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Oedipus at Colonus (The Theban Plays #2)

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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  4,456 ratings  ·  75 reviews
The latest title to join the acclaimed Greek Tragedy in New Translations series, Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus tells the story of the last day in the life of Oedipus. It was written at the end of the fifth century BCE in Athens, in the final years of the "Golden Age" of Athenian culture, and in the last year of Sophocles' own life. At the center of the play is the mysterio ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published December 16th 2004 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published -401)
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Hamlet by William ShakespeareThe Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar WildeMacbeth by William ShakespeareRomeo and Juliet by William ShakespeareA Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
Best Plays Ever
172nd out of 532 books — 670 voters
A Doll's House by Henrik IbsenAntigone by SophoclesOedipus Rex by SophoclesTartuffe by MolièreWaiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
Best Non-American and Non-British Plays
16th out of 109 books — 40 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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David Sarkies
This is a rather unusual play in that while it is connected with the main Theban epic, it does not seem to actually sit well within the epic cycle and seems to be an attempt by Sophocles to explore some of the unanswered questions that arose within both the Antigone and Oedipus Tyrannos, particularly in whether Oedipus was truly guilty for his actions (he was not as they were done in ignorance) and how Creon basically became a jerk. I say that because in Oedipus Tyrannos he seems to be a rather ...more
Sarah
After reading Oedipus Rex, I continued on to read this play; out of all of the plays that are considered to be in this series, I was the least familiar with this one, considering that I was not really aware of what happens between the first and third installments. However, I actually think that Oedipus at Colonus is a really important piece of the series to read for several reasons.

So, was Oedipus really a guilty man? After all, he did accomplish his predestined fate unknowingly. Is it wrong to
...more
Carolina
É um 3.5 - Foi interessante.
Acho que esta segunda parte da história de Édipo serviu para o valorizar. Depois de se cumprir um oráculo terrível que acaba por causar o seu exílio (e a sua cegueira), é-lhe dado a conhecer um novo oráculo que o coloca numa posição de grande importância. E a partir daqui se desenvolve a história.
Gostei de ter sido introduzido um ponto de vista diferente em relação ao caso do Édipo, que nunca nega ter cometido um crime de sangue mas dá ênfase ao facto de o ter comet
...more
Syahira Sharif
Basically I am reading these series out of order but I know enough about Oedipus Rex and Antigone that I could emphatize with the final days of Oedipus who really is the unluckiest man on earth. Compared to Philoctetes who was filled with the need of vengence, Oedipus in this play was deeply remorseful for his action about killing his father and comitting incest with his own mother as fate intended and even if he was basically innocent with the by play and now, blinded and in exile, he practical ...more
Beluosus
Χαλεπή μοι ἦν ἡ ἀνάγνωσις · ἠνάγκαζε γάρ με πολλάκις τὸν λόγων θησαυρὸν ζητεῖν. καὶ πάλιν γε λέγω τὴν τοῦ Σοφοκλέους ποίησιν ἔλασσόν με τέρπειν ἢ τὴν τοῦ Εὐριπίδου τε καὶ τοῦ Αἰσχύλου. κοὐκ νομίζω αὕτην ἰσοῦσθαι ταῖς ἄλλαις παιδιαῖς τοῦ Σοφοκλέους ταῖς θηβαίαις λεγομέναις. εὐφραινουσι μέντοι τὰ μέλη καὶ ἡ σύστασις -- μάλιστά γε αἱ τοῦ χοροῦ εὐχαὶ καὶ ὁ βρονταγωγὸς τοῦ Οἰδίποδος θάνατος.
Catherine Woodman
This is the last of the Greek tragedies that I am reading with my youngest son for his Classical Mythology class. I had forgotten just how tragic these all are....

When you are thinking about the Oedipus trilogy specifically and Greek tragedy in general it is hard to say which play is sadder than the others, but for some reason, of the Oedipus stories, this one is a downer.


The play opens with Antigone, Oedipus' daughter, and he in a sacred ground outside of Athens. Oedipus is at the end of his li
...more
Shishir Chaudhary
"Not to be born at all
Is best, far best that can befall"

This play was far more fulfilling than Oedipus Rex for reasons twain. First, it strikes an unprecedented balance between the righteousness and human flaws through Theseus, Polyneices, and most importantly, Oedipus. Second, it is in this play that one gets to know the conflict between the guilt of acts he commits and the retrospective helplessness to avoid what was inevitable, and the pain arising therefore.

And as expected, the Chorus deliv
...more
Leslie
Perhaps 3½ stars for the play but not in this translation. Storrs translated the ancient Greek as if he was trying to write like an Elizabethan. I have enough trouble understanding the Elizabethans when their native tongue was English!

I don't think that this play is as good (strong, powerful) as the other two Oedipus plays. However, this middle play of Sophocles' trilogy provides an important bridge between the more powerful first (Oedipus Rex) and last (Antigone) plays. It concludes the action
...more
Jason Coleman
Never actually read it, but I'm sure it's very, very good.
Mel
So last night for Valentine's day Bill and I went to see Oedipus at Colonus at King's. Every year the students put on a production in the original ancient Greek we've gone to about four now. While there are always different casts the acting is definitely improving. When we first started going they were definitely classic students rather than actors in the main roles, now they are actually doing a better job at saying the lines with feelings. Though I feel like the quality of the costumes and the ...more
Kaung Myat Han
'Oedipus at Colonus' is the second installment of The Theban Plays by Greek tragedian Sophocles. Twenty years later after Oedipus has blinded himself and banished from the city of Thebes by Creon, the old frail man is now wandering around Greece as a beggar with the help of his daughter Antigone. One day, they arrive at a sacred grove near Athens which is sacred to the Furies which are the female deities of vengeance. Oedipus recognizes this is a sign that his final resting place will be here an ...more
Maan Kawas
A beautiful play by the great Ancient Greek tragedian Sophocles! In ‘Oedipus in Colonus’ Sophocles continues with the same story of Oedipus’ life, but after twenty years of blinding himself and wandering as a beggar, leaning on his daughter Antigone. Also the play’s main theme is self-knowledge and enlightenment, where Oedipus, who in the first play blamed, punished himself, and insisted on being exiled from his own home, now seems to have changed his ideas and perspectives, finding himself to b ...more
Mary Kate
Oedipus the King peaked my interest. Then I read Antigone with school and LOVED it. But sadly, much of the drama of those two plays is absent from Oedipus at Colonus. Unlike the other two plays, I feel this one would not be able to stand alone. It is clearly a bridge to connect the events.

In addition, I am not sure that there was a "hero" for this play. In Oedipus the King, the hero, or tragic hero, is clearly Oedipus. He's young and strong and he displays his fatal flaw and lets is ruin him. I
...more
Jenny
Robert Fitzgerald's translation of Sophocles' play is simple and clear, beautiful and elegant. I read Oedipus Rex in high school and Antigone in college and enjoyed both. It took me a while to get to the play that falls between the two in plot and time frame, but it's definitely worth the read. It clarifies the events in Antigone, since the events that occur directly precede the beginning of Antigone. It also continues the themes that Oedipus Rex hints at, and it concludes Oedipus's story very b ...more
Meghan
Oedipus has been cast out of Thebes and has spent many years begging for food and his livelihood. When people hear who he is, they cast him out. Now, Thebes waging a civil war between the two sons of Oedipus. Creon, regent of Thebes wants Oedipus to come back because “the oracles have said that victory lies with those who win you to their side”. Oedipus is adamant he will not go due to how Creon and his sons have treated him. He becomes a suppliant to Theseus, king of Athens, and asks him to pro ...more
M.C.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
علی
اگرچه "اودیپ در کلنوس" سومین بخش از سه گانه ی "تبای" است، اما آخر از همه، و در اصل در آخرین ماه های زندگی سوفوکلس نوشته شده، و مربوط به آخرین روزهای زندگی تراژیک اودیپ شاه، است. او که دریافته برخلاف گریز دائمی از تقدیر، بازیچه ی آن بوده، پدر خویش را کشته و با مادر همخوابگی کرده و پدر برادران و خواهران خویش است، خود را کور می کند تا از مشاهده ی نتایج تقدیر خویش، محروم بماند. به روایت سوفوکلس، اودیپوس در دهکده ی کولونوس نزدیک آتن با زندگی وداع می کند. او همراه دخترانش آنتیگونه و ایسمنه به کولونوس ...more
Pevensie.
Leí Edipo Rey varias veces para el colegio, lo que me hizo interesarme en la tragedia griega y el teatro. Me gustó muchísimo la primer tragedia, pero no pensé que iba a gustarme de la misma forma ésta.
Me emocionó, me dio ganas de no parar de leer y me gustó muchísimo.
Qué suerte que tengo todas las tragedias de Sófocles. Supongo que seguiré con Antígona, pero no hoy.
4 de 5. Genial.
Rob
Sep 15, 2011 Rob added it
(too old to rate) Quite possibly the first historical case of sequilitis. There's no real reason for Oedipus at Colonus to exist -- the sturm-und-drang ending of Oedipus Rex ends its story nicely without need for follow up -- but it is interesting to see the aftermath, of the struggle for power after Oedipus's departure and his sad and lonely life. It's a reminder that our stories don't have neat endings, or really any endings at all, and even after our life's great tragedy we still have to keep ...more
ZǿǾmẫ Shŗbãtiķǻ
إن الآلهة فحسب هي التي لا تشيخ أبداً ولا تموت، اما كل ما عداها فإن الزمن الذي يسيطرعلى كل شئ يؤثر فيه؛ فإن الأرض العفية يصيبها الضعف، وقوة الجسد تضمحل، كما تموت الثقة ويظهر بدلاً منها عدم الثقة، ولا تظل المشاعر ذاتها بين البشر حتى ولو كانوا أصدقاء، وكذلك بين المدن؛
لأنه يحلو للبشر -طال الوقت أم قصر- أن يتحولوا بعواطفهم من الحب إلى الكراهية وبالعكس
...
Fede
Oedipus at Colonus tells the last part of Oedipus's story. In my opinion it is the less impressive among the plays about Oedipus's family and life; I did not like it as the others because it did not involved me that much, unlike Antigone, for example.
Anyway, it is one of the most famous Greek plays, so it is a must-read work
Nicola Watkinson
This is an interesting play - although set in the middle of the three plays, it was written last, towards the end of Sophocles' life. It is not necessarily a tragedy, although it ends with Oedipus' death; it seems to be more concerned with linking 'Antigone' with Oedipus Rex', and enhancing the stories of those plays (e.g. when Polynices comes to seek Oedipus' favour and Oedipus responds cursing him and Eteocles, at the end of the play we do not know any more about their feud, but it is the caus ...more
Cecilia
This play was very interesting, as it was the very last one that Sophocles wrote.The death of Oedipus was certainly one of the most beautiful deaths I have ever had the probl edge to read. It was very heartwarming and bittersweet. Overall, I loved each character. This really isn't my cup of tea, but I can't really think if any complaints.
Boni
This is the second play in the trilogy. Oedipus, now old and blind, accompanied by his daughter Antigone, reaches Colonus. On the eve of the impending war between his sons Polyneices and Etiocles, the last portent of Apollo will come true.
Tanner
It's like that one just OK 2nd book in a trilogy, where you've got the great well known first one, and the awesome last one, and this one is just such a bridge.
Rob Roy
When you finally submit to the gods, even death can be positive. Oedipus here, and old man, shows himself to be a king, and a leader. His death is Athens gain, and Thebes loss.
Jakob
The Greeks really were masters of drama. It took me quite a while to finish this play. Although it can be quite verbose at times it makes up for it by powerful chapters in between. The vehemence with which Oedipus scolds his enemies is very memorable and for me reason enough to read the play but just having finally read one part of the story of the famous Oedipus is satisfying in itself.

The story itself like all great dramas is about the virtues and faults of man and their interplay in human re
...more
D
sort of a bummer? and the kids in our class who acted it out read every line in a wailing pseudo-monotone? so . . .
Ahmed Ebaid
" إذا كان الخير يأتي من الآلهة فالشر أيضا يجب أن نلوم عليه الألهة , فبؤسنا من صنيعها "

لا أدري إن كان هذا دور تنويري أم ماذا !! ,



أشد ما أزعجني كانت الكلمة المتكررة " واحسرتاه " كانت لها وقع مزعج على أذني ,


و ها قد انتهى أوديب ,

إنتهى من وضع ثقته في الآلهة حتى صعد ليبقى أسطورة الآلهة و محقق نبوءاتها ,
Γιώτα Παπαδημακοπούλου
Αγαπημένο κλασσικό τραγικό κείμενο που ακόμα και το να το πιάσεις στο στόμα σου, είναι ιεροσυλία!
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Sophocles (Greek: Σοφοκλής; German editions: Sophokles, Russian: Софокл) was an ancient Greek tragedy playwright. Not many things are known about his life other than that he was wealthy, well educated and wrote about one hundred and twenty three plays (of which few are extant). One of his best known plays is 'Oedipus the King' (Oedipus Rex).
More about Sophocles...
Oedipus Rex Antigone The Oedipus Cycle: Oedipus Rex / Oedipus at Colonus / Antigone Antigone / Oedipus the King / Electra Electra

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