Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Rating : 3.5/5
Number of Pages : 424
Format : Literary Fiction, Play
Reason for Reading : Guardian Challenge

Three plays are collected in this volume surrounding Oedipus and his family. Oedipus was famous for killing his father and marrying his mother after being abandoned at birth. The first play is Antigone which follows the daughter of Oedipus and his wife/mother Jocasta. Her brothers have both died and while Eteocles is given a proper burial, Polynices is left out without any rites by their uncle Creon. Antigone is distraught and goes against Creon's wishes (he is the King after Oedipus) and tries to cover his body bringing about more sorrow to the doomed family.

Oedipus the King follows which shows the sequence of events leading up to Oedipus learning the truth about his birth and the crimes he has committed. It has him summoning the shepherd who is the sole witness of the death of Laius and it also emerges how he grew up not knowing his real parents. It's a sad tale as Oedipus did so much to try and avoid fulfilling the prophecy. The final play is Oedipus at Colonus which finishes the story of Oedpius after his exile. It concludes his story taking it to his death in Athens with Theseus. His daughters Antigone and Ismene are with him at the end.

I really enjoyed all three plays although I do feel that having Antigone first was out of order and it should have been the final play in the collection. I would really like to see them performed live, especially Oedipus the King which is the most powerful of the three with the truths it reveals. A must for all mythology fans.

2 comments:

Nymeth said...

I love the fact that you've been reading the old sources of so many myths. Makes me want to do the same :P

jehara said...

i have yet to read oedipus at colonus but i have the read the other two numerous times. i have seen antigone performed two times. if it is done well, it is quite moving.

if you are enjoying the greek tragedies i would recommend trojan women, lysistrata and medea.