OEDIPUS AT COLONUS by Sophocles. At the end of his life, Sophocles turned once again to the subject of one of his most powerful tragedies, “Oedipus Rex” or . Title: Oedipus at Colonus Author: Sophocles (ca. B.C.) Translator: Murray, George Gilbert Aimé () Date of first publication. 1 Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus (Οἰδίπους they leave the sacred grove of the Eumenides, ἐπὶ Κολωνῷ) into which they have strayed. Recognizing that this.
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Seven Tragedies of Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus by Robin Bond (Trans) is licensed under a. Creative Commons Attribution International License. Oedipus at Colonus By Sophocles Translated by F. Storr. Dramatis Personae OEDIPUS, banished King of Thebes ANTIGONE, his daughter. ISMENE, his. Sophocles' “Oedipus At Colonus” - produced between BCE and BCE. Translated by G. Theodoridis.
Please tell us about any errors you have found in this book, or in the information on this page about this book. Where you were hiding! Something in my heart is telling me that the ordeal is over for those girls. Theseus I know one thing for certain. Stand where you are, my friend and from there, accept my thanks. Chorus A bit more this way.
The name "Creon" means merely "ruler," and that is what the Creon of legend always is; an official rather than a person; but the poets can give that colourless figure such character as it pleases them.
The aged poet is said to have lived at Colonus, and this play is full of a special love for the actual neighbourhood of his home and the little religious rites and local sanctities that were centred there. No other play that has come down to us shows this sort of feeling, though we may be reminded of Horace's feeling for his Sabine farm.
The sanctuary of the Eumenides, the grove where there is nearly always a nightingale, the two paths to the Theban border, the "brazen threshold" and the place midway between "the three-crested rock, the hollow pear-tree and the marble tomb," have by now become legendary; to Sophocles they were part of his home l. In an ancient Greek this love of the actual land and groves expressed itself naturally in local rituals of worship.
The lists of deities and rites which Sophocles delights in often seem conventional and formal to us. Yet perhaps they are merely the natural expression of that "pagan" state of mind which was always ready to "have sight of Proteus rising from the sea" and from the sight to create both a ritual and a legend. The same love of the land merges easily into a national patriotism of [Pg 14] the more ordinary sort.
There is great artistic skill in the lyrics in which Sophocles celebrates these homely places and worships, but many will feel that his full genius emerges most in those which deal with the impersonal and eternal subjects, old age and death. The particular part which the various choral lyrics play in the development of the drama will be treated in the notes. In front of the Grove, near the middle, a Rock in which a seat has been cut.
Enter from spectators' left OEDIPUS, now an old man, with beggar's dress and wallet and staff, his hair long and wild, his eye-sockets empty. The time is toward the close of day. Enter Chorus of Elders, in groups, searching.
Antigone stands before him. For this Apollo decreed that he must have no son himself; if he had, it would kill him and commit incest upon its mother, Jocasta. A son was born, and his parents exposed it to die on Mt. Kithairon, but a Corinthian shepherd found it and took it to Corinth, where it was named Oedipus and was reared as the son of the childless queen Merope and her husband Polybus.
Hearing a taunt that he was no true son of Polybus, Oedipus inquired at Delphi, and the oracle, not answering his question, told him he was doomed to kill his father and wed his mother.
Thinking this referred to Polybus and Merope, Oedipus fled away from Corinth. On his travel he was rudely struck and driven off the road by a stranger and in the ensuing fight killed him. Coming to Thebes Oedipus found the city in distress, ravaged by the riddling Sphinx. The king was lost, and Creon, as governor, offered the crown and the hand of Jocasta to any one who would deliver the city.
Oedipus faced the Sphinx, guessed her riddle, and accepted the prize.
Oedipus vows to find him, and in an unshrinking search, even when he sees where it is leading, proves that the murderer is he himself.
Jocasta kills herself; Oedipus puts out his eyes, so that he may never in the next life see his parents' faces. He begs to be cast out on the mountain to die as his parents had wished, but Creon refuses to do this till advice shall come from the oracle at Delphi. Later, apparently, he was cast out and would have died, had he not been tended by his daughter Antigone.
His kingdom was divided between his sons, Eteocles and Polynices. The grove of the Eumenides was specially sacred and "untrodden. Like them he is ancient and sad and craves for justice; and the oracle has foretold that in their shrine he shall find peace. It is a frequent ficelle in Menander's plays.
Here however it is treated as a cruel crime. In Egypt. This is one of three passages in which Sophocles seems clearly to be borrowing from the book, or the public readings, of his friend Herodotus. See Hdt.
The others are Electra 62, compared with the return of Zalmoxis in Hdt. Eteocles reigns first and refuses to resign at the end of the year. This somewhat awkward and elaborate argument is strictly in accord with the end of Oedipus Rex. Perhaps the extraordinarily moving prayer of Oedipus there, to be cast out to die on the mountains, could not be forgotten either by Sophocles or his audience. Otherwise it would have been much simpler to avoid the story of the change of mind.
Evidently Sophocles felt it necessary to emphasize strongly both the "untouchableness" of Oedipus and the heroic charity of Theseus. To an ancient audience Oedipus bore a twofold stain of kindred blood, having committed the greatest offence possible against both father and mother, and this produced a sentiment of religious horror which we cannot quite feel.
Thebes was a constant enemy of Athens.
This lyric, I think, is meant to suggest a fairly long space of time during which Oedipus has stayed in untroubled peace at Colonus, and further to show what a peaceful and heaven-protected place of rest he has at last found.
The Greek says merely "this well-horsed land"; but I think the meaning of the word is religious or mystical, like all the references in this ode. The story typifies, no doubt, the contest between the Pedieis , or the people of the plain, and the Paraloi , those of the sea.
The reference to the "young horses" as distinct from "the horses" is something to which we have no clue; the Olive is, of course, the sacred olive which the Persians burned but could not kill, when they destroyed the Acropolis in b. Observe what a good case Creon makes for himself. Even his later speech in ff. Oedipus is in extreme misery; his curse on Creon emphasizes it; but at least he is not in the power of his enemies. By ordinary Greek law Creon, as Antigone's uncle, is her natural guardian, her father being an exile without rights.
But he has no right to kidnap her on Attic territory. Over Oedipus he has no rights, at any rate now that Oedipus is accepted as an Athenian citizen.
This extremely respectful language towards Thebes herself is interesting. It suggests a political attitude: Battles in Greek tragedy must always be "off stage" and are usually described in a Messenger's speech. The finest example is the description of the Battle of Salamis in the Persae.
A lyric like this is hardly suitable for describing a battle, but can indicate the feelings and guesses of those who are left behind waiting for the result. For a much deeper and more tragic form of the same effect compare the prayers and terrified exclamations of the besieged women in Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes Be it inland etc. The Theban guards might have started by either of two roads, one through the hills by the pass of Daphne?
The Eumolpid family had certain hereditary duties in Eleusinian worship, and the "key," or bar, of silence was of course incumbent on all the initiated.
Rhea's birth: Poseidon was the son of Cronos and Rhea. Observe that in Sophocles there is no conflict between Poseidon and Athena.
Theseus does stand far off. The actual sound of Polynices' voice is pain to the blind man, as the voice of Creon was in l. Lyric on Old Age. Old age was like Love and Death, a conventional subject for gnomic poetry. It was a proud achievement for a homeless exile, like Polynices, to inspire such confidence that Adrastus was willing to give him his daughter's hand and the seven great chiefs to make common cause with him.
The list of the Seven is the same as in Aeschylus; in Euripides' Phoenissae the shadowy Eteoclus is omitted and Adrastus himself included. The lone Darkness from which we spring: Polynices' prayer for due funeral rites turns one's mind at once to the Antigone. A little later on l. Having heard the divine summons Oedipus is changed. It is like the change at l. He has, of course, no thought of forgiving his enemies or withdrawing his curse; his curse is part of his supernatural power; but he has turned to greater things.
From those five the true Thebans were descended. It is an inward feeling or sense of command. The "Lamp unlit" is of course the darkness that envelops the blind. Such darkness no longer affects him. This whole lyric has an echoing liturgical effect.
There too it is repeated twice. The infernal goddesses would perhaps be such as Persephone herself, Hecate, and certain avenging spirits. The rock of triple plume. Observe that though these local details are given so exactly, evidently from local tradition, the site of the actual grave is known to none. Perhaps Sophocles is combining two different traditions by making the place where Oedipus was translated different from the place where his body was ultimately laid.
Nothing is known of the pear tree or the marble tomb. The whole language here is more suited to the time of Sophocles than to the lifetime of Theseus himself.
However, note that many search engines truncate at a much shorter size, about characters. Your suggestion will be processed as soon as possible. He was an outstanding scholar of the language and culture of Ancient Greece, perhaps the leading a. After emigrating to Britain with his mother in , he became in , Professor of Greek at the University of Glasgow.
Murray is perhaps now best known for his verse translations of Greek drama, which were popular and prominent in their time. As a poet he was generally taken to be a follower of Swinburne; and had little sympathy from the modernist poets of the rising generation. The staging of Athenian drama in English did have its own cultural impact.
He had earlier experimented with his own prose dramas, without much success. He was one of the scholars associated with Jane Harrison in the myth-ritual school of mythography He was a lifelong supporter of the Liberal Party, lining up on the Irish Home Rule and non-imperialist sides of the splits in the party of the late nineteenth century. He supported temperance, and married into a prominent Liberal, aristocratic and temperance family, the Carlisles. For a brief period Murray became closely involved with the novelist H.
Murray is often identified as a humanist, typically with some qualification 'classical', 'scholarly', 'engaged', 'liberal'. He wrote and broadcast extensively on religion Greek, Stoic and Christian ; and wrote several books dealing with his version of humanism. Available Formats. This book is in the public domain in Canada, and is made available to you DRM-free.
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