Classical Literature
After a long period of wandering, the accursed and very old Oedipus , accompanied by his daughter Antigone , arrives at Colonus, a suburb of Athens and, poignantly, the birthplace of Sophocles. A villager approaches them and demands that they leave since they have trespassed on the sacred grove of the Eumenides the former Erinyes. It is a sign: Oedipus knows from a prophecy that this should be his final destination and his burial ground. So, he appeals to the Elders of Colonus to let him stay or, at least, to let their king Theseus decide on his fate. Oedipus curses his sons and asks the Elders of Colonus for protection. Theseus arrives, and he grants him precisely that, making him a citizen of Athens. Shortly after, Creon arrives from Thebes and starts blackmailing Oedipus : he has already taken Ismene captive and now forcibly seizes Antigone.
Oedipus at Colonus was the third play of the Oedipus trilogy written by the great Greek tragedian Sophocles c. Although written in the years prior to his death , it would finally be presented by his son Iophon at a dramatic competition in BCE. Oedipus at Colonus accounts for the final years of the fallen king, 20 years after his exile from Thebes. Blind, weak and dressed in rags, he accepted his fate and wandered from town to town as an outcast accompanied only by his young daughter Antigone. Arriving outside Athens at Colonus, he is befriended by the king of Athens, Theseus , who offers him protection. Oedipus speaks of a prophecy that says whatever city grants him sanctuary will be given special protection.
In Oedipus at Colonus, Sophocles dramatizes the end of the tragic hero's life and learn they have reached Colonus, a city near Athens, and are standing on with the news that Creon and Eteocles, Oedipus' son, want Oedipus to return to.
to kill a mockingbird effect on society
In the timeline of the plays, the events of Oedipus at Colonus occur after Oedipus Rex and before Antigone ; however, it was the last of Sophocles's three Theban plays to be written. The play describes the end of Oedipus 's tragic life. Legends differ as to the site of Oedipus's death; Sophocles set the place at Colonus , a village near Athens and also Sophocles's own birthplace, where the blinded Oedipus has come with his daughters Antigone and Ismene as suppliants of the Erinyes and of Theseus , the king of Athens. Led by Antigone, Oedipus enters the village of Colonus and sits down on a stone. They are approached by a villager, who demands that they leave, because that ground is sacred to the Furies , or Erinyes. Oedipus recognizes this as a sign, for when he received the prophecy that he would kill his father and marry his mother, Apollo also revealed to him that at the end of his life he would die at a place sacred to the Furies and be a blessing for the land in which he is buried. The chorus, consisting of old men from the village, enters and persuades Oedipus to leave the holy ground.