Oedipus Rex Writeen By Sophocles And Translated By Robert Fitzgerald. It Is About Two Ways To Interpret A Passage.

985 words - 4 pages

Oedipus at Colonus is the story of the last day in the life of Oedipus. After many year of wandering, Oedipus arrives in a grove outside Athens and understands that this is the place he would die. Theseus, king of Athens and its surroundings, promises to give Oedipus the right to be buried in Colonus and to protect his secret burial place. More than that, Theseus brings back Oedipus' daughters who were abducted by Creon. Oedipus apologizes for not thanking Theseus right away, instead of talking to his daughters. Theseus understands that Oedipus needs the time to talk with his saved daughters, and refrains from bragging about his struggle with Creon, but he asks Oedipus to do "a trivial thing" and meet someone who looks desperate to meet him.Oedipus:What is his country? What is he praying for?Theseus:All I know is this: he asks, they tell me,A brief interview with you and nothing more.Oedipus:Upon what subject?If he is in prayer it cannot be a trifleTheseus:They say he only asks to speak to youAnd then to depart safely by the same roadOedipus:Who could it be who would come here to pray?Theseus:Think: have you any relative in ArgosWho might desire this favor of you?Oedipus:Dear Friend!Say no moreTheseus:What has alarmed you?Oedipus:No more!Theseus:But what is the matter? Tell me.Oedipus:When I heard Argos I knew the petitioner.Theseus:And who is he whom I must hold at fault.Oedipus:A son of mine, my lord, and a hated one.Nothing could be more painful than to listen to him.Theseus:But why? Is it not possible to listenWithout doing anything you need not do?Why should it distress you so to hear him?The first eight lines of this passage can be interpreted in two different ways. In these lines, Oedipus keeps asking questions about the stranger: his origin, his subject, and what he is praying for. Knowing that Oedipus is after many years of wandering and suffering, and in the last day of his life, we might think that Oedipus is not interested in meeting and helping a stranger. He is tired and sad, and wants to spend his last hours by saying goodbye to his loved daughters who helped him during his years of misery. He also wants to present again to the Chorus his point of view that he was not really responsible for his crimes, because he undertook them unknowingly. Oedipus is not anymore a man of swift actions and a problem solving figure for other people. He is concentrated around his leaving of this world, and taking care of his own needs: his burial, his separation from his daughters and his legacy. If we agree with this interpretation, we might read these lines in a kind of indifferent tone. Oedipus doesn't insist on not seeing the stranger, because he feels some obligations toward Theseus who helped him...

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