The Oedipus Plays
Important Quotations Explained
own flesh and blood—dear sister, dear Ismene, how many griefs our
father Oedipus handed down! Do you know one, I ask you, one grief
that Zeus will not perfect for the two of us while we still live
and breathe? There’s nothing, no pain—our lives are pain—no private
shame, no public disgrace, nothing I haven’t seen in your grief
and mine. (Antigone, 1–8)
me a greater crime in all the earth! She, she destroys cities, rips
up houses, breaks the ranks of spearmen into headlong rout. But
the ones who last it out, the great mass of them owe their lives
to discipline. Therefore we must defend the men who live by law,
never let some woman triumph over us. Better to fall from power,
if fall we must, at the hands of a man—never be rated inferior to
a woman, never. (Antigone, 751–761)
What should a man fear? It’s all chance, chance rules our lives.
Not a man on earth can see a day ahead, groping through the dark.
Better to live at random, best we can. And as for this marriage
with your mother—have no fear. Many a man before you, in his dreams,
has shared his mother’s bed. Take such things for shadows, nothing
at all— Live, Oedipus, as if there’s no tomorrow! (Oedipus
the King, 1068–1078)
of Thebes, my countrymen, look on Oedipus. He solved the famous
riddle with his brilliance, he rose to power, a man beyond all power.
Who could behold his greatness without envy? Now what a black sea
of terror has overwhelmed him. Now as we keep our watch and wait
the final day, count no man happy till he dies, free of pain at
(Oedipus the King, 1678–1684)
my children, weep no more. Here where the dark forces store up kindness
both for living and the dead, there is no room for grieving here—it
might bring down the anger of the gods.
(Oedipus at Colonus, 1970–1974)
by KajuKoa, January 31, 2013
Creon is not the one who comes to Oedipus first, it is actually the blind seer, Tiresias, who can "see" future, past, and present.
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