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Oedipus
[385] What, had you come to hope that the gods would ever have concern enough for me to give me rescue?

Ismene
Yes, that is my hope, father, from the present oracles.

Oedipus
What are they? What has been prophesied, my child?

Ismene
That you will be desired some day, in life and death, by the men of that land, [390] for their safety's sake.

Oedipus
And who could profit from such a one as I?

Ismene
Their power, it is said, proves to be in your hands.

Oedipus
When I no longer exist, then I am a man?

Ismene
Yes, for the gods now raise you up; but before they worked your ruin.

Oedipus
[395] It is a paltry thing to raise up age, when youth was ruined.

Ismene
Well, know at least that Creon will come to you on this account—and soon, not late.

Oedipus
With what purpose, daughter? Interpret that to me.

Ismene
To plant you near the Cadmean land, so that they may have you in their power, [400] while you may not set foot within their borders.

Oedipus
And how can I profit them while I rest beyond their gates?

Ismene
Your tomb contains a curse for them, if it should suffer misfortune.

Oedipus
I need no god to help my wits so far.

Ismene
For this reason, therefore, they wish to get you as their neighbor; [405] but in a place where they will have you at their mercy.

Oedipus
Will they really cover me in Theban dust?

Ismene
No, the guilt of related blood forbids you, father.

Oedipus
Then never will they become my masters.

Ismene
Someday then this will be a grief for the Cadmeans.

Oedipus
[410] In what conjunction of events, my child?

Ismene
Under the power of your anger, when they stand at your tomb.

Oedipus
And who has told you this, my child?

Ismene
Sacred envoys, from the Delphian hearth.

Oedipus
And has Phoebus indeed spoken this concerning me?

Ismene
[415] So say the men who have come back to Thebes.

Oedipus
Has either of my sons heard this?

Ismene
Yes, both have heard it, and know it well.

Oedipus
And then those most evil of sons, aware of this, preferred the kingship to the wish of recalling me?

Ismene
[420] It grieves me to hear this, but I must bear it.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Philoctetes, 141
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    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 13
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