, , ,

Today, we reproduce these opening lines of the Sophocles’ play Oedipus at Colonus as recorded by AKS.  This is of the three Theban plays or trilogy of the Athenian tragedian Sophocles (c. 497/6 BC- c. 406/5 BC), with the other two being Oedipus the Rex and Antigone. For the uninitiated, the explanatory lines taken from http://www.litcharts.com/lit/oedipus-at-colonus/themes are also being brought here for a better understanding of the context of these opening lines: ‘Long before the beginning of Oedipus at Colonus, Oedipus has fulfilled one of the most famous prophecies in world literature—that he would kill his father and marry his mother (these events are covered in detail in Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex). Despite his efforts to avoid this terrible fate, it came to pass. When Oedipus learned what he had inadvertently done, he gouged out his own eyes, and was banished from Thebes. As Oedipus at Colonus begins, Oedipus is nearing the end of his life.’ AKSCENTRE


Opening lines of Sophocles’ “Oedipus at Colonus”, Tr. by E.F. Watling (Penguin Classics)


Enter from the country Oedipus, white -haired, blind, and in squalid garments, guided by his daughter, Antigone.


Oedipus at Colonus by Fulchran-Jean Harriet, 1798, Cleveland Museum of Art
Courtesy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oedipus_at_Colonus

Oedipus: Tell me, Antigone – where have you come to now

With your blind old father?

What is this place, my child?

Country, or town? Whose turn is it to-day

to offer a little hospitality to the wandering Oedipus?

It’s little I ask, and am well content with less.

Three masters – pain, time, and the royalty in the blood –

Have taught me patience. Is there a resting place,

My child, where I could sit, on common ground

Or in same sacred close? And while I rest,

Ask someone where we are.