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Oedipus the King by Sophocles

Oedipus the King by Sophocles

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Published by deveousdevil
Famous Greek play.
Famous Greek play.

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Published by: deveousdevil on Oct 22, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Provided by The Internet Classics Archive.See bottom for copyright. Available online at http://classics.mit.edu//Sophocles/oedipus.html
Oedipus the KingBy Sophocles
Translated by F. Storr!ramatis Personae"#!IP$ST%# P&I#ST "F '#$SC&#"(C%"&$S "F T%#)A( #*!#&ST#I&#SIAS+"CASTA,#SS#(-#&%#&! "F *AI$SThebes. )efore the Palace of "edipus. Suppliants of all ages are seatedround the altar at the palace doors at their head a P&I#ST "F '#$S.To them enter "#!IP$S."#!IP$S ,y children latest born to Cadmus old hy sit ye here as suppliants in your hands )ranches of olive filleted 0ith 0ool1 hat means this ree2 of incense every0here And every0here laments and litanies1 Children it 0ere not meet that I should learn From others and am hither come myself I "edipus your 0orldreno0ned 2ing. %o3 aged sire 0hose venerable loc2s Proclaim thee spo2esman of this company #4plain your mood and purport. Is it dread "f ill that moves you or a boon ye crave1 ,y 5eal in your behalf ye cannot doubt6 &uthless indeed 0ere I and obdurate If such petitioners as you I spurned. P&I#ST 7ea "edipus my sovereign lord and 2ing Thou seest ho0 both e4tremes of age besiege Thy palace altarsfledglings hardly 0inged And greybeards bo0ed 0ith years priests as am I "f 'eus and these the flo0er of our youth. ,ean0hile the common fol2 0ith 0reathed boughs Cro0d our t0o mar2etplaces or before )oth shrines of Pallas congregate or 0here
Ismenus gives his oracles by fire. For as thou seest thyself our ship of State Sore buffeted can no more lift her head Foundered beneath a 0eltering surge of blood. A blight is on our harvest in the ear A blight upon the gra5ing floc2s and herds A blight on 0ives in travail6 and 0ithal Armed 0ith his bla5ing torch the -od of Plague %ath s0ooped upon our city emptying The house of Cadmus and the mur2y realm "f Pluto is full fed 0ith groans and tears. Therefore " 8ing here at thy hearth 0e sit I and these children6 not as deeming thee A ne0 divinity but the first of men6 First in the common accidents of life And first in visitations of the -ods. Art thou not he 0ho coming to the to0n "f Cadmus freed us from the ta4 0e paid To the fell songstress1 (or hadst thou received Prompting from us or been by others schooled6 (o by a god inspired 9so all men deem And testify didst thou rene0 our life. And no0 " "edipus our peerless 2ing All 0e thy votaries beseech thee find Some succor 0hether by a voice from heaven hispered or haply 2no0n by human 0it. Tried counselors methin2s are aptest found To furnish for the future pregnant rede. $praise " chief of men upraise our State3 *oo2 to thy laurels3 for thy 5eal of yore "ur country;s savior thou art <ustly hailed: " never may 0e thus record thy reign: =%e raised us up only to cast us do0n.= $plift us build our city on a roc2. Thy happy star ascendant brought us luc2 " let it not decline3 If thou 0ouldst rule This land as no0 thou reignest better sure To rule a peopled than a desert realm. (or battlements nor galleys aught avail If men to man and guards to guard them tail. "#!IP$S Ah3 my poor children 2no0n ah 2no0n too 0ellThe >uest that brings you hither and your need. 7e sic2en all 0ell 0ot I yet my pain %o0 great soever yours outtops it all. 7our sorro0 touches each man severally %im and none other but I grieve at once )oth for the general and myself and you. Therefore ye rouse no sluggard from daydreams. ,any my children are the tears I;ve 0ept And threaded many a ma5e of 0eary thought. Thus pondering one clue of hope I caught And trac2ed it up6 I have sent ,enoeceus; son Creon my consort;s brother to in>uire "f Pythian Phoebus at his !elphic shrine
%o0 I might save the State by act or 0ord. And no0 I rec2on up the tale of days Since he set forth and marvel ho0 he fares. ;Tis strange this endless tarrying passing strange. )ut 0hen he comes then I 0ere base indeed If I perform not all the god declares. P&I#ST Thy 0ords are 0ell timed6 even as thou spea2est That shouting tells me Creon is at hand. "#!IP$S " 8ing Apollo3 may his <oyous loo2s )e presage of the <oyous ne0s he brings3 P&I#ST As I surmise ;tis 0elcome6 else his head %ad scarce been cro0ned 0ith berryladen bays. "#!IP$S e soon shall 2no06 he;s no0 in earshot range. 9#nter C&#"(.,y royal cousin say ,enoeceus; child hat message hast thou brought us from the god1 C&#"( -ood ne0s for e;en intolerable ills Finding right issue tend to naught but good. "#!IP$S %o0 runs the oracle1 thus far thy 0ords -ive me no ground for confidence or fear. C&#"( If thou 0ouldst hear my message publicly I;ll tell thee straight or 0ith thee pass 0ithin. "#!IP$S Spea2 before all6 the burden that I bear Is more for these my sub<ects than myself. C&#"( *et me report then all the god declared. 8ing Phoebus bids us straitly e4tirpate A fell pollution that infests the land And no more harbor an inveterate sore. "#!IP$S hat e4piation means he1 hat;s amiss1 C&#"( )anishment or the shedding blood for blood. This stain of blood ma2es ship0rec2 of our state. "#!IP$S hom can he mean the miscreant thus denounced1C&#"( )efore thou didst assume the helm of State The sovereign of this land 0as *aius. "#!IP$S I heard as much but never sa0 the man. C&#"( %e fell6 and no0 the god;s command is plain: Punish his ta2ersoff 0hoe;er they be. "#!IP$S here are they1 here in the 0ide 0orld to findThe far faint traces of a bygone crime1 C&#"( In this land said the god6 =0ho see2s shall find6

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