Oedipus Rex

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Oedipus Character Analysis

Long before the play begins, Oedipus became king of Thebes by solving the riddle of the Sphinx. His sharp mind and quickness to action have made him an admired and successful leader. When the priests come to petition him after a plague strikes the city, he has already set into motion two plans to deal with the city's crisis. Throughout the play, he makes decisions boldly and quickly, if not always wisely. In his attempts to discover the truth about the murder of Laius, he falsely accuses Creon and Tiresias of treachery, and even forces the reluctant shepherd to tell his story, which publicly reveals Oedipus to be the murderer and husband of his own mother. The same leadership skills that have brought him fame and success—decisive action, a desire to solve mysteries using his intellect—drive him to his own destruction.

Oedipus Quotes in Oedipus Rex

The Oedipus Rex quotes below are all either spoken by Oedipus or refer to Oedipus. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Fate vs. Free Will Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of Oedipus Rex published in 1982.
Lines 1-340 Quotes
Here I am myself—
you all know me, the world knows my fame:
I am Oedipus.
Related Characters: Oedipus (speaker)
Page Number: 7-9
Explanation and Analysis:

In the play’s opening lines, Oedipus introduces himself with this flourishing pronouncement. He accentuates how all those he speaks to would already know of him.

Oedipus’s language is a somewhat jesting take on a traditional character introduction. First he declines to give his name, saying just “I am myself,” which stresses the singularity and importance of his identity. Then, saying “you all know me,” he establishes that this “myself” needs no introduction for the priests in his attendance. When he qualifies this point saying, “the world knows my fame,” he expands his notoriety beyond just the immediate group to refer to a more universal renown. Only at the end of the passage does he finally speak his name, implying that it is relatively less important than the social identity constructed through his prestige. Sophocles immediately establishes the fact that Oedipus is already a celebrated hero: this tragedy will tell not of his epic ascent but rather of his tragic fall. These lines also have a second layer of significance directed toward the audience: at Sophocles’ time, Greek citizens would have been well acquainted with Oedipus’s story, so when Oedipus says “you all know me,” he is referring to both characters in the play and real viewers outside of it. Though modern readers or theater-goers come to the story of Oedipus primarily through Sophocles’ work, the myth was already an important part of Greek culture and mythology by the time Sophocles was writing. This fact is important to keep in mind when analyzing how Sophocles designs the dramatic action: the actual conclusion of Oedipus’s story would already be known for a Greek audience, and thus the merit of the play came from how it could best treat the tension leading up to that realization.

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Now my curse on the murderer. Whoever he is,
a lone man unknown in his crime
or one among many, let that man drag out
his life in agony, step by painful step—
Related Characters: Oedipus (speaker)
Page Number: 280-283
Explanation and Analysis:

Having learned that the plague is a punishment for the murder of Laius, Oedipus here condemns the killer. He spitefully demands that his life be drawn out in extended pain rather than lived freely or ended quickly.

For an audience familiar with the Oedipus story, these lines unwittingly predict the tragic hero’s fate. Oedipus highlights how the actual identity of the murderer does not matter to him, whether he has committed many crimes before or whether this is his first. The phrase “unknown in his crime” implies that the murderer may not even be aware of what he has done, which is the precise situation in which Oedipus finds himself. That Oedipus’s curse demands he “drag out his life in agony” speaks to a certain type of vengeful cruelty: the victim is not supposed to merely receive punishment or death, but rather experience a torturous decline (as Oedipus himself will).

This passage brings up a point of much contention in analyses of this play: does Oedipus bring his fate upon himself? Here, the protagonist seems to have cursed himself and demanded his own torturous death—which would make the play’s plot his own fault. In this case, Oedipus is not just at the whims of destiny and the gods, but rather lives a tragic life due to human action and free will. The tension between these two poles—fate and human agency—remains a central problem to the play, and it begins already in this famous curse.

Lines 341-708 Quotes
Just send me home. You bear your burdens,
I'll bear mine. It's better that way,
please believe me.
Related Characters: Tiresias (speaker), Oedipus
Page Number: 364-366
Explanation and Analysis:

Tiresias comes to Oedipus to offer counsel on the plague. But when asked to share his wisdom, Tiresias asks to be allowed to depart without any comment.

As with the earlier scene, Oedipus here seems to bring his fate upon himself. By pressing Tiresias to tell him about the murderer of Laius, Oedipus is actively pursuing his own demise. Sophocles thus presents a division between the information held by prophets like Tiresias and its assimilation into the populace: his foresight seems to only come true when it is at last vocalized to Oedipus—for at that point it will become self-fulfilling prophecy. The text also implicitly cautions against the hubris of pursuing knowledge beyond one’s range of understanding, for Oedipus's tragic action is not so much the murder itself but rather his insistent wish to know the truth instead of just to “bear your burdens” in silence.

Furthermore, Tiresias seems capable of resisting this fate. He knows Oedipus’s true identity, but actively resists telling him of it—he acts, not like an oracle who would simply freely convey information. Sophocles thus makes Tiresias a character halfway between the divine and mortal realms: he has access to content beyond normal humans, but he is still privy to the human emotions of pity and anger—which dictate whether he will reveal what he has foreseen.

Did you rise to the crisis? Not a word,
you and your birds, your gods—nothing.
No, but I came by, Oedipus the ignorant,
I stopped the Sphinx! With no help from the birds,
the flight of my own intelligence hit the mark.
Related Characters: Oedipus (speaker), Tiresias
Page Number: 449-453
Explanation and Analysis:

Tiresias and Oedipus begin to fight, each insulting the other about the way they have been negligent of Thebes. Here, Oedipus reprimands Tiresias for not having intervened when Thebes was previously crippled by the Sphinx.

Oedipus juxtaposes the roles of divine and human intervention. He aligns Tiresias with “your birds, your gods”—the first which stands for auguries (observing the actions of birds to predict the future), the second which explicitly links him to the divine. But Oedipus claims ”nothing” came from this spiritual realm, whereas it was “Oedipus the ignorant” who was successful. His ignorance is set in contrast with the “help from the birds”—the foresight permitted by reading divine signs—and Oedipus thus implies that his “own intelligence” has merit even if it is not derived from divine prophecy. He was able to solve the riddle of the Sphinx through his own mental acuity alone, without the aid of the gods.

Oedipus's statement is actually quite blasphemous, for it elevates his human intelligence above divine providence. Again, he displays himself to be deeply proud, assuming that his previous accomplishments have given him a status that cannot be challenged by others, even the gods. This fault speaks, itself, to the limits of Oedipus’s “intelligence,” for while he may be shrewd and clever, he has no wisdom when dealing with others and thus cannot prevent his fate.

No man will ever
be rooted from the earth as brutally as you.
Related Characters: Tiresias (speaker), Oedipus
Page Number: 488-489
Explanation and Analysis:

Tiresias speaks these condemning lines as his argument with Oedipus escalates. He predicts that Oedipus will suffer a horrifying end to his life.

This language is actually remarkably similar to that used by Oedipus earlier in the play. Recall that Oedipus cursed the murderer of Laius to “drag out his life in agony, step by painful step,” which highlighted the way the killer would die slowly and in agony. That Tiresias evokes, similarly, the way Oedipus will die “brutally” reiterates how they are actually speaking about a single person: Oedipus is the murderer of Laius, whom he himself has cursed. Tiresias’s pronouncement is thus less a new prophecy than a reiteration of what Oedipus himself has already brought into motion.

It is a typical technique of Sophocles to have characters make similar pronouncements about people or events that they believe to be different, but are actually the same. It creates a dramatic irony in which the audience knows that Oedipus had cursed himself, just as Tiresias curses him here—even when Oedipus is unaware of this equivalence. The technique also further blurs the lines between human action and fate—for here Tiresias seems, as a divine figure, to bring about Oedipus’s destiny. But he only does so after Oedipus’s aggression has forced Tiresias to do so.

Blind who now has eyes, beggar who now is rich,
he will grope his way toward a foreign soil,
a stick tapping before him step by step.
Related Characters: Tiresias (speaker), Oedipus
Page Number: 517-519
Explanation and Analysis:

After pronouncing that Oedipus will suffer a terrible end, Tiresias tells this riddle about the killer of Laius. He describes the pitiful way the killer’s life will end.

As is characteristic in the play, the elements of the prophecy will be easily recognized by anyone who knows the Oedipus story. “Blind who now has eyes” refers to the way Oedipus will gouge out his own eyes once he learns of his crimes, while “beggar who now is rich” foretells how he will fall swiftly from king to vagrant. As before, Tiresias uses Oedipus’s own language—“step by step”—from the king’s earlier curse on the killer of Laius. Here, Tiresias uses the phrase more literally to refer to the way Oedipus will, once he is blinded, move slowly away from Thebes as an outcast.

That Tiresias has left Oedipus with a riddle recalls the hero’s own triumph when he solved the riddle of the Sphinx. In a sense, Tiresias is offering a second test to Oedipus’s character: perhaps if he were able to solve this relatively straightforward riddle, he could avoid his fate. That he cannot do so speaks to how extensively Oedipus has been blinded by his pride—to the point that he cannot perform the same task that garnered him acclaim in Thebes to begin with. Sophocles thus renders Oedipus's tragic downfall the result of not just any character flaw, but rather one that undermines his defining heroic characteristic: intelligence.

But whether a mere man can know the truth,
whether a seer can fathom more than I—
there is no test, no certain proof
though matching skill for skill
a man can outstrip a rival. No, not till I see
these charges proved will I side with his accusers....
Never will I convict my king, never in my heart.
Related Characters: The Chorus (speaker), Oedipus
Page Number: 563-572
Explanation and Analysis:

After Tiresias and Oedipus have finished fighting, the chorus expresses their sympathy for the king. They acknowledge the power of oracles, but also refuse to accept Tiresias's judgement until it has been proved certain.

The chorus challenges Tiresias, as Oedipus did before, on whether he does indeed profess prophetic powers above those of humans. They wonder “whether a seer can fathom more than I,” thus expressing a deep-seated skepticism with oracles. Like Oedipus, they want the proof of “matching skill for skill”—an even playing field, such as when Oedipus proved his strength and intelligence against the Sphinx. Perhaps the chorus, composed as it is by residents of Thebes, has been influenced by Oedipus’s more secular and humanist sensibilities, which prioritize human agency over the will of the gods. Indeed, they seem willing to defend Oedipus to great lengths when they say “Never will I convict my king, never in my heart.” That is to say, the chorus is willing to deny explicit evidence against Oedipus due to their strong attachment to him as a ruler.

This passage also marks the chorus as distinctly ignorant rather than omniscient. They play the role of an audience that is not already intimately aware of the story of Oedipus—and thus they allow viewers to compare their own knowledge against what a more ignorant viewer might assume. This strategy is part of what allows Sophocles to re-stage an old tale and maintain dramatic tension, for he can maintain the semblance of unfamiliarity in the perspective of the chorus.

Lines 709-997 Quotes
Look at you, sullen in yielding, brutal in your rage—
you will go too far. It's perfect justice:
natures like yours are hardest on themselves.
Related Characters: Creon (speaker), Oedipus
Page Number: 746-748
Explanation and Analysis:

Oedipus permits Creon to leave without punishment. But as he departs, Creon shouts this condemnation of Oedipus.

His insult points again to the crippling pride in Oedipus’s personality. That he is “sullen in yielding” speaks to how reluctant he is to accept the calming advice of Jocasta and the chorus, while “brutal in your rage” reiterates how terrifying he is if allowed to fully unleash his frustration. Creon points again to how Oedipus is unable to mediate his response to the given situation based on whether he should be angry or accepting. As a result, he “will go too far,” or overreach what is permitted by his royal position.

Beyond reiterating Oedipus’s character flaws, Creon’s language also stresses that Oedipus’s fate is the result of his own faulty actions. Saying “it’s perfect justice” implies that Oedipus’s story is not the result of a pre-designed divine plot to unseat him, but rather is the natural and necessary result of his own arrogant behavior. Similarly, “natures like yours are hardest on themselves” places the burden of agency onto Oedipus’s “nature.” By Creon’s account, it is the tragic hero who brings fate on himself.

You who set our beloved land—storm-tossed, shattered—
straight on course. Now again, good helmsman,
steer us through the storm!
Related Characters: The Chorus (speaker), Oedipus
Page Number: 765-767
Explanation and Analysis:

In the wake of Oedipus’s fight with Creon, the chorus continues to defend their ruler. They repeatedly call upon him to save them from the current plague.

Sophocles underlines, once more, how fully the populace of Thebes has aligned themselves with Oedipus. Though they do diverge from his viewpoints at times—for instance urging a merciful treatment of Creon—their general view is entirely sympathetic to him. Here, the chorus again brings up the way Oedipus had previously saved their “beloved land,” this time making use of a sailing metaphor, in which the plague is a “storm” and their ruler a “good helmsman.” The image presents composure and good judgment as the necessary qualities to save Thebes—both of which Oedipus is, of course, lacking at this point. Yet the chorus seems unaware of this discrepancy. That they simply continue to implore Oedipus speaks to their own sort of blindness—for they, like their ruler, cannot tell that he acts unjustly and will thus bring tragedy upon himself.

Listen to me and learn some peace of mind:
no skill in the world,
nothing human can penetrate the future.
Related Characters: Jocasta (speaker), Oedipus
Page Number: 780-782
Explanation and Analysis:

Jocasta gives this consoling speech after Oedipus recounts his interaction with Tiresias. She claims that prophets have no real knowledge of events to come, and that Oedipus therefore should not be disturbed by what Tiresias has said.

These lines make a sharp division between the human and divine realms: Jocasta associates “skill” with “human,” both of which contrast with the providence of the “future.” Much like Oedipus praised his intelligence over the bird auguries of Tiresias, Jocasta claims that human skill can only affect the current state of affairs and cannot “penetrate” or enter any zone beyond that of the present. Though this appeal might strike some as disheartening, it would grant “peace of mind” to Oedipus and Jocasta by denying the significance of the prophecies they have heard thus far. That is to say, it would allow them to exist in their human realm without the anxiety that they should change their actions to respond to the unique “skill” of Tiresias.

It is important to clarify here that Jocasta is not denying the existence or providence of the gods. This is not an atheistic passage, but rather one that sharply delineates between divine and earthly realms. Her claim is that mediums such as Tiresias do not actually bridge the gap between the two realms, but rather exist fully in the human one—and thus have no unique access to the divine.

Lines 998-1310 Quotes
Man of agony—
that is the only name I have for you,
that, no other—ever, ever, ever!
Related Characters: Jocasta (speaker), Oedipus
Page Number: 1176-1179
Explanation and Analysis:

Jocasta has just concluded that Oedipus is her son and she repeatedly implores him not to continue his investigation. When he refuses to do so, she screams this at him.

This passage plays on the way that Oedipus introduced himself at the play’s onset: recall that he selected not to use his name at first, but rather implied that all should know him based on his fame. Here, Jocasta similarly replaces his name, but instead with the epithet “man of agony,” thus foreshadowing how this will be Oedipus’s new legacy by the play’s end. Beyond condemning him to a life of misery, Jocasta’s language also subtly wipes away his identity. Replacing his specific name with this generic term denies the coherence between Oedipus's current royal position and his actual identity. Jocasta implies that he will hold “no other” title or identity in the years to come, and that this identification with agony with be permanent: “ever, ever, ever!” Thus Sophocles uses Jocasta’s moment of realization—called in Greek tragedy an anagnorisis—to demonstrate the pending end of Oedipus’s identity as it is currently defined.

If you are the man he says you are, believe me
you were born for pain.
Related Characters: A Shepherd (speaker), Oedipus, A Messenger
Page Number: 1304-1305
Explanation and Analysis:

When interrogated by Oedipus, the shepherd at first resists his attempts to procure information. Yet eventually the shepherd gives in, condemning Oedipus to his terrifying fate.

These lines articulate an important new position on the role of fate in Oedipus’s destiny. Whereas other characters or critics may believe the tragic action occurred due to a mixture of destiny and human folly, the shepherd clearly attributes what will occur solely to a pre-determined narrative. That Oedipus was “born for pain” implies that his life's torment began precisely at the moment he came into the world: his later actions thus would only fulfill this pre-designed path, rather than carving a new one. This point builds on Jocasta’s claim that his name is “man of agony”—which makes his identity similarly equivalent to pain—and reiterates the power of the gods and fate to control each moment in human affairs. Thus Sophocles moves at this crucial moment in the tragedy to highlight the role of destiny over human action.

Lines 1311-1680 Quotes
"...is there a man more agonized?
More wed to pain and frenzy? Not a man on earth,
the joy of your life ground down to nothing
O Oedipus, name for the ages—"
Related Characters: The Chorus (speaker), Oedipus
Page Number: 1331-1334
Explanation and Analysis:

Having now learned of Oedipus’s history and fate, the chorus renounces their earlier adoration of him. They reflect on the way Oedipus has shown himself to be predestined to a doomed and painful life.

This passage is a striking turn in the perception of the chorus, which had previously refused to accept claims or prophecies that told of their king’s fate. Here, they adopt the language of other accusers: he is “agonized” and “wed to pain and frenzy”—thus permanently associated with these horrific qualities. As before, he is singular and famous—but this is no longer due to heroism, and instead because of his tragic fate. That the chorus says, “O Oedipus, name for the ages” demonstrates that this fate will be recorded and maintained for eons to come: thus they already predict the writing of Sophocles’ play and the other ways that this story will enter Greek cultural history (and Western culture in general). Even at this point, however, the chorus still displays a level of sympathy for their ruler. Instead of calling Oedipus “man of agony” in the disparaging tone of Jocasta, they choose “man more agonized,” which forefronts the pain he must be enduring. They also make mention of the previous “joy of your life,” and even maintain the use of his name, “Oedipus.” This continued sympathy reiterates how the chorus functions as an analog to the audience—for it reacts with a similar emotional and caring mindset that an observer of the tragedy might have.

My destiny, my dark power, what a leap you made!
Related Characters: Oedipus (speaker)
Page Number: 1448
Explanation and Analysis:

At this point, Jocasta has committed suicide and Oedipus has blinded himself. In response, Oedipus bemoans his fate and how rapidly it has deteriorated.

That Oedipus refers to his “destiny” as a “dark power” implies that he locates both positive and negative qualities in fate. By this moment in the tragic action, he could very well see destiny as entirely antagonistic, yet the use of the term “power” implies that it has served as a source of potential in the past. Indeed, we know of his destiny’s power from the way he was able to save Thebes from the Sphinx—and yet it is also “dark,” for it carries the terrifying opportunities that have caused the play’s tragic action to unfold as it has.

Oedipus articulates that shift with the phrase “what a leap you made!” implying that a decisive change took place between the positive and negative sides of his “destiny.” He continues, then, to question the poles of human agency versus divine fate—for while he may stress the role of “destiny,” he also possesses it with the key pronoun “my,” and implies with the “leap” image that even destiny itself may change course.

Take me away, far, far from Thebes,
quickly, cast me away, my friends—
this great murderous ruin, this man cursed to heaven,
the man the deathless gods hate most of all!
Related Characters: Oedipus (speaker)
Page Number: 1477-1480
Explanation and Analysis:

Oedipus continues to disparage his fate and to speak of madness and darkness. He then asks to be thrown out of Thebes.

In contrast to his earlier proud position as a king, Oedipus has descended to the lowliest role of beggar and outcast. He thus rejects the city he had saved and ruled and affirms that he was “cursed to heaven” or fated to this end. Oedipus further reaffirms the importance of the “deathless gods,” which had previously been said to be in decline. Yet as with his blindness, Oedipus insists upon acting decisively and taking control of his fate: he speaks in commands to others and curses himself—as if to preempt the curses and judgments of others. In an odd way, then, he seems to be defending his own minute quantity of human agency up to the very end of the play.

One should note, however, that the passage recreates, in an odd way, the first moments of Oedipus’s life—when as a baby he was cast away from the city. A circular narrative like this affirms how his destiny was set to begin with: both because it repeats a similar motif and because it shows how inescapable his destiny as an outcast must be. Though he may have been able to avoid it as a young baby, his fate eventually returned. Thus we see at the play’s end a complicated negotiation of fate and agency, in which the structure of the tragedy reaffirms the power of destiny even as the hero seeks to carve out a space for his own control.

Now as we keep our watch and wait the final day,
count no man happy till he dies, free of pain at last.
Related Characters: The Chorus (speaker), Oedipus
Page Number: 1683-1684
Explanation and Analysis:

After Creon has dealt with Oedipus’s fate, they both depart the stage to leave only the chorus. The chorus ends the play with these lines that reaffirm the power of the gods to dictate each action of man.

Once more, the chorus functions as a way to explain the morals and meanings of the tragedy to the audience. Their perspective has changed radically over the course of play—from full-heartedly supporting Oedipus, to questioning his position, and finally to condemning him to his fate. Here, they extrapolate from the specific example of Oedipus to offer a more broad-reaching comment on humanity. They take their king as proof that none can escape the control of the gods, and that their earlier skepticisms of divine control were unwise.

As a result, men can only “keep our watch and wait the final day,” implying that observation and submissiveness are the only possible responses to destiny. Oedipus’s proud attempts to escape or challenge his fate are deemed foolhardy, and thus any active attempt to shift one’s life will ultimately fail. The chorus’s next line is far darker, however, for it says that no one will be “free of pain” until death. This seems to imply that being bound by destiny is by definition a type of pain—and that watching and waiting will similarly bring pains that can never be fully eluded. Sophocles’s final lesson extracted from Oedipus is thus a cautionary and dark one: none can escape the providence of the gods, and therefore one must accept a life of pained predestination.

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Oedipus Character Timeline in Oedipus Rex

The timeline below shows where the character Oedipus appears in Oedipus Rex. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Lines 1-340
Fate vs. Free Will Theme Icon
The play begins in the royal house of Thebes. The stage directions state that Oedipus solved the riddle of the Sphinx many years earlier and has since ruled as king... (full context)
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Action vs. Reflection Theme Icon
Oedipus asks the priests why they have come. He knows that the city is sick with... (full context)
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Oedipus says he knows of the trouble and has been trying to think of a solution.... (full context)
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Creon tells Oedipus and the assembled priests the words of the god Apollo, according to the oracle. Before... (full context)
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Oedipus asks Creon about the circumstances of Laius's death. Creon says that Laius left the city... (full context)
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Oedipus orders anyone who knows anything about Laius's murderer to speak, in exchange for light treatment... (full context)
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Oedipus criticizes the people for not hunting more vigorously for Laius's killer. He says he will... (full context)
Lines 341-708
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Oedipus asks Tiresias, the prophet, to help Thebes end the plague by guiding him to the... (full context)
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Now angry, Oedipus accuses Tiresias of plotting to kill Laius. This upsets Tiresias, who tells Oedipus that Oedipus... (full context)
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Oedipus convinces himself that Creon has put Tiresias up to making these accusations in attempt to... (full context)
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As the men continue to argue, Tiresias prophesies that Oedipus will know who his parents are by the end of the day, and that this... (full context)
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...a prophecy. The chorus concludes that it will not believe the serious charges brought against Oedipus without proof. (full context)
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Creon enters, upset that he has been accused of treachery. Oedipus enters. He launches further accusations at Creon. Creon tries to defend himself against the charges.... (full context)
Lines 709-997
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Jocasta tells Oedipus and Creon that it's shameful to have public arguments when the city is suffering. When... (full context)
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Moved by the chorus's expression of loyalty, Oedipus allows Creon to go free, though he says that he still doesn't believe that Creon... (full context)
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Jocasta asks how Oedipus's argument with Creon started. Oedipus tells her that Creon sent Tiresias to accuse Oedipus of... (full context)
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Jocasta's story troubles Oedipus, so he asks Jocasta for more details about the murder of Laius. He grows even... (full context)
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Jocasta asks to know what's troubling Oedipus. Oedipus tells her his life story. His father Polybus and his mother Merope were king... (full context)
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Terrified, Oedipus never returned to Corinth in order to ensure that the prophecy would not come true.... (full context)
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The chorus tells Oedipus to remain hopeful until he questions the witness he has sent for. Oedipus takes heart—after... (full context)
Lines 998-1310
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Jocasta enters and makes an offering to Apollo to appease Oedipus's mind. Just then, a messenger—an old man—arrives from Corinth, with news that the people there... (full context)
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Oedipus enters and learns the news. Relieved, he celebrates with Jocasta and agrees with her that... (full context)
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The messenger asks what Oedipus is afraid of. Oedipus tells him the prophecy—that he would kill his father and sleep... (full context)
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The messenger tells Oedipus that he (the messenger) came upon a baby on the side of Mount Cithaeron, near... (full context)
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Jocasta reacts sharply to this last piece of news. Meanwhile, the chorus tells Oedipus that this other shepherd, Laius's old servant, is the same man as the eyewitness to... (full context)
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Jocasta now begs Oedipus to abandon his search for his origins. Oedipus thinks she's worried that he will discover... (full context)
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Oedipus declares that he must know the secret of his birth, no matter how common his... (full context)
Lines 1311-1680
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The chorus, left alone on stage, chants first of Oedipus's greatness among men, and then about how fate brought about his horrifying destruction. The chorus... (full context)
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...locked herself in her room to mourn Laius and her own fate. In hysterical grief, Oedipus ran through the palace searching for Jocasta with sword drawn, cursing her. He knocked down... (full context)
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The chorus and the messenger are struck with grief and pity. Oedipus enters, but they can't bear to look at him. Blood pouring from his eyes, Oedipus... (full context)
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Oedipus gives a long and heart-rending speech about the terrible things he has done and that... (full context)
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Creon enters. The Chorus expresses hope that he will restore order to Thebes. Creon forgives Oedipus for his past actions, and orders that Oedipus be brought inside so that his shame... (full context)
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At Oedipus's request, Creon sends for Antigone and Ismene, who enter, crying. Oedipus hugs them. Weeping, he... (full context)
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Creon then puts an end to Oedipus's time with his daughters, and again refuses to grant Oedipus's wish for immediate banishment until... (full context)