Friday, September 2

Book/Play Review: Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles

Author: Sophocles
Title: Oedipus at Colonus (Play 2 in trilogy)
Genre: Classics, Play, Drama, and Fantasy
Pages: 144
First Published: 401BC
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Bought a copy at B&N)

At the center of the play is the mysterious transformation of Oedipus from an old and blind beggar, totally dependent on his daughters, to the man who rises from his seat and, without help, leads everyone to the place where he is destined to die. In the background of this transformation stands the grove of the Furies, the sacred place of the implacable goddesses who pursue the violators of blood relationships. Although Oedipus, who killed his father and married his mother, is an obvious target of the Furies' vengeance, he enters their grove at the beginning of the play, sure that it is the resting place Apollo has predicted for him. The reversals and paradoxes in the play speak to the struggle that Oedipus' life and the action of the play bring vividly before us: how do we as humans, subject to constant change, find stable ground on which to stand and define our moral lives? 

This is the second part of the well-known story of Oedipus. This follows the man after he was banished from his kingdom in disgrace and blinded. His one daughter, Antigone, has decided to stay with him and be his eyes. 

Oohhhh the poor man. He is for sure haunted by what the Fates did to him. It was his fault at all, but yet, he is being punished. Poor, poor guy. I also feel bad for his kids. Not his sons, because his sons are A-holes and I’m glad they are now cursed! I’m curious to see how that ends up in the next play. 

I’ll be honest…I had no idea that this was technically a “trilogy”. I thought the story ended with Oedipus running off gouging his own eyes out. However, I guess there is more to the tale than I realized! In many ways, Oedipus does redeem and the Fates give him a break of sorts. He deserved it. A part of me liked this one better than the first part. 

Mhm. I wasn’t a huge fan of the chorus parts. I’m used to choruses having a big role in this story, but it was not done that well in this one. 

Also, this was kinda slow going. True, it was supposed to be just an arch and epilogue. Oedipus’ story is now completed, but the next play will center on his daughter, Antigone. I am curious and I’ll be checking that out soon.

In the end, this was an eh for me. It was interesting to continue the story on the poor man who was tricked by the evil Fates to marry his mom. It was more of an arch that is important to the tale, but still…it is just there. I am curious to see what happens in the next part! I shall stamp this with 3 stars.  It was a hair better than the first part of the story. 


Melliane said...

Sorry it wasn't a bit more. I didn't know about it but not sure I'll try

Blodeuedd said...


Carole Rae said...

Melliane and B, Classics are such hit-or-misses. :/