Oedipus at Colonus

The Chorus Character Analysis

In this play, the chorus represents the elder citizens of Colonus. Sophocles's choruses react to the events of the play. The chorus speaks as one voice, or sometimes through the voice of its leader. It praises, damns, cowers in fear, asks or offers advice, and generally helps the audience interpret the play.

The Chorus Quotes in Oedipus at Colonus

The Oedipus at Colonus quotes below are all either spoken by The Chorus or refer to The Chorus. 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 and Prophecy Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Oedipus at Colonus published in 1984.
Lines 1-576 Quotes
Off and gone from the land—before you fix
some greater penalty on our city.
Related Characters: The Chorus (speaker), Oedipus
Page Number: 250-251
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lines 1193-1645 Quotes
Like a seer I sense the glory in these struggles—
Rush me, wing me into the whirlwind, O dear god,
like a dove at the thunderheads of heaven I'd look down
I'd scan these struggles, I would see their glory.
Related Characters: The Chorus (speaker), Theseus
Page Number: 1226-1229
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Show me a man who longs to live a day beyond his time
who turns his back on a decent length of life,
I'll show the world a man who clings to folly.
Related Characters: The Chorus (speaker)
Page Number: 1378-1380
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Not to be born is best
when all is reckoned in, but once a man has seen the light
the next best thing, by far, is to go back
back where he came from, quickly as he can.
Related Characters: The Chorus (speaker)
Page Number: 1388-1391
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lines 1646-2001 Quotes
God of eternal sleep, I call to you,
let Oedipus rest forever.
Related Characters: The Chorus (speaker), Oedipus
Page Number: 1788-1789
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officLorem ipLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequ

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The Chorus Character Timeline in Oedipus at Colonus

The timeline below shows where the character The Chorus appears in Oedipus at Colonus. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Lines 1-576
Guilt Theme Icon
More citizens (the chorus) come looking for the stranger who has dared to set foot on the sacred ground... (full context)
Fate and Prophecy Theme Icon
Guilt Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
...as a just city and a protector of the weak. Moved by his speech, the chorus agrees to let the king of Athens decide what should be done. (full context)
Fate and Prophecy Theme Icon
Old Age, Wisdom, and Death Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
...their devotion to him, but says he will never help his sons. He tells the chorus that if they help defend him against the men from Thebes who will try to... (full context)
Old Age, Wisdom, and Death Theme Icon
Redemption and Atonement Theme Icon
The leader of the chorus is moved by Oedipus's request. He tells Oedipus the ritual that must be performed to... (full context)
Lines 577-1192
Fate and Prophecy Theme Icon
Guilt Theme Icon
Old Age, Wisdom, and Death Theme Icon
Redemption and Atonement Theme Icon
The chorus surrounds Oedipus and presses him to hear the true story of his suffering. Oedipus doesn't... (full context)
The chorus gathers around Oedipus and chants in praise of his new home, the city of Athens,... (full context)
Old Age, Wisdom, and Death Theme Icon
...take Oedipus's two daughters away, toward Thebes. As the guards seize Antigone and Ismene, the chorus condemns this action but is unable to stop them. When Creon tries to leave, however,... (full context)
Lines 1193-1645
Justice Theme Icon
The chorus imagines a battle between Theseus and his men and Creon's guards, who took Antigone and... (full context)
Fate and Prophecy Theme Icon
Old Age, Wisdom, and Death Theme Icon
The chorus surrounds Oedipus and chants about the miseries of life and the certainty of death. The... (full context)
Lines 1646-2001
Fate and Prophecy Theme Icon
Old Age, Wisdom, and Death Theme Icon
Redemption and Atonement Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Thunder crashes, terrifying the chorus. Oedipus, sensing his imminent death, asks for someone to bring Theseus. The thunder sounds again... (full context)
Fate and Prophecy Theme Icon
Old Age, Wisdom, and Death Theme Icon
Redemption and Atonement Theme Icon
The chorus calls for Theseus to come quickly. When the king arrives, Oedipus says that he wants... (full context)
Old Age, Wisdom, and Death Theme Icon
Redemption and Atonement Theme Icon
The chorus remains onstage. It gathers at an altar and prays to the gods of the dead,... (full context)
Old Age, Wisdom, and Death Theme Icon
Redemption and Atonement Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
...brothers. Theseus agrees to do this and to help in whatever way he can. The chorus tells the daughters not to weep any more, for everything has been set right. (full context)