Oedipus at Colonus Quotes

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Oedipus at Colonus Quotes

Quote 1: "I am blind and old, Antigone, my child./What country have we come to? Whose is this city.../My sufferings have taught me to endure--/and how long these sufferings have lasted!" Line 1-8

Quote 2: "[T]here are towers here that protect the city; they look,/to my eyes, far off. This place is sacred--as I would guess--it's thick with laurel, with olives and with vines; the nightingales are singing,/thick-feathered, happily, inside the grove." Line 16-21

Quote 3: "Father, we must do as other citizens here,/yielding in what is dutiful, hearing with obedience." Line 174-175

Quote 4: "You are a stranger in a strange land,/poor man. Make your mind up/to reject what this city dislikes,/and reverence what she loves." Line 189-193

Quote 5: "Ismene, in the old time came to me/unknown to the [Thebans], with all their oracles/that spoke about this carcass of mine./You were my trusted guard when I was hunted/out of Theban land." Line 383-387

Quote 6: "It is a poor thing to exalt the old/when he fell in his youth." Line 437-438

Quote 7: "Make an atonement to those deities/you came to first,/when you trespassed on their ground." Line 521-522

Quote 8: "It was the city bound me,/in utter ignorance, in a deadly marriage,/in fated ruin, that came with my wife." Line 588-590

Quote 9: "I received a gift/for serving the city--would to God I had never won it!--/for my heart is broken." Line 610-612

Quote 10: "Those that I killed would have killed me./So in law I am innocent and came to all this/in ignorance." Line 624-625

Quote 11: "For my part I know what it means,/to be brought up in exile,/as you are an exile. I too in a foreign country/wrestled with dangers to my life, more than anyone else." Line 640-642

Quote 12: "I was banished from my own country/by my sons, return forever denied to me,/because I killed my father." Line 683-685

Quote 13: "Here are the fairest homesteads of the world,/here in this country, famed for its horses, stranger,/where you have come:/ Here to Colonus, gleaming white,/where the nightingale in constant trilling song/cries from beneath the green leaves,/where she lives in the wine dark ivy.../safe from the sun, safe from the wind/of every storm, god's place, inviolable." Line 665-674

Quote 14: "Yet another matter of praise have I/for this my mother city,/gift of a great god, our land's boast,/that it is a horse master, colt breaker, master of the sea." Line 803-804

Quote 15: "You have come to bring me, yes, but not to bring me home/but to set me in a dwelling apart -- but near you,/so there will be no trouble with Athens for your city./You will not succeed, no, instead/my spirit shall dwell forever, a curse,/a curse upon your country." Line 889-894

Quote 16: "You miserable creature, clearly you haven't/been able to grow wise, with all your years." Line 913-914

Quote 17: "May the gods of this place/not take away my tongue from uttering this curse!/You villain: after the violence to my onetime eyes,/you have wrenched from me the one poor eye I had left./May the Sun-God [Apollo] that sees all give you and your seed/an old age like this of mine!" Line 995-1000

Quote 18: "If you are right [that Oedipus is the criminal], I will no longer think/Athens [to be] a city." Line 1010-1011

Quote 19: "What you have done/is a disgrace to me, and your own blood,/and to your country. You came within this city/that makes a practice of justice and determines/nothing without a law. You then throw aside her lawful institutions by your invasion./You take what you want, making them yours by force." Line 1049-1055

Quote 20: "But you dishonor/a city that has not merited dishonor --/your own city; and your years, so many,/show you to be an old man still empty of wisdom." Line 1068-1072

Quote 21: "May the gods grant all that I wish for you./for you and for this country! Only in this people/of yours have I found piety towards the gods,/and human feeling and no hypocrisy./...I have/all that I have through you and no one else." Line 1290-1296

Quote 22: "He is my son, prince, he is my hated son,/whose words would hurt my ears more than all others." Line 1350-1351

Quote 23: "I do not want to boast, but you,/you know you are safe -- if a god keeps me safe." Line 1392-1393

Quote 24: "Not to be born is best of all.../For when youth with its gift of light heart/has come and gone, what grievous stroke/is spared to a man, what agony/is he without? Envy, and faction,/strife and fighting and murders are his.../old age at the last, most hated,/without power, without comrades, and friends,/when every ill, all ills,/take up their dwelling with him." Line 1410-1423

Quote 25: "Here I find him in a foreign country,/an exile banished here, with clothes upon him/where the foul ancient dirt has lived so long/that it infects his old body,/and his uncombed hair floats in the wind/about his eyeless face.../Why are you silent?/Say something! Do not turn away from me giving no answer." Line 1445-1461

Quote 26: "You scoundrel, you, with your scepter and your throne --/held now by your blood brother in Thebes --/you chased me out, your father, made me cityless;/these are clothes you made me wear,/the sight of which now brings tears to your eyes,/when you have come to the same stress of misery./I may not weep, I must put up with it." Line 1548-1554

Quote 27: "Here are other new ills that have come/just now, of evil doom,/from the blind stranger.../For I cannot recall any decision of God/a vain thing./Time watches constantly those decisions;/Some fortunes it destroys, and others,/on the day following, lifts up again//There is the thunder! Zeus!" Line 1662-1671

Quote 28: "Look at it! rolling down, crashing,/the thunderbolt unspeakable, hurled by Zeus./Terror has raised the hair on my head;/my heart is trembling.../I am all fear." Line 1677-1683

Quote 29: "Yes; I will direct you, son of Aegeus,/in what shall be a treasure for this city./Old age shall not decay it. Immediately/I will show the way without a hand to guide me/to the place where I must die./And you, describe this to no man, ever,/neither where it is hidden nor in what region,/that doing so may make you a defense/beyond the worth of many shield, or many neighbors' help." Line 1732-1740

Quote 30: "Let us go from this place -- a pressing summons/from the gods forces me -- and delay no more./My children, follow me -- so. In a strange way/I have become your guide; you were once mine./Come on, but touch me not.../This way, this way, like this! For this way Hermes,/the Conductor, leads me, and the goddess of the dead." Line 1758-1766

Quote 31: "He was himself the guide to all of us./When he came to the steep road, rooted in earth/by brazen steps, he stood in one of the many branching paths.../Then he sat down and loosed his filthy robes.../[then] Zeus/of the Underworld thundered. [The daughters] fell to their father's knees/and cried, unceasingly, beating their breasts." Line 1810-1829

Quote 32: "It was the god who called them, over and over,/You, Oedipus, Oedipus, why are you hesitating/to go our way? You have been too slow, too long." Line 1846-1848

Quote 33: "And he died in a foreign land,/but one he yearned for. He has his bed/below in the shadowy grass/forever./He has left behind him a mourning sorrow --/these eyes of mine with their tears/bewail you.../Yes, you chose in a foreign land/to die. I find it a lonely death." Line 1941-1951

Quote 34: "He/has forbidden approach to the place,/nor may any voice invoke/the sacred tomb where he lies./he said, if I truly did this,/I should have forever a land unharmed./These pledges the God heard from me/and Oath, Zeus' servant, all seeing." Line 2003-2010

Quote 35: "If this was, then, the mind of Him,/the dead, I must be content./Send us, then, to our ancient Thebes/that perhaps we may prevent/the murder that comes to our brothers." Line 2011-2015

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