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Oedious as a Statement of Hope in Oedipus at Colonus

Uploaded by ayedavnita on Jan 31, 2001

Outline
I. Oedipus’ decency
i. To daughters
ii. To sons
II. Appearance
i. Characteristics
ii. Clothing
iii. Blinded
iv. Confident
III. Sufferings
i. Murder of father/wed mother
ii. Betrayed by sons
iii. Exiled
iv. Blinded/beggar
IV. Divinity
i. Prays to gods who are to punish him
ii. Chooses place of death
V. Effect
i. On Theseus
ii. On man

Essay
The Greek tragedy Oedipus at Colonus was written by the great and renowned Greek playwright Sophocles at around 404 B.C. or so. In the play, considered to be one of the best Greek dramas ever written, Sophocles uses the now broken down and old Oedipus as a statement of hope for man. As Oedipus was royalty and honor before his exile from his kingdom of Thebes he is brought down to a poor, blind old man who wonders, “Who will receive the wandering Oedipus today?” (Sophocles 283) most of the time of his life that is now as low as a peasant’s. Although former ruler of Thebes has been blinded and desecrated to the point where he is a beggar, he will not give up on his life and on the life of his two daughters Antigone and Ismene, and his two sons Eteocles and Polynieces who were supposed to help their sorrowful father like true sons and true men but instead they “tend the hearth like girls.”(304). Yet Oedipus still gives praise to those who have helped him, his daughters Antigone and Ismene, although he has no sight, is poor, and his life is of no meaning to him, he recognizes honor and loyalty when he sees it:

“Antigone from the time she left her childhood behind and came
into full strength, has volunteered for grief, wandering with me,
leading the old misery, hungry…Hard labor, but you endured it all,
never a second though for home, a decent life, so long as your father
had some care and comfort. And you, child, in the early days, all
unknown to Thebes you left the city, brought your father the oracles,
and prophecy said to touch his life. You were my faithful guard, you
took that part when I was an exile from the land…” (304).

It would be hard to think of any suffering more overwhelming than the suffering that was endured by Oedipus:

“At the summit of his power he discovered himself damned,
by his own pertinacity [stubborn persistence] discovered that
he had horribly offended against the...

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Uploaded by:   ayedavnita

Date:   01/31/2001

Category:   Literature

Length:   10 pages (2,153 words)

Views:   1418

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