Oedipus Rex: Quotes
Lines 1-340 Quotes
Here I am myself—
you all know me, the world knows my fame:
I am Oedipus.
– Oedipus, 7-9 (Fagles)
If ever, once in the past, you stopped some ruin
launched against our walls
you hurled the flame of pain
far, far from Thebes—you gods,
come now, come down once more!
– Chorus, 186-189 (Fagles)
Thebes, city of death, one long cortege
and the suffering rises
wails for mercy rise
and the wild hymn for the Healer blazes out
clashing with our sobs our cries of mourning—
O golden daughter of god, send rescue
radiant as the kindness in your eyes!
– Chorus, 211-217 (Fagles)
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—
– Oedipus, 280-283 (Fagles)
Lines 341-708 Quotes
Just send me home. You bear your burdens,
I'll bear mine. It's better that way,
please believe me.
– Tiresias, 364-366 (Fagles)
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.
– Oedipus, 449-453 (Fagles)
No man will ever
be rooted from the earth as brutally as you.
– Tiresias, 488-489 (Fagles)
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.
– Tiresias, 517-519 (Fagles)
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.
– Chorus, 563-568, 572 (Fagles)
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.
– Creon, 746-748 (Fagles)
You who set our beloved land—storm-tossed, shattered—
straight on course. Now again, good helmsman,
steer us through the storm!
– Chorus, 765-767 (Fagles)
Listen to me and learn some peace of mind:
no skill in the world,
nothing human can penetrate the future.
– Jocasta, 780-782 (Fagles)
Great laws tower above us, reared on high
born for the brilliant vault of heaven—
Olympian Sky their only father,
nothing mortal, no man gave them birth,
their memory deathless, never lost in sleep:
within them lives a mighty god, the god does not
– Chorus, 957-962 (Fagles)
Lines 998-1310 Quotes
They are dying, the old oracles sent to Laius,
now our masters strike them off the rolls.
Nowhere Apollo's golden glory now—
the gods, the gods go down.
– Chorus, 994-997 (Fagles)
Man of agony—
that is the only name I have for you,
that, no other—ever, ever, ever!
– Jocasta, 1176 - 1179 (Fagles)
If you are the man he says you are, believe me
you were born for pain.
– Shepherd, 1304 - 1305 (Fagles)
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—"
– Chorus, 1331 - 1334 (Fagles)
My destiny, my dark power, what a leap you made!
– Oedipus, 1448 (Fagles)
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!
– Oedipus, 1477 - 1480 (Fagles)
Now as we keep our watch and wait the final day,
count no man happy till he dies, free of pain at last.
– Chorus, 1683 - 1684 (Fagles)