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Oedipus at Colonus


Oedipus at Colonus


Towering over the rest of Greek tragedy, the three plays that tell the story of the ill-fated Theban royal family—Antigone, Oedipus Rex, and Oedipus at Colonus—are among the most enduring and timeless dramas ever written.

Oedipus at Colonus, one of Sophocles' greatest plays, has never been surpassed for the raw and terrible power with which Sophocles dramatizes the end of the tragic hero's life and his mythic significance for Athens.

Here we find all sides of Sophocles’ genius on display: the verse gorgeous, the characters brilliantly drawn.

Throughout the play Oedipus reviews the tragic events of his own life—killing his father, marrying his mother, fathering children with her—all the while vehemently insisting upon his own innocence.

The plot depicts the last day in the life of Oedipus, once king of Thebes, who after years of wandering as a blind tramp guided by his daughter Antigone, has reached Colonus on the outskirts of Athens.

There he seeks a final resting place in a sacred grove of the Furies, offering the Athenians a divinely promised future security against their Theban neighbors if they will prevent him being forcibly carried back to Thebes.


SOPHOCLES (circa 496 BC) is one of three ancient Greek tragedians (along with Aeschylus, and Euripides) whose plays have survived down through the centuries.  His most famous plays feature Oedipus and Antigone: they are generally known as the Theban plays. Sophocles is best remembered for having influenced the development of the modern drama, most importantly by adding a third actor, thereby reducing the importance of the chorus in the exposition of the plot.

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