Title: Oedipus at Colonus
First published January 1, 402
144 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 9780195135046 (ISBN10: 0195135040)
Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus is a stunning addition to the Greek Tragedy in New Translations series. This masterpiece portrays the final moments of Oedipus, an old and blind beggar, who transforms into a strong and determined man leading everyone to his final resting place.
The backdrop of this transformation is the grove of the Furies, the sacred site of the goddesses who seek revenge against those who violate blood relationships. Despite being a clear target for the Furies’ wrath, Oedipus enters their grove with the belief that it is his destined resting place.
The play’s reversals and paradoxes highlight the struggle of human life, and how we can find a stable ground to define our moral lives amidst constant change. As we witness the remarkable human capacity to persevere in this struggle, Sophocles’ play remains a powerful witness to the human spirit.
About the Author
Sophocles, an ancient Greek playwright of tragedies, was born around 496 BC in Colonus, a town located near Athens in Greece. He was a wealthy and highly educated individual who wrote approximately 123 plays, though only a few of them still exist today.
Among his most famous works is ‘Oedipus the King’, also known as ‘Oedipus Rex’. While not much is known about his personal life, Sophocles’ legacy as a playwright has endured through the ages.
Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus, published in 402 BC, is a play set in ancient Greece and is the final installment in the Oedipus trilogy. The playwright, Sophocles, is known for his tragic plays and is considered one of the most important figures of ancient Greek literature.
The play centers around Oedipus, the former king of Thebes who has been exiled and wandering for years, accompanied by his daughter, Antigone. He arrives at Colonus where he is greeted by the chorus of old men who explain the history and significance of Colonus.
Oedipus meets Theseus, the king of Athens, and describes his tragic tale of killing his father and marrying his own mother. The play explores themes of fate, family, and morality as Oedipus seeks a peaceful resting place for his troubled soul.
Sophocles has crafted an intricate plot that is full of twists and surprises. The pacing of the play is perfect as the tension builds towards the climax.
Oedipus is a complex character with a tragic backstory that elicits sympathy from the audience. His daughter, Antigone, serves as a strong support character who is loyal and steadfast in her love for her father.
The play highlights the values and beliefs of Ancient Greek society, particularly the role of fate and the gods in determining human actions. The themes explored in the play are still relevant today, such as the consequences of one’s actions, the importance of family, and the role of morality in decision-making.
The writing in Oedipus at Colonus is beautiful and poetic. Sophocles utilizes vivid imagery and metaphors to create a rich and immersive setting.
The characters are well-developed, and their motivations and actions are believable. One potential weakness of the play is that it is heavily reliant on knowledge of the previous two plays in the trilogy, which may be inaccessible to new readers.
The play also reflects the societal norms and values of Ancient Greece, which may not resonate with all readers. Overall, Oedipus at Colonus is a masterpiece of Ancient Greek literature.
Sophocles has crafted a tragic story that is powerful and thought-provoking. It is recommended for those who appreciate classical literature and for readers interested in exploring the themes and values of Ancient Greek society.
Rating: 4/5 stars.