Oedipus epi Colonoi - Sophocles (496-406 BC e)

Literature of antiquity and the Middle Ages - Summary - 2019

Oedipus epi Colonoi
Sophocles (496-406 BC e)

Colon is a town to the north of Athens. There was a holy grove of the goddesses of Eumemeyd, the terrible blasphemers of truth - those of which Aeschylus wrote in Orestes. Among this grove there was an altar in honor of the hero of Oedipus: it was believed that this Theban hero is buried here and protects this land. How was the ashes of the Fivan hero in the Athenian land - this was told in a different way. One of these stories and wrote the tragedy of Sophocles. He himself was from the Colon, and this tragedy was in his life the last.

From the incestuous marriage to his mother, Oedipus had two sons and two daughters: Ateokl and Polinik, Antigona and Isman. When Oedipus blinded himself to sin and left power, both of his sons went away from him. Then he left Thebes and went to wander unknown to where. Together with him, the faithful daughter of Antigone has gone - a guide with a dull blind man. Being blindfolded, he perceived his soul: he realized that by voluntary self-restraint he had redeemed his involuntary guilt, that he had forgave his gods, and that he would not die as a sinner, but to the saints. This means that sacrifices and libations will be made on his grave, and his ashes will be the protection of the land where he will be buried.

The blind Oedipus and the tired Anthogon go out onto the stage and sit down to rest. "Where are we?" Asks Oedipus. "This is the grove of laurels and olives, grapes are sipping here and singing nightingales, and in the distance - Athens," answers Antigone. Watchman goes to meet them:

"Get away from here, this place is forbidden for the mortals, here live the Eu-menidas, daughter of the Night and the Earth." "Happiness! Here, under the shadow of Evemeni, the gods promised me blessed death. Go on, tell the Athenian king: let him come here, let him give me a little, but will receive a lot, "Oedipus asks. "From you, the blind beggar?" - the watchman is surprised. "I am blind, but I'm blindfolded by reason." The guard leaves, and Oedipus makes supplications to Emenemenid and all the gods: "Commit to the promise, send me the long-awaited death."

A chorus of colonial inhabitants appears: they are also angry at first, seeing a stranger in the holy land, but his sorry appearance begins to inspire them with sympathy. "Who are you?" Is "Oedipus," the one says. "Otchutubitsa, the incest, away!" - "My horrible sin, but involuntary; Do not persecute me - the gods are just and you will not be punished for my guilt. Let me wait for your king."

But instead of the king there is another tired woman from the far side - Isman, the second daughter of Oedipus. She has bad news. In Thebes, in disgrace, Ateokle banished Polinik, who gathered in the campaign of the Semiros against Thebes; the gods predicted: "If Oedipus is not buried in a strange land - Thebes will stand." And now the embassy has already been sent to Oedipus. "No! - Cried Oedipus. "They renounced me, they expelled me, let them now destroy each other!" And I want to die here in the Athenian land, to her for the benefit, to her enemies for fear. " The choir is touched. "Then do the cleansing, make a pour water and honey, merciful Eumeniad - only they can forgive or not forgive the killing of a relative." Isman prepares a rite, Oedipus in a roll call with a choir mourns his sin.

But here is the Athenian king: it's Theseus, the famous hero and wise ruler. "What are you asking, old man? I am ready to help you - we are all equal in the eyes of the gods, today you are in trouble, and tomorrow I am." - "Save me here, do not let me lead the Finns, and my dust will be your country's defense." - "Here is my word for you." Theseus goes to dispose of, and the choir sings praises to Athens, the Colon and the gods, their patrons: Athena-mistress, Poseidon-horse, Demetra-farmer, Dionysus-winegrower.

"Do not be fooled! - prays Antigone. "The Fivalan ambassador with the warriors is already here." This is Creont, the property of Oedipus, the second in Thebes, a man with Oedipus, and now with Etheokle. "Forgive our fault and we will spare our country: she is your kind, but this is good, if not yours." But Oedipus firmly stated: "You did not come for friendship, but in need, I do not need to go with you." "There will be a need! - Creon threatens. - Hey, grab his daughters: they are our Fivan subjects! And you, old man, decide: will you go with me or stay here without help, without a guide! "The choir is grumbling, the girls are crying, Oedipus curses Creaton:" How do you throw me one, so you'll be alone for years to come! " the curse will come true in the tragedy of Antigone.

Theseus is in the hurry to help. "An abuser of my guest is an insult to me! Do not shame your city - let go of the girls and step away. " - "For whom you intercede? - argues Creonte. "For a sinner, for a criminal?" "My sin is unwilling," Oedipus responds with tears, "but you, Creon, sin in your will, attacking the weak and weak!" These are firm, the girls are saved, the choir celebrates the Athenian valor.

But the tests of Oedipus are not over. As he asked for the help of the Faunan Creont, now he came to ask for the help of the exile son Polinik. That one was ugly, this - is touching. He is crying about his misfortune and about the Oedipus trouble - let the unfortunate understand the miserable! He asks forgiveness, tells Oedipus if not the throne, then the palace, but Oedipus does not listen to him. "You and my brother ruined me, and your sisters saved me! It is their honor, and death to you: not to take thee you, to kill your brother brother, and there will be a curse on Eumeniad-Erinney. " Antigone loves his brother, she prays to dismiss him, not to ruin her homeland. "No man or brother will give up," Polinik answers. "I see death and go to death, and you, sisters, keep the gods." Choir sings: "Life is short; death is inevitable; The sorrows in life are more than joy. The best part is not born at all; the second part is more likely to die. The work is grieving troubles are ruined; and old age is a flour - as an island is in the midst of waves."

The end is approaching. Thunder thunder, lightning sparkles, the choir calls to Zeus, Oedipus calls Theseus. "My last hour arrived: now I alone will go in with you into the sacred grove, I will find a cherished place, and my dust will rest. Neither my daughters nor thy citizens will know him; Only you and your heirs will keep this secret, and as long as it is kept, Oedipus will protect the coffin of Athens from Thebes. Behind me! and me leads Hermes, lowering the soul into the underworld. " The choir, falling to his knees, prays to the underground gods: "Give Oedipus peacefully to your kingdom: he deserves it with torment".

And the gods heard: the messenger reports about the miraculous end of Oedipus, He walked as a visitor, he went to a place of worship, washed, dressed in white, farewell to Antigone and Ismom, and an unknown voice was heard here:

"Go, Oedipus, do not delay!" The hair moved from the satellites, they turned and walked away. When they turned, Oedipus and Theseus stood by; When they looked around, there was one Theseus standing, shielding his eyes from the unbearable light. Whether the lightning of Oedipus raised up, whirlwind, did it run away, the earth accepted into its bosom - nobody knows. The messenger returns to sisters, mourning for their father, for sisters - Theseus; the sisters are sent to their own Thebes, and Theseus chanting the Oedipus covenant and his blessing: "Let it be indestructible!"