May I, too, die, of God and man accursed, If I wish aught like this! Oedipus: How long ago did it happen? With the god's good help Success is sure; 'tis ruin if we fail. O child of Laius' ill-starred race Would I had ne'er beheld thy face; I raise for thee a dirge as o'er the dead. Hearing this, Oedipus fled from home, never to return. And now, my children, rise with utmost speed From off these steps, and raise your suppliant boughs; And let another call my people here, The race of Cadmus, and make known that I Will do my taskwork to the uttermost: So, as God wills, we prosper, or we fail. He must be caught and punished in order to stop the plague. He tells them they can trust him to help in any way he can.
Messenger: Then let me rid you of this other fear. But when he comes, then I were base indeed, If I perform not all the god declares. Oedipus: Why, sir, Queen Merope, wife of Polybus. Oedipus: Teiresias, we know there is nothing beyond your ken; Lore sacred and profane, all heavenly and earthly knowledge Are in your grasp. All ignorant thou sinnst Against thine own, the living and the dead.
If one should say, this is the handiwork Of some inhuman power, who could blame His judgment? But if he speak of one man, all alone, Then, all too plain, the deed cleaves fast to me. Forget what he has told you. This recapping of events is helpful for audiences since it signals act or scene breaks. And this thou showdst thou hadst not, nor by bird, Nor any God made known; but then I came, I, dipus, who nothing knew, and slew her, With mine own counsel winning, all untaught By flight of birds. And why did I forget this, Who knew it well? But thy skill excels in solving such. That were sheer madness, and I am not mad. If thou livest, all-ruling, all-pervading, Awake; old oracles are out of mind; Apollo's name denied, his glory fading; There is no godliness in all mankind.
For them the earth be barren of harvest, for them Women be childless; and may this present calamity, And worse than this, pursue them to their death! And you, the rest, the men from Cadmus sprung, To whom these words approve themselves as good, May righteousness befriend you, and the Gods, In full accord, dwell with you evermore. Creon: If you can show in what way I have wronged you Oedipus: Still clinging to your obstinate arguments? Discuss to what extent Oedipus is a classic tragic hero. But I will revive His blunted memories. I will do nothing other than you wish. She tells Oedipus that prophecies do not come true, and she uses the fact that an oracle incorrectly prophesied that Laius would be killed by his own son as evidence. Will nothing loose thy tongue? The priest describes the plague that is destroying the city — a blight on the land causing famine and sickness. Let this suffice: Pray ye may find some home and live content, And may your lot prove happier than your sire's.
Chorus: Alas, poor soul: what brought her to this end? Ah whither shall thy bitter cry not reach, What crag in all Cithaeron but shall then Reverberate thy wail, when thou hast found With what a hymeneal thou wast borne Home, but to no fair haven, on the gale! That hurt me; but for the time I suffered in silence As well as I could. Bacchus, our name-god, golden in the dance Of Maenad revelry, Euoe! But none knows who was by. And of the children, inmates of his home, He shall be proved the brother and the sire, Of her who bare him son and husband both, Co-partner, and assassin of his sire. Shepherd: Ay, that's how it was. In this first scene, Oedipus seems outwardly the ideal king, revealing his intelligence, responsibility, and energy — attributes that Athenians prized as their own particular virtues.
If he says this, thou knowst it. Chorus: I think he will prove to be that same countryman Whom you have already asked to see. Messenger: I think he was said to be one of Laius' men. Creon: Not so, my sister. Chorus: Twice-tormented; in the spirit, as in the flesh.
Thy happy star ascendant brought us luck, O let it not decline! You cannot but be glad At the message - though you may also be distressed. O king, Regard it not. Polybus, to whom I owe my life. Methinks that thou and thine abettor soon Will rue your plot to drive the scapegoat out. And the basic overall theme of the Oedipus trilogy is defiance. You shall be sorry for this. I come from Corinth, and the news Ill tell May give thee joy.
Now my imaginings have gone so far. Shall he by any armour be defended From God's sharp wrath, who casts out right for wrong? I impute no blame Till blame is proved. What riddles dark and dim thou lovst to speak. Enter Tbirbsias, blind, led by an attendant. Chorus: Sir, to our thinking, both of you have spoken In the heat of anger. Oedipus: I shall; and speak my mind unflinchingly. Oedipus is a hero and a man of action.
Did some Heliconian Oread give him thee, a new-born joy? Oedipus: Living in perpetual night, you cannot harm Me, nor any man else that sees the light. A swift and two-edged sword, Your mother's and your father's curse, shall sweep you Out of this land. You have your several griefs, each for himself; But my heart bears the weight of my own, and yours And all my people's sorrows. Priest: My lord and king: we are gathered here, as you sec, Young and old, from the tenderest chicks to the age-bent seniors; Priests - 1 of Zeus - and the pick of our young manhood. For, in full armour clad, Upon him darts, with fire And lightning flash, the radiant Son of Zeus.
They are bringing the prophet In whom, of all men, lives the incarnate truth. The moment becomes, in fact, an occasion for near triumph, as Oedipus believes his doubts about prophecies have been confirmed. But while our people pine, My heart is racked anew If you, My princes, add your strife To our old misery. Messenger: Your ankles were rivetted, and I set you free. When he hears of this he promises never to return so he may outsmart the fates. I will make haste to send.