previous next

Chorus Leader
Today is the beginning of many troubles to the house of Oedipus; may he live to be more fortunate!

Cease now your lamentations; it is time we thought of [1585] their burial. Hear what I have to say, Oedipus. Eteocles, your son, left me to rule this land, by giving it as a dowry to Haemon with his marriage to your daughter Antigone. Therefore I will no longer allow you to dwell in this land; [1590] for Teiresias clearly said that the city would never prosper as long as you made your home here. So begone! And I say this not in insult, nor because I am your enemy, but from fear that some calamity will come upon the land, through those avenging fiends of yours.

[1595] O destiny! From the beginning, how you have created me wretched and unhappy, if any mortal ever was; for before I had left my mother's womb and seen the light, Apollo foretold to Laius that I, then unborn, should become my father's murderer; alas for me! [1600] So, as soon as I was born, the father who begot me tried to kill me, thinking me his enemy, for it was fated he should die at my hand; so he sent me unweaned to make a pitiful meal for beasts; I escaped from that— would that Cithaeron [1605] had sunk into hell's yawning abyss, because it did not destroy me, but . . . Fate made me a slave in the service of Polybus. And I, poor wretch, after slaying my own father came to my mother's bed, to her sorrow, [1610] and begot sons that were my brothers, whom I have destroyed, by bequeathing to them the legacy of curses I received from Laius. For I was not born so foolish, that I should have contrived these things against my own eyes and my children's life, without some god.

[1615] Let that pass. What am I, poor wretch, to do? Who now will be my guide and tend the blind man's step? The one who is dead? If she were alive, I know well that she would. My pair of noble sons? But they are gone from me. But am I still so young myself that I can find a livelihood? [1620] Where? O Creon, why do you seek in this way to kill me utterly? For you will kill me, if you banish me from the land. Yet I will never twine my arms about your knees and seem a coward, for I would not betray my former nobility, no! not for all my ills.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (6 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 177
  • Cross-references to this page (4):
    • Herbert Weir Smyth, A Greek Grammar for Colleges, NEGATIVE SENTENCES
    • William Watson Goodwin, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses of the Greek Verb, Chapter IV
    • William Watson Goodwin, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses of the Greek Verb, Chapter V
    • William Watson Goodwin, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses of the Greek Verb, Appendix
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: