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Sophocles accurately defines the position of the “"sheer
The secret tomb.
” by naming certain objects near it, familiar, evidently, to the people of the place, though unknown to us1. Here it was that Oedipus disappeared. But the place of his “"sacred tomb"(1545) was to be a secret, known only to Theseus. The tomb, then, was not at the spot where he disappeared, since that spot was known to all. The poet's conception appears to have been of this kind. At the moment when Oedipus passed away, in the mystic vision which left Theseus dazzled, it was revealed to the king of Athens where the mortal remains of Oedipus would be found. The soul of Oedipus went down to Hades, whether ushered by a conducting god, or miraculously drawn to the embrace of the spirits below (1661); the tenantless body left on earth was wafted by a supernatural agency to the secret tomb appointed for it. As in the Iliad the corpse of Sarpedon is borne from Troy to Lycia by “"the twin-brothers, Sleep and Death,"” so divine hands were to minister here. When Theseus rejoins the desolate daughters, he already knows where the tomb is, though he is not at liberty to divulge the place (1763).

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hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 1661
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 1763
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 1545
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