The Collected Works of Sophocles. Plumptre with an Introduction by John Williams White]. The Burial at Thebes. Oedipus the King; Oedipus at Colonus; Antigone. Oedipus, King of Thebes Annotated. Oedipus King Of Thebes. The Tragedies of Sophocles. Selected Works of Aeschylus and Sophocles. Oedipus, King Of Thebes.
Oedipus King of Thebes
The Other Four Plays of Sophocles. The Oedipus plays of Sophocles: Harvard Classics Volume 8.
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The Ancient Greek Drama Collection. Antigone Translated by E. Plumptre with an Introduction by J. How to write a great review. The review must be at least 50 characters long. The title should be at least 4 characters long. Your display name should be at least 2 characters long. At Kobo, we try to ensure that published reviews do not contain rude or profane language, spoilers, or any of our reviewer's personal information. You submitted the following rating and review. We'll publish them on our site once we've reviewed them.
Item s unavailable for purchase. Polybus being childless adopted the boy, who grew up believing that he was indeed the King's son. Afterwards doubting his parentage he inquired of the Delphic god and heard himself the word declared before to Laius. Wherefore he fled from what he deemed his father's house and in his flight he encountered and unwillingly slew his father Laius.
Arriving at Thebes he answered the riddle of the Sphinx and the grateful Thebans made their deliverer king. So he reigned in the room of Laius, and espoused the widowed queen. Children were born to them and Thebes prospered under his rule, but again a grievous plague fell upon the city. Again the oracle was consulted and it bade them purge themselves of blood-guiltiness.
Oedipus denounces the crime of which he is unaware, and undertakes to track out the criminal. Step by step it is brought home to him that he is the man. The closing scene reveals Jocasta slain by her own hand and Oedipus blinded by his own act and praying for death or exile. In the story, Oedipus unknowingly marries his mother and accidentally murders his father. Robert Fagles's authoritative and acclaimed translation conveys all of Sophocles's lucidity and power: This Penguin Classics edition features an introduction and notes by the renowned classicist Bernard Knox.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. Antigone Sophocles Antigone, daughter of Oedipus, the late king of Thebes, in defiance of Creon who rules in his stead, resolves to bury her brother Polyneices, slain in his attack on Thebes. She is caught in the act by Creon's watchmen and brought before the king. She justifies her action, asserting that she was bound to obey the eternal laws of right and wrong in spite of any human ordinance. Creon, unrelenting, condemns her to be immured in a rock-hewn chamber.
His son Haemon, to whom Antigone is betrothed, pleads in vain for her life and threatens to die with her. Warned by the seer Teiresias Creon repents him and hurries to release Antigone from her rocky prison. But he is too late: Returning to the palace he sees within the dead body of his queen who on learning of her son's death has stabbed herself to the heart.
Antigone Sophocles Antigone is a tragedy written by Sophocles. In the story, Antigone is the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta. She attempts to secure a respectable burial for her brother Polynices, even though he was a traitor to Thebes and the law forbids even mourning for him. Antigone Sophocles In his long life, Sophocles born ca. Of these, seven complete tragedies remain, among them the famed Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus.
In Antigone , he reveals the fate that befalls the children of Oedipus. With its passionate speeches and sensitive probing of moral and philosophical issues, this powerful drama enthralled its first Athenian audiences and won great honors for Sophocles. The setting of the play is Thebes.
Polynices, son of Oedipus, has led a rebellious army against his brother, Eteocles, ruler of Thebes. Both have died in single combat. When Creon, their uncle, assumes rule, he commands that the body of the rebel Polynices be left unburied and unmourned, and warns that anyone who tampers with his decree will be put to death. Antigone, sister of Polynices, defies Creon's order and buries her brother, claiming that she honors first the laws of the gods.
Enraged, Creon condemns her to be sealed in a cave and left to die. How the gods take their revenge on Creon provides the gripping denouement to this compelling tragedy, which remains today one of the most frequently performed of classical Greek dramas. A great masterpiece on which Aristotle based his aesthetic theory of drama in the Poetics and from which Freud derived the Oedipus complex, King Oedipus puts out a sentence on the unknown murderer of his father Laius.
By a gradual unfolding of incidents, Oedipus learns that he was the assassin and that Jocasta, his wife, is also his mother. Oedipus Rex Sophocles Considered by many the greatest of the classic Greek tragedies, Oedipus Rex is Sophocles' finest play and a work of extraordinary power and resonance. Aristotle considered it a masterpiece of dramatic construction and refers to it frequently in the Poetics. In presenting the story of King Oedipus and the tragedy that ensues when he discovers he has inadvertently killed his father and married his mother, the play exhibits near-perfect harmony of character and action.
Moreover, the masterly use of dramatic irony greatly intensifies the impact of the agonizing events and emotions experienced by Oedipus and the other characters in the play. Now these and many other facets of this towering tragedy may be studied and appreciated in Dover's attractive inexpensive edition of one of the great landmarks of Western drama. Each edition has been optimized for maximum readability, using our patent-pending conversion technology. We are partnering with leading publishers around the globe to create accessible editions of their titles.
To find more books in your format visit www. An active table of contents makes it easy to find each work. Authors and books include: Agamemnon The House of Atreus Aristotle: The Categories Ethics Francis Bacon: An Ethical Poem Rene Descartes: Principles of Philosophy Euripides: The Iliad Odyssey David Hume: An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding: Oedipus the King Benedict de Spinoza: Compiled and Edited by Charles W. Eliot LL D in , the Harvard Classics is a volume Anthology of classic literature from throughout the history of western civilization.
The set is sometimes called "Eliot's Five-Foot Shelf. It is fully searchable with a completely linked table of contents. The Theban Plays Sophocles The timeless Theban tragedies of Sophocles— Oedipus the Tyrant , Oedipus at Colonus , and Antigone —have fascinated and moved audiences and readers across the ages with their haunting plots and their unforgettable heroes and heroines. Now, following the best texts faithfully, and translating the key moral, religious, and political terminology of the plays accurately and consistently, Peter J.
Ahrensdorf and Thomas L. Pangle allow contemporary readers to study the most literally exact reproductions of precisely what Sophocles wrote, rendered in readily comprehensible English. In the preface, notes to the plays, and introductions, Ahrensdorf and Pangle supply critical historical, mythic, and linguistic background information, and highlight the moral, religious, political, philosophic, and psychological questions at the heart of each of the plays. Even readers unfamiliar with Greek drama will find what they need to experience, reflect on, and enjoy these towering works of classical literature.
Oedipus Rex Oedipus the King Sophocles The first drama in the Oedipus Trilogy, "Oedipus Rex", is the tragic tale of Oedipus who has accidentally killed his father and married his mother. One of the most widely read of all Greek tragedies, "Oedipus Rex", stands as one of not only the greatest dramas from classical antiquity but as one of the greatest dramas of all time. Its influence on literature and theatre cannot be overstated and it is as compelling today as when it was first performed.
Antigone Sophocles The second story in the Oedipus Trilogy, "Antigone", examines the conflict between public duty and personal loyalty. Following the banishment of Oedipus, Eteocles and Polyneices kill each other over a dispute of succession to the thrown of Thebes. Creon, Antigone's uncle, succeeds to the thrown and declares that no one may bury Polyneices under penalty of death.
Antigone, disregards this order and buries Polyneices and is willing to face the consequence for doing so. Not if thou rule ill. Hear him, O Thebes! Thebes is for me also—not for thee alone. Cease, princes; and in good time for you I see Iocasta coming yonder from the house, with whose help ye should compose your present feud.
Misguided men, why have ye raised such foolish strife of tongues? Are ye not ashamed, while the land is thus sick, to stir up troubles of your own? Come, go thou into the house,—and thou, Creon, to thy home,—and forbear to make much of a petty grief. Kinswoman, Oedipus thy lord claims to do Jebb Yea; for I have caught him, lady, working evil, by ill arts, against my person. Now may I see no good, but perish accursed, if I have done aught to thee of that wherewith thou chargest me! Consent, reflect, hearken, O my king, I pray thee! Respect him who aforetime was not foolish, and who now is strong in his oath.
Now dost thou know what thou cravest? Declare, then, what thou meanest. That thou shouldest never use an unproved rumour to cast a dishonouring charge on the friend who has bound himself with a curse. Then be very sure that, when thou seekest this, for me thou art seeking destruction, or exile from this land. No, by him who stands in the front of all the heavenly host, no, by the Sun! But my unhappy soul is worn by the withering of the land, and again by the thought that our old sorrows should be crowned by sorrows springing from you twain.
Then let him go, though I am surely doomed to death, or to be thrust dishonoured from the land. Sullen in yielding art thou seen, even as vehement in the excesses of thy wrath; but such natures are justly sorest for themselves to bear. Then wilt thou not leave me in peace, and get thee gone? I will go my way; I have found thee undiscerning, but in the sight of these I am just.
Lady, why dost thou delay to take yon man into the house? Blind suspicion, bred of talk, arose; and, on the other part, injustice wounds. It was on both sides? And what was the story? Enough, methinks, enough—when our land is already vexed—that the matter should rest where it ceased. Seest thou to what thou hast come, for all thy honest purpose, in seeking to slack and blunt my zeal? King, I have said it not once alone—be sure Jebb In the name of the gods, tell me also, O king, on what account thou hast conceived this steadfast wrath.
Speak on—if thou canst tell clearly how the feud began. As on his own knowledge? Or on hearsay from another? Nay, he hath made a rascal seer his mouthpiece; as for himself, he keeps his lips wholly pure. Then absolve thyself of the things whereof thou speakest; hearken to me, and learn for thy comfort that nought of mortal birth is a sharer in the science of the seer. I will give thee pithy proof of that. So, in that case, Apollo brought it not to pass that Jebb Thus did the messages of seer-craft map out the future. Regard them, thou, not at all.
Whatsoever needful things the god seeks, he himself will easily bring to light. What restlessness of soul, lady, what tumult of the mind hath just come upon me since I heard thee speak! What anxiety hath startled thee, that thou sayest this? Yea, that was the story; nor hath it ceased yet. And where is the place where this befell? The land is called Phocis; and branching roads lead to the same spot from Delphi and from Daulia.
And what is the time that hath passed since these things were? The news was published to the town shortly before thou wast first seen in power over this land. O Zeus, what hast thou decreed to do unto me? And wherefore, Oedipus, doth this thing weigh upon thy soul? He was tall,—the silver just lightly strewn among his hair; and his form was not greatly unlike to thine.
Unhappy that I am! Methinks I have been laying myself even now under a dread curse, and knew it not. I tremble when I look on thee, my king. Dread misgivings have I that the seer can see. But thou wilt show better if thou wilt tell me one thing more. Indeed—though I tremble—I will answer all thou askest, when I hear it. A servant—the sole survivor who came home. Is he haply at hand in the house now? Would, then, that he could return to us without delay! I fear, lady, that mine own lips have been unguarded; and therefore am I fain to behold him.
Nay, he shall come. But I too, methinks, have a claim to learn what lies heavy on thy heart, my king. Yea, and it shall not be kept from thee, now that my forebodings have advanced so far. Who, indeed, is more to me than thou, to whom I should speak in passing through such a fortune as this? At a banquet, a man full of wine cast it at me in his cups that I was not the true son of my sire. So on their part I had comfort; yet was this thing ever rankling in Edition: And, unknown to mother or father, I went to Delphi; and Phoebus sent me forth disappointed of that knowledge for which I came, but in his response set forth Jebb And I, when I had listened to this, turned to flight from the land of Corinth, thenceforth wotting of its region by the stars alone, to some spot where I should never see fulfilment of the infamies foretold in mine evil doom.
And on my way I came to the regions in which Jebb Now, lady, I will tell thee the truth. When in my journey I was near to those three roads, there met me a herald, and a man seated in a carriage drawn by colts, as thou hast described; and he who was in front, and the old man himself, were for thrusting me rudely from the path.
Then, in anger, I struck him who pushed me aside—the driver; and the old man, seeing it, watched the moment when I was passing, and, from the carriage, brought his Jebb Yet was he paid with interest; by one swift blow from the staff in this hand he was rolled right out of the carriage, on his back; and I slew every man of them. What mortal could prove more hated of heaven? Whom no stranger, no citizen, is allowed to receive in Edition: And this—this curse—was laid on me by no mouth but mine own!
Say, am I vile? Oh, am I not utterly unclean? Then would not he speak aright of Oedipus, who judged these things sent by some cruel power above man? Forbid, forbid, ye pure and awful gods, that I Jebb No, may I be swept from among men, ere I behold myself visited with the brand of such a doom! To us, indeed, these things, O king, are fraught with fear; yet have hope, until at least thou hast gained full knowledge from him who saw the deed. Hope, in truth, rests with me thus far alone; I can await the man summoned from the pastures.
And when he has appeared—what wouldst thou have of him? I will tell thee. If his story be found to tally with thine, I, at least, shall stand clear of disaster. And what of special note didst thou hear from me? If, then, he still speaks, as before, of several, I was not the slayer: But if he names Edition: Nay, be assured that thus, at least, the tale was Jebb Howbeit that poor innocent never slew him, but perished first itself. So henceforth, for what touches divination, I would not look to my right hand or my left. But nevertheless send some one to fetch the peasant, and neglect not this Jebb I will send without delay.
But let us come into the house: May destiny still find me winning the praise of reverent purity in all words and deeds sanctioned by those laws of range sublime, called into life throughout the high clear heaven, whose father is Olympus alone; their parent was no race of mortal men, no, nor shall Jebb Insolence breeds the tyrant; Insolence, once vainly surfeited on wealth that is not meet nor good for it, when it hath scaled the topmost ramparts, is hurled to a dire doom, wherein no service of the feet can serve.
But if any man walks haughtily in deed or word, with no fear of Justice, no reverence for the images of gods, may an evil doom seize him for his ill-starred pride, if he will not win his vantage fairly, nor keep him Jebb Where such things are, what mortal shall boast any more that he can ward the arrows of the gods from his life? Nay, if such deeds are in honour, wherefore should we join in the sacred dance? Nay, king,—if thou art rightly called,—Zeus all-ruling, may it not escape thee and thine ever-deathless power! Princes of the land, the thought has come to me to visit the shrines of the gods, with this wreathed branch in my hands, and these gifts of incense.
For Oedipus excites his soul overmuch with all manner of alarms, nor, like a man of sense, judges the new things Edition: Since, then, by counsel I can do no good, to thee, Lycean Apollo, for thou art nearest, I have come, a Jebb For now we are all afraid, seeing him affrighted, even as they who see fear in the helmsman of their ship. Might I learn from you, strangers, where is the house of the king Oedipus? Or, better still, tell me where he himself is—if ye know. This is his dwelling, and he himself, stranger, is within; and this lady is the mother of his children.
Then may she be ever happy in a happy home, Jebb Happiness to thee also, stranger! Good tidings, lady, for thy house and for thy husband. And from whom hast thou come? And what is it? How hath it thus a double potency? The people will make him king of the Isthmian Jebb Is the aged Polybus no more in power? Is Polybus dead, old man? If I speak not the truth, I am content to die.
O handmaid, away with all speed, and tell this to thy master! O ye oracles of the gods, where stand ye now! This is the man whom Oedipus long feared and shunned, lest he should slay him; and now this man hath died in the course of destiny, not by his hand. Iocasta, dearest wife, why hast thou summoned Jebb Hear this man, and judge, as thou listenest, to what the awful oracles of the gods have come.
And he—who may he be, and what news hath he for me? He is from Corinth, to tell that thy father Polybus lives no longer, but hath perished. Let me have it from thine own mouth. If I must first make these tidings plain, know indeed that he is dead and gone. By treachery, or by visit of disease? A light thing in the scale brings the aged to their rest. Ah, he died, it seems, of sickness? Yea, and of the long years that he had told. Why, indeed, my wife, should one look to the hearth of the Pythian seer, or to the birds that scream above our heads, on whose showing I was Edition: But he is dead, and hid already beneath the earth; and here am I, who have not put hand to spear.
But the oracles as they stand, at least, Polybus hath swept with him to his rest in Hades: Nay, did I not so foretell to thee long since? Now no more lay aught of those things to heart. Nay, what should mortal fear, for whom the decrees of Fortune are supreme, and who hath clear foresight of nothing? But fear not thou touching wedlock with thy mother.
Many men ere now have so fared in dreams also: All these bold words of thine would have been well, were not my mother living; but as it is, since she lives, I must needs fear—though thou sayest well. Great, I know; but my fear is of her who lives. And who is the woman about whom ye fear? And what is it in her that moves your fear? A heaven-sent oracle of dread import, stranger. Lawful, or unlawful, for another to know? Loxias once said that I was Edition: Was it indeed for fear of this that thou wast Jebb And because I wished not, old man, to be the slayer of my sire.
Then why have I not freed thee, king, from this fear, seeing that I came with friendly purpose? Indeed thou shouldst have guerdon due from me. Nay, I will never go near my parents. If for these reasons thou shrinkest from going Jebb Aye, I dread lest Phoebus prove himself true for me. Thou dreadest to be stained with guilt through thy parents? Even so, old man—this it is that ever affrights me. Dost thou know, then, that thy fears are wholly vain?
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How so, if I was born of those parents? Because Polybus was nothing to thee in blood. Was Polybus not my sire? No more than he who speaks to thee, but just so much. And how can my sire be level with him who is as nought to me? Nay, wherefore, then, called he me his son? Know that he had received thee as a gift from my hands of yore. Yea, his former childlessness won him thereto.
And thou—hadst thou bought me or found me by chance, when thou gavest me to him? And wherefore wast thou roaming in those regions? I was there in charge of mountain flocks. What, thou wast a shepherd—a vagrant hireling? And what pain was mine when thou didst take me in thine arms? The ankles of thy feet might witness. Ah me, why dost thou speak of that old trouble? I freed thee when thou hadst thine ankles pinned together. Such, that from that fortune thou wast called by the name which still is thine. I know not; he who gave thee to me wots better of that than I.
What, thou hadst me from another? Thou didst not light on me thyself? Art thou in case to tell clearly? The king who ruled this country long ago? Is he still alive, that I might see him? Nay, ye folk of the country should know best. Is there any of you here present that knows the herd of whom he speaks—that hath seen him in the pastures or the town?
The hour hath come that these things should be finally revealed. Methinks he speaks of no other than the peasant whom thou wast already fain to see; but our lady Iocasta might best tell that. Lady, wottest thou of him whom we lately summoned? Is it of him that this man speaks? Why ask of whom he spoke? It must not be that, with such clues in my grasp, I should fail to bring my birth to light. My anguish is enough. Be of good courage; though I be found the son of servile mother,—aye, a slave by three descents,— thou wilt not be proved base-born.
Yet hear me, I implore thee: I must not hear of not discovering the whole truth. Yet I wish thee well—I counsel thee for the best. These best counsels, then, vex my patience. Mayst thou never come to know who thou art! Go, some one, fetch me the herdsman hither,— Jebb Why hath the lady gone, Oedipus, in a transport of wild grief? I misdoubt, a storm of sorrow will break forth from this silence. Break forth what will!
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Be my race never so lowly, I must crave to learn it. But I, who hold Jebb She is the mother from whom I spring; and the months, my kinsmen, have marked me sometimes lowly, sometimes great. Such being my lineage, never more can I prove false to it, or spare to search out the secret of my birth. If I am a seer or wise of heart, O Cithaeron, thou shalt not fail—by yon heaven, thou shalt not!
O Phoebus to whom we cry, may these things find favour in thy sight! Who was it, my son, who of the race whose years are many that bore thee in wedlock with Pan, the Jebb Or was it a bride of Loxias that bore thee? For dear to him are all the upland pastures. But perchance thou mayest have the advantage of me in knowledge, if thou hast seen the herdsman before.
I ask thee first, Corinthian stranger, is this he whom thou meanest? This man whom thou beholdest. Ho thou, old man—I would have thee look this way, and answer all that I ask thee.
Employed in what labour, or what way of life? For the best part of my life I tended flocks. And what the regions that thou didst chiefly haunt? Sometimes it was Cithaeron, sometimes the neighbouring ground. Then wottest thou of having noted yon man in these parts—. What man dost thou mean? Not so that I could speak at once from memory. And no wonder, master. But I will bring clear recollection to his ignorance. Come, tell me now—wottest thou of having Edition: Why dost thou ask the question? Yonder man, my friend, is he who then was young. Plague seize thee—be silent once for all!
And wherein, most noble master, do I offend? In not telling of the boy concerning whom he Jebb He speaks without knowledge—he is busy to no purpose. Thou wilt not speak with a good grace, but thou shalt on pain. Ho, some one—pinion him this instant! Didst thou give this man the child of whom he asks? I did,—and would I had perished that day!
Well, thou wilt come to that, unless thou tell the honest truth. Nay, much more am I lost, if I speak. The fellow is bent, methinks, on more delays Whence hadst thou got it?
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In thine own house, or from another? Mine own it was not—I had received it from a man. From whom of the citizens here? Thou art lost if I have to question thee again. Ah me—I am on the dreaded brink of speech. She gave it to thee? That I should make away with it. Her own child, the wretch? Aye, from fear of evil prophecies. The tale ran that he must slay his sire. Why, then, didst thou give him up to this old man? Through pity, master, as deeming that he would bear him away to another land, whence he himself Jebb For if thou art what this man saith, know that thou wast born to misery.
All brought to pass—all true! Thou light, may I now look my last on thee—I who have Edition: Alas, ye generations of men, how mere a shadow do I count your life! Where, where is the mortal who wins more of happiness than just the seeming, Jebb Thine is a fate that warns me,—thine, thine, unhappy Oedipus—to call no earthly creature blest. For he, O Zeus, sped his shaft with peerless skill, and won the prize of an all-prosperous fortune; he slew the maiden with crooked talons who sang darkly; he arose for our land as a tower against death.
Who is a more wretched captive to fierce plagues and troubles, with all his life reversed? The same bounteous place of rest sufficed thee, as child and sire also, that thou shouldst make thereon thy nuptial couch. Time the all-seeing hath found thee out in thy despite: I wail as one who pours a dirge from Jebb Ye who are ever most honoured in this land, what deeds shall ye hear, what deeds behold, what burden of sorrow shall be yours, if, true to your race, ye still care for the house of Labdacus!
For I ween that not Ister nor Phasis could wash this house clean, so many are the ills that it shrouds, or will soon bring to light,—ills wrought not unwittingly, but of purpose. Indeed those which we knew before fall not short of claiming sore lamentation: This is the shortest tale to tell and to hear: By her own hand. The worst pain in what hath chanced is not for you, for yours it is not to behold. Nevertheless, so far as mine own memory serves, ye shall Jebb And she bewailed the wedlock wherein, wretched, she had borne a twofold brood, husband by husband, children by her child.
And how thereafter she perished, Jebb For with a shriek Oedipus burst in, and suffered us not to watch her woe unto the end; on him, as he rushed around, our eyes were set. To and fro he went, asking us to give him a sword,—asking where he should find the wife who was no wife, but a mother whose womb had borne alike himself and his children.
And with a dread shriek, as though some one beckoned Jebb There beheld we the woman hanging by the neck in a twisted noose of swinging cords. But he, when he saw her, with a dread, deep cry of misery, loosed the halter whereby she hung. And when the hapless woman was stretched upon the ground, then was the sequel dread to see. For he tore from her raiment the golden brooches wherewith she was decked, and lifted them, and smote full on his own eye-balls, uttering words Jebb To such dire refrain, not once alone but oft struck he his eyes with lifted hand; and at each blow the ensanguined eye-balls bedewed his beard, nor sent forth sluggish drops of gore, but all at once a dark shower of blood came down like hail.
The old happiness of their ancestral fortune was aforetime happiness indeed; but to-day—lamentation, ruin, death, shame, all earthly ills that can be named—all, all are theirs. And hath the sufferer now any respite from pain? Howbeit he lacks strength, and one to guide his steps; for the anguish is more than man may bear. And he will show this to thee also; for lo, the bars of the gates are withdrawn, and soon thou shalt behold a sight which even he who abhors it must pity. O dread fate for men to see, O most dreadful of all that have met mine eyes! Unhappy one, what Jebb Who is the unearthly foe that, with a bound of more than mortal range, hath made thine ill-starred life his prey?
Alas, alas, thou hapless one! Alas, alas, wretched that I am! Whither, whither am I borne in my misery? How is my voice swept abroad on the wings of the air? O thou horror of darkness that enfoldest me, visitant unspeakable, resistless, sped by a wind too fair! How is my soul pierced by the stab of these goads, and withal by the memory of sorrows! Yea, amid woes so many a twofold pain may well be thine to mourn and to bear.
Ah, friend, thou still art steadfast in thy tendance of me,—thou still hast patience to care for the blind man! Thy presence is not hid from me—no, dark though I am, yet know I thy voice full well. Man of dread deeds, how couldst thou in such wise quench thy vision? What more than human power urged thee? Apollo, friends, Apollo was he that brought these my woes to pass, these my sore, sore woes: Why was I to see, when sight could show me nothing sweet?
These things were even as thou sayest. Say, friends, what can I more behold, what can I love, what greeting can touch mine ear with joy? Wretched alike for thy fortune and for thy sense thereof, would that I had never so much as known thee! Had I died then, to my friends and to mine own soul I had not been so sore a grief. I also would have had it thus. I know not how I can say that thou hast counselled well: Show me not at large that these things are Jebb But deem ye that the sight of children, born as mine were born, was lovely for me to look upon?
No, no, not lovely to mine eyes for ever! No, nor was this town with its towered walls, nor the sacred statues of the gods, since I, thrice wretched that I am,—I, noblest of the sons of Thebes,—have doomed myself Jebb After bearing such a stain upon me, was I to look with steady eyes on this folk? Alas, Cithaeron, why hadst thou a shelter for me?
When I was given to thee, why didst thou not slay me straightway, that so I might never have revealed my source to men? Ah, Polybus,—ah, Corinth, and thou that wast called the ancient house of my fathers, how seeming-fair was I your nurseling, and what ills were festering beneath! For now I am found evil, and of evil birth. O marriage-rites, ye gave me birth, and when ye had brought me forth, again ye bore children to your child, ye created an incestuous kinship of fathers, brothers, sons,—brides, wives, mothers,—yea, all the foulest shame that is wrought among men!
Approach,—deign to lay your hands on a wretched man;—hearken, fear not,—my plague can rest on no mortal beside. Nay, here is Creon, in meet season for thy requests, crave they act or counsel; for he alone is left to guard the land in thy stead. Ah me, how indeed shall I accost him? For in the past I have been found wholly false to him. I have not come in mockery, Oedipus, nor to reproach thee with any bygone fault. But ye, if ye respect the children of men no more, revere at least the all-nurturing flame of our lord the Sun,—spare to show thus nakedly a pollution such as this,—one which neither earth can welcome, nor the holy rain, nor the light.
Nay, take him into the house as quickly as ye may; for it best accords with piety that Jebb And what wish art thou so fain to have of me? Cast me out of this land with all speed, to a place where no mortal shall be found to greet me more. This would I have done, be thou sure, but that I craved first to learn all my duty from the god. Nay, his behest hath been set forth in full,—to Jebb Will ye, then, seek a response on behalf of such a wretch as I am?
Aye, for thou thyself wilt now surely put faith in the god. Yea; and on thee lay I this charge, to thee will I make this entreaty: But for me—never let this city of my sire be condemned to have Jebb Howbeit of thus much am I sure,—that neither sickness nor aught else can destroy Edition: Nay, let my fate go whither it will: Grant it, prince, grant it, thou noble heart! Ah, could I but once touch them with my hands, I should think that Jebb O ye gods, can it be my loved ones that I hear sobbing,—can Creon have taken pity on me and sent me my children—my darlings?
Then blessed be thou, and, for guerdon of this errand, may heaven prove to thee a kinder guardian Jebb My children, where are ye?