Oedipous Tyraimos - Sophocles (496-406 BC e)

Literature of antiquity and the Middle Ages - Summary - 2019

Oedipous Tyraimos
Sophocles (496-406 BC e)

This is a tragedy about rock and freedom: not in the freedom of man to do what he wants, but to take responsibility even for what he did not want.

In the city of Thebes, King Leah and Queen Jocast ruled. King Laiah from the Delphic oracle received a terrible prediction: "If you give birth to a son, you will perish from his hand." Therefore, when he was born a son, he took him from his mother, gave the shepherd and ordered to carry it to the mountain pastures of Kieferon, and there to throw it for eating predatory beasts. The shepherd was a pity for the baby. At Kiferon, he met a shepherd with a herd from the neighboring kingdom, Corinth, and gave the baby to him without telling who it was. He took the baby to his king. The King of Corinth did not have children; he adopted a baby and raised him as his heir. Named the boy - Oedipus.

Oedipus grew strong and smart. He considered himself the son of a Corinthian king, but rumors began to come to him, as if he had taken it. He went to the Delphic oracle to ask: whose son is he? The oracle replied: "Whatever you are, you are destined to kill your own father and marry your mother." Oedipus was horrified. He decided not to go back to Corinth and went where his eyes looked. At the crossroads he met a chariot, an old man with a proud posture ran on her, around a few servants. Oedipus did not move in time, the old man hit him with a shotgun, Oedipus hit him with a staff, the old man fell dead, a fight broke, the servants were killed, only one escaped. Such road accidents were not uncommon; Oedipus went further.

He reached the city of Thebes. There was confusion there: on the rock in front of the city was the monster of the Sphinx, a woman with a lion's body, she asked the passers-by the riddles, and who could not guess, those plundered. King Laii went to seek help from the oracle, but someone was killed on the road. Oedipus Sphinx made a riddle: "Who walks in the morning at four, in the afternoon at two, and in the evening at three?" Oedipus replied: "This is a man: a baby on all fours, an adult on his two, and an old man with a staff." Defeated by the correct answer, the Sphinx rushed from the cliff to the abyss; Thebes were released. The people, laughing, announced the wise Oedipus the king and gave him widow Yokast to his wife Laiev, and his assistants - the brother of Yokast, Creont.

Many years passed, and suddenly the God's punishment fell on Thebes: people died from the disease of the sea, the cattle fell, the bread was dry. The people turn to Oedipus: "You are wise, you saved us once, save now." The action of the tragedy of Sophocles begins with this prayer: the people stand in front of the palace, Oedipus goes to him. "I have already sent Creatone to ask for advice from the oracle; and now he is already hurrying back with the news. " The oracle said: "This divine punishment is for the murder of Laiah; Find and punish the killer! "-" And why was not he still looking for him? "-" Everyone thought about the Sphinx, not about him. " - "Well, now I'll think about it." The people's choir sing prayers to the gods: Avoid your anger from Thebes, spare the dead!

Oedipus announces his royal decree: to find Laiah's killer, to excommunicate him from fire and water, from prayers and sacrifices, to expel him to a foreign land, and the curse of the gods will fall upon him! He does not know that this he curses himself, but now he will be told about it. In Thebes, there is a blind old man, a divination Tiresias: does not he indicate who is the killer? "Do not force me to speak," asks Tiresias, "it will not be good!" Oedipus is angry: "Are you involved in this murder?" Tearsy flashes: "No, if so: the murderer is you and yourselves! "-" Well, is not Creon, whether he's eager to power, has he not spoken to you? "-" I do not serve Creon, and not to you, but to God; I'm blind, you are seeing, but you do not see how you live in sin and who is your father and mother. " - "What does this mean?" - "Understand yourself: you are the master". And Tiresi leaves. The choir sings a frightened song: who is the villain? who is the killer? Is it Odep? No, you can not believe it!

Entered by the excited Creon: Is Odep suspect him of treason? "Yes," says Oedipus. "Why am I your kingdom? Tsar - a native of his own power; It's better to be a royal assistant like me. " They crush each other with brutal reproaches. Queen Jocasta, sister of Creon, Oedipal's wife, leaves their voices from the palace. "He wants to banish me with false prophecies," Oedipus told her. "Do not believe," replies Jocasta, "all prophecies are false: now Laiah was foretells of death from his son, but our son, our infant, perished at Kiferon, and Laiah killed at the crossroads an unknown traveler." - "At the crossroads? where is when? What was Laie's mind? "-" On the way to Delphi, shortly before your arrival to us, and he was kind of gray, straight and, perhaps, looks like you. " - "Oh, horror! And I had such a meeting; was not I the same traveler? Is there a witness? "-" Yes, one was saved; this is an old shepherd He has already been sent after him. " Oedipus in excitement; the chorus sings an alarmed song: "Unbelievable human glory; gods, save us from pride!"

And then there is a turn in action. An unexpected man appears on the stage: a messenger from the neighboring Corinth. The king of Corinth died, and the Corinthians called Oedipus to receive the kingdom. Oedipus is clouded: "Yes, all prophecies lie! I was predicted to kill my father, but now - he died by his death. But yet I was predicted to marry my mother; and while the queen mother is alive, I have no way to Corinth. " "If only this keeps you," the messenger says, "calm down: you are not their own son, and the receptionist, I brought them you baby with Kiferon, and I gave you some shepherd there". "Wife! - Oedipus refers to Jocaste, - is not this the shepherd who was under Laie? Rather! Whatever I son really is, I want to know this! "Yokasta understood everything. "Do not find out," she says, "it will be worse for you!" Oedipus does not hear her, she goes to the palace, we will not see her anymore. The chorus sings the song: maybe Oedipus is the son of a god or a nymph born on Kiferon and thrown to people? so it happened!

But no. Bring an old shepherd. "This is the one whom you gave me in infancy," says the Corinthian messenger to him. "This is the one who killed Lyaya in my eyes," the shepherd thinks. He resists, he does not want to speak, but Oedipus is inexorable. "Who was the child?" He asks. "King Laiah," replies the shepherd. - And if this is really you, then on the mountain you were born and on the mountain we saved you! ”Now Oedipus finally understood everything. "Cursed is my birth, damn my sin, damn my marriage!" - he exclaims and throws himself into the palace. The choir again sings: "Unbelievable human glory! Not happy in the world! Oedipus was wise; was Oedipus the king; and who is he now? The father-in-law and the bloodsucker!"

The messenger runs out of the palace. For unwitting sin, a voluntary execution: Queen Jocasta, the mother and wife of Oedipus, hangs in a loop, while Oedipus desperately grabbed her corpse, tore a golden clasp from her, and slipped the needle into her eyes so that they could not see their monstrous deeds. The palace is open, the choir sees Oedipus with a bloody face. "How did you decide? .." - "Fate decided!" - "Who instilled you? .." - "I myself judge!" Killer Laya - expulsion, mother's defector - blinding; "O Kiferon, about the mortal crossroads, about the double-bed room!" True Creont, forgetting the offense, asks Oedipus to stay in the palace: "Only a neighbor is entitled to see the torment of his neighbors." Oedipus prays to let him go to exile and say goodbye to the children: "I do not see you, but I cry for you ..." The choir sings the last words of the tragedy: "O fellow citizens! Look here: Oedipus! / He, the perpetrator of riddles, he, the mighty king, / The one on whose lot, it happened, everyone looked with envy! .. / So, everyone should remember our last day, / And you can call a person a happy man only / Who has not experienced misfortunes in his life until his death ”.