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MonkeyNotes-Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles
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Oedipus is not a faultless paragon of virtue, even though his experiences during exile have taught him patience through suffering and he has borne his trial and tribulations with remarkable restraint. However, his dictatorial self is still present as can be seen in his mighty outburst against his sons. The irrationality and vagaries of his behavior make Oedipus a truly human person, subject to all the faults of ordinary mortals. Hence, he becomes a more arresting character to observe on stage and analyze


Another aspect of Oedipus' character evident in this scene is how he acquires the dimensions of a god-like figure with authority to curse or bless humankind. In Greek myth, the gods were capable of exercising both these functions. Hence, Oedipus blesses his daughters, Theseus, and the people of Colonus; on the other hand, he utters terrifying oaths against his two sons, Creon, and the Thebans. This brings to the play, and the character of Oedipus, a superior divine dimension. Oedipus is a blind prophet foretelling the course of future events.

This powerful scene full of dramatic conflict shows the mighty and skilled hand of Sophocles, the dramatist, who presents life in all its splendor and horror, its certainties and ambiguities, joys and sorrows and leaves the audience to decide what it is all about.

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