Before the royal palace of Thebes. Jocasta enters from the palace alone.


O Sun-god, you who cut your path in heaven's stars, mounted on a chariot inlaid with gold and whirling out your flame with swift horses, what an unfortunate beam you shed on Thebes, the day [5] that Cadmus left Phoenicia's realm beside the sea and reached this land! He married at that time Harmonia, the daughter of Cypris, and begot Polydorus from whom they say Labdacus was born, and Laius from him. [10] I am known as the daughter of Menoeceus, and Creon is my brother by the same mother. They call me Jocasta, for so my father named me, and I am married to Laius. Now when he was still childless after being married to me a long time in the palace, [15] he went and questioned Phoebus, and asked for us both to have sons for the house. But the god said: “Lord of Thebes famous for horses, do not sow a furrow of children against the will of the gods; for if you beget a son, that child will kill you, [20] and all your house shall wade through blood.” But he, yielding to pleasure in a drunken fit, begot a child on me; and afterwards, conscious of his sin and of the god's warning, he gave the child to shepherds to expose [25] in Hera's meadow and the crag of Cithaeron, after piercing his ankles with iron spikes; from which Hellas named him Oedipus. But Polybus' horsemen found him and took him home and laid him in the arms of their mistress. [30] So she suckled the child that I had borne and persuaded her husband she was its mother.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 261
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (2):
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (3):
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