Oedipus Rex Part 2. Sophocles. translated by Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald. 1 Olivier ~heatrel~ational Theatre, London. SCENE 3. Jocasta.

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scasta (Suzanne ~er6sh) and ledipus (Alan Howard), from Oedipus the King. 1 Olivier ~heatrel~ational Theatre, London. Oedipus Rex Part 2 Sophocles translated by Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald SCENE
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scasta (Suzanne ~er6sh) and ledipus (Alan Howard), from Oedipus the King. 1 Olivier ~heatrel~ational Theatre, London. Oedipus Rex Part 2 Sophocles translated by Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald SCENE 3 [Enter JOCASTA.] 865 Princes of Thebes, it has occurred to me To visit the altars of the gods, bearing These branches as a suppliant, and this incense. Our King is not himself: his noble soul s overwrought with fantasies of dread, 870 Else he would consider The new prophecies in the light of the old. He will listen to any voice that speaks disaster, 1 And my advice goes for nothing. [She approaches the altar, right.] To you, then, Apollo, LycianO lord, since you are nearest, turn in prayer. 875 Receive these offerings, and grant us deliverance From defilement. Our hearts are heavy with fear 1 When we see our leader distracted, as helpless sailors Are terrified by the confusion of their helmsman. 1 [Enter MESSENGER.] Friends, no doubt you can direct me: 880 Where shall find the house of Oedipus, Or, better still, where is the King himself? t is this very place, stranger; he is inside. This is his wife and mother of his children. wish her happiness in a happy house, 885 Blest in all the fulfillment of her marriage. wish as much for you: your courtesy Deserves a like good fortune. But now, tell me: Why have you come? What have you to say to us?! Good news, my lady, for your house and your husband. What news? Who sent you here? 890 am from Corinthl. The news bring ought to mean joy for you, Though it may be you will find some grief in it. 1 What is it? How can it touch us in both ways? 1! 1 The word is that the people of the sthmus ntend to call Oedipus to be their king. 1 by 'We new prc the light ofthe c in what the new prophecif Whot b ere the oh What ( f0esjoc0~ *LA,, h prophecies? 874. Lycian (lihle.an): One of Apollo's names is Lycius, which has been explained variously as wolf-god, god of light, and god of Lycia. Explain /ocasta's sin lile ' here. ' ; being cor npared to 894. sthmus: Corinth is located on a narrow strip of land connecting the Peloponnesus with eastern Greece Ancient Greek and Roman Literature But old King Polybus-is he not reigning still? No. Death holds him in his sepulcher. What are you saying? Polybus is dead? f am not telling the truth, may die myself. (to a MADSERVANT) GO in, go quickly; tell this 900 to your master. 0 riddlers of God's will, where are you now! This was the man whom Oedipus, long ago, Feared so, fled so, in dread of destroying him- But it was another fate by which he died. Mason in a scene Festival production ( 954). g ;; lo;r. what '--- might an ( playing jocas ta use herc [Enter OEDPUS, center.] Sophocles 239 905 Dearest Jocasta, why have you sent for me? Listen to what this man says, and then tell me What has become of the solemn prophecies. Who is this man? What is his news for me? He has come from Corinth to announce your father's death! 910 s it true, stranger? Tell me in your own words. cannot say it more clearly: the King is dead Was it by treason? Or by an attack of illness? A little thing brings old men to their rest. t was sickness, then? Yes, and his many years. 915 Ah! Why should a man respect the Pythian hearth, or Give heed to the birds that jangle above his head? They prophesied that should kill Polybus, Kill my own father; but he is dead and buried, 920 And am here- never touched him, never, Unless he died of grief for my departure, And thus, in a sense, through me. No. Polybus Has packed the oracles off with him underground. They are empty words. Had not told you so? 925 YOU had; it was my faint heart that betrayed me. From now on never think of those things again. And yet-must not fear my mother's bed? 916. Pythian (pith'e-an) hearth: Delphi was also known as Pythia. The priestess of Apollo was called Pythia. 240 Ancient Greek and Roman Literature Why should anyone in this world be afraid, Since Fate rules us and nothing can be foreseen? '930 A man should live only for the present day. Have no more fear of sleeping with your mother: How many men, in dreams, have lain with their mothers! No reasonable man is troubled by such things. That is true; only- 935 f only my mother were not still alive! But she is alive. cannot help my dread. Yet this news of your father's death is wonderful. 1 Wonderful. But fear the living woman. Tell me, who is this woman that you fear? 940 t is Merope, man; wife of King Polybus. Merope? Why should you be afraid of her? An oracle of the gods, a dreadful saying. Can you tell me about it or are you sworn to silence? can tell you, and will. 945 Apollo said through his prophet that was the man Who should marry his own mother, shed his father's blood With his own hands. And so, for all these years have kept clear of Corinth, and no harm has come- Though it would have been sweet to see my parents again. 950 And is this the fear that drove you out of Corinth? Would you have me kill my father? As for that You must be reassured by the news gave you. g According to jocasta, why sho-.'-' Oedipus not f; ear? The Corinthian Messenger, who has ban listening to the dialog1 between Oedipus anc Jocasta since line 9 15, now joins in exchange th Oedipus sew further towara me rr urn. How; might the ad tor a playing the messer 7ger behave in these lines? f you could reassure me, would reward you.!! had that in mind, will confess: thought 955 could count on you when you returned to Corinth, No: will never go near my parents again. Ah, son, you still do not know what you are doing- What do you mean? n the name of God tell me! -f these are your reasons for not going home. 960 tell you, fear the oracle may come true. And guilt may come upon you through your parents? That is the dread that is always in my heart. Can you not see that all your fears are groundless? How can you say that? They are my parents, surely? Polybus was not your father. 965 Not my father? No more your father than the man speaking to you. But you are nothing to me! Then why did he call me son? Neither was he. will tell you: Long ago he had you from my hands, as a gift. 970 Then how could he love me so, if was not his? He had no children, and his heart turned to you. i 1! King Polybus Rescuing Oedipus, from the manuscript of Li livre des ansienes estories (c c.e.). The British Libram. London Whot do you imagine is Oedipus's emotional state at this point orrr --- or g -rowing reliet confusion, or despair? 242 Ancient Greek and Roman Literature 1 What of you? Did you buy me? Did you find me by chance? 1 came upon you in the crooked pass of Cithaeron. And what were you doing there? Tending my flocks. A wandering shepherd? But your savior, son, that day From what did you save me? 1 Your ankles should tell you that. Ah, stranger, why do you speak of that childhood pain? cut the bonds that tied your ankles together. have had the mark as long as can remember That was why you were given the name you bear. God! Was it my father or my mother who did it? Tell me! do not know. The man who gave you to me Can tell you better than. 985 t was not you that found me, but another? t was another shepherd gave you to me. Who was he? Can you tell me who he was? think he was said to be one of Laius' people. You mean the Laius who was king here years ago? Yes; King Laius; and the man was one of his herdsmen ~h\s line refers to the derivatic )n of - the r lame O( edipus fro m words meanin$ ; swollen and foc,t .a c--* -- . -c A-A: The SL udr L W vrull JUJ J na me, howe,vet-. may ; llso ; related u 3 a Greek word --..A- &&a-.--.., $1 ~uld this gy be ironi appropriate? ~ s he still alive? Can see him? These men here Know best about such things. Does anyone here Know this shepherd that he is talking about? Have you seen him in the fields, or in the town? 995 f you have, tell me. t is time things were made plain. think the man he means is that same shepherd You have already asked to see. Jocasta perhaps Could tell you something. Do you know anything About him, Lady? s he the man we have summoned? s that the man this shepherd means? 1000 Why think of him? Forget this herdsman. Forget it all. This talk is a waste of time. How can you say that, When the clues to my true birth are in my hands? For God's love, let us have no more questioning! 1005 s your life nothing to you? My own is pain enough for me to bear. You need not worry. Suppose my mother a slave, And born of slaves: no baseness can touch you. Listen to me, beg you: do not do this thing! 1010 will not listen; the truth must be made known. Everything that say is for your own good! My own good Snaps my patience, then; want none of it. You are fatally wrong! May you never learn who you are! 1 Go, one of you, and bring the shepherd here. lo15 Let us leave this woman to brag of her royal name. 1 ' 93&1( 100. Nov Jocasta' 'S turn to rejoin me... dialogul e atter a long silence since lil ie 937. these lines, c 6 ;wres or fauar expres- -' sions m, ight an actress playing Jocasta use to register her reactior: 1s to the revelations of the C Messenger.? Why do vau think Jocasta wants - the que lstioning to 1 end? a, What does ' Oedipus assume about Jocasta in this bitter remark? Why is this btion ironic 244 Ancient Greek and Roman Literare ' Ah, miserable! That is the only word have for you now. 1 That is the only word can ever have. 1 [Exit into the palace.] 1 Why has she left us, Oedipus? Why has she gone 1020 n such a passion of sorrow? 1 fear this silence: Something dreadful may come of it. 1 Let it come! However base my birth, must know about it. The Queen, like a woman, is perhaps ashamed To think of my low origin. But 1025 Am a child of Luck; cannot be dishonored. Luck is my mother; the passing months, my brothers, Have seen me rich and poor. f this is so, How could wish that were someone else? 'g oh ~n these lines. what metaphc does Oedipus use to des his parentage and famii) relationships? Sophocles ODE 3 Strophe Chorus. f ever the coming time were known To my heart's pondering, Cithaeron, now by Heaven see the torches At the festival of the next full moon, And see the dance, and hear the choir sing A grace to your gentle shade: Mountain where Oedipus was found, 0 mountain guard of a noble race! May the god who heals us lend his aid, And let that glory come to pass For our king's cradling-ground. Antistrophe Of the nymphs that flower beyond the years, Who bore you, royal child, To Pan0 of the hills or the timberline Apollo, Cold in delight where the upland clears, Or Hermes for whom Cyllene'so heights are piled? Or flushed as evening cloud, Great Dionysus, roamer of mountains, He-was it he who found you there, And caught you up in his own proud Arms from the sweet god-ravisher0 Who laughed by the Muses' fountains? SCENE 4 Sirs: though do not know the man, think see him coming, this shepherd we want: He is old, like our friend here, and the men Bringing him seem to be servants of my house. But you can tell, if you have ever seen him. [Enter SHEPHERD escorted by sewants.] know him, he was Laius' man. You can trust him. Tell me first, you from Corinth: is this the shepherd We were discussing? Pan: son of Hermes; part goat, part man; associated with woodlands, forests, and mountains. Shepherds loved the music he played on his reed pipes Cyllene (sa-le'ne): mountain where Hermes was born What fantasy does the Chorus briefly indulge about Oedipus's infancy in these lines? How dc es the ma lod of the ode det?pen the ir ony of the this point? ' R Plov at god-ravisher: the presumed mother of Muses' fountains: The Muses were born at a spring on the slopes of Mount Olympus Ancient Greek and Roman Literature ~ ~ This is the very man. JO6. oedipus. (to SHEPHERD) Come here. No, look at me. You must answer Everything ask.-you belonged to Laius? Yes: born his slave, brought up in his house. 1 Tell me: what kind of work did you do for him? was a shepherd of his, most of my life. 1065, Where mainly did you go for pasturage?, i Sometimes Cithaeron, sometimes the hills nearby. 1 Do you remember ever seeing this man out there? What would he be doing there? This man? 106 b. How would - actor playing Oedip indicate his reaction to a -.- movement or gesture by Shepherd as he speaks. this line? What tone of voice might the actor use? i This man standing here. Have you ever seen him before? No. At least, not to my recollection. And that is not strange, my lord. But 1'11 refresh His memory: he must remember when we two Spent three whole seasons together, March to September, On Cithaeron or thereabouts. He had two flocks; had one. Each autumn 'd drive mine home And he would go back with his to Laius' sheepfold.- s this not true, just as have described it? - FF g 's p~mc, ~ B..... vmmmm vrnmmm True, yes; but it was all so long ago. Well, then: do you remember, back in those days, That you gave me a baby to bring up as my own? What if did? What are you trying to say? King Oedipus was once that little child. Damn you, hold your tongue! No more of that! t is your tongue needs watching, not this man's. My King, my Master, what is it have done wrong? You have not answered his question about the boy. He does not know... He is only making trouble... Come, speak plainly, or it will go hard with you. n God's name, do not torture an old man! Come here, one of you; bind his arms behind him. Unhappy king! What more do you wish to learn? Did you give this man the child he speaks of? did. And would to God had died that very day. You will die now unless you speak the truth. Yet if speak the truth, am worse than dead. Very well; since you insist upon delaying- No! have told you already that gave him the boy. Where did you get him? From your house? From somewhere else? Not from mine, no. A man gave him to me. s that man here? Do you know whose slave he was?! Why do you think the Shq pherd bursts ir here? 91. Who play so far has called Oedipus : unhappy because sire to lea rn more? 11 15 For God's love, my King, do not ask me any more! You are a dead man if have to ask you again. Then... Then the child was from the palace of Laius. A slave child? or a child of his own line? Ah, am on the brink of dreadful speech! And of dreadful hearing. Yet must hear. f you must be told, then... They said it was Laius' child; But it is your wife who can tell you about that. My wife!-did Do you know why? she give it to you? My lord, she did. was told to get rid of it. An unspeakable mother! There had been prophecies... Tell me. t was said that the boy would kill his own father. Then why did you give him over to this old man? pitied the baby, my King, And thought that this man would take him far away To his own country. He saved him-but for what a fate! For if you are what this man says you are, No man living is more wretched than Ah God! (Top rear) Oedipus (Alan Howard); (front center) Old Shepherd (Peter Gordon); from Oedipus the King. Olivier TheatrelNational Theatre, London. ' ' g Whoisthc 'mother ? Explain why you think Oedipus uses the adjedv unspeakable to describe her ' Oedipus Rex. Scene from the stage production ( 1954) by Tyrone Guthrie. t was true! All the prophecies! 1 -NOW, 0 Light, may look on you for the last time!, Oedipus, Oedipus, damned in his birth, in his marriage damned, Damned in the blood he shed with his own hand! [He rushes into the palace.] 24. What do you dict Oedipus will do as ne ru. shes offstaaa this spee ODE 4 Strophe 1 Chorus. Alas for the seed of men. What measure shall give these generations That breathe on the void and are void And exist and do not exist? Ancient Greek and Roman Literature ~ ~ ~ 130 Who bears more weight of joy Than mass of sunlight shifting in images, Or who shall make his thought stay on ~ That down time drifts away? 1 Your splendor is all fallen. 0 naked brow of wrath and tears, change of Oedipus! who saw your days call no man blest- Your great days like ghosts gone s Antistrophe 1 That mind was a strong bow. 1 Deep, how deep you drew it then, hard archer, At a dim fearful range, And brought dear glory down! You overcame the stranger- The virgin with her hooking lion claws0- And though death sang, stood like a tower To make pale Thebes take heart. ' 1 Fortress against our sorrow! i 150 True king, giver of laws, Majestic Oedipus! No prince in Thebes had ever such renown, No prince won such grace of power hard archer: Apollo virgin... claws: The Sphinx was depicted as having the paws of a lion. Strophe 2 And now of all men ever known Most pitiful is this man's story: His fortunes are most changed, his state Fallen to a low slave's Ground under bitter fate. ~ Oedipus, most royal one! The great door that expelled you to the light Gave at night-ah, gave night to your glory: As to the father, to the fathering son / All understood too late. How could that queen whom Laius won, The garden that he harrowed at his height, Be silent when that act was done? Antistrophe 2 But all eyes fail before time's eye, ~ 116s All actions come to justice there. Though never willed, though far down the deep past, 1 Your bed, your dread sirings, Are brought to book at last. Child by Laius doomed to die, Then doomed to lose that fortunate little death, Would God you never took breath in this air ~ That with my wailing lips take to cry: For weep the world's outcast. was blind, and now can tell why: Asleep, for you had given ease of breath To Thebes, while the false years went by. ~ [Enter, fiom the palace, SECOND MESSENGER.] Second Elders of Thebes, most honored in this land, What horrors are yours to see and hear, what weight Of sorrow to be endured, if, true to your birth, You venerate the line of Labdacus! think neither stros nor Phasis, those great rivers, Could purify this place of the corruption t shelters now, or soon must bring to light- Evil not done unconsciously, but willed. 1 l$s The greatest griefs are those we cause ourselves. Surely, friend, we have grief enough already; What new sorrow do you mean? 1 Second The Queen is dead. Jocasta? Dead? But at whose hand? Second Her own. The full horror of what happened you cannot know, For you did not see it; but, who did, will tell you As clearly as can how she met her death. When she had left us, n passionate silence, passing through the court, She ran to her apartment in the house, Exodos (eks'aedas): the final scene stros (is'tras) nor Phasis (fii'sis). 84. What distinction?s the Second Mes-!raw in this line? How is thois c )ntrast imj the aaic 7n of the 1 whole? i Vocabulary venerate (ven'a Et') v.: revere. Ancient Greek and Roman Literature ~ 1195 Her hair clutched by the fingers of both hands. She closed the doors behind her; then, by that bed Where long ago the fatal son was conceived- That son who should bring about his father's death- We heard her call upon Laius, dead so many years, 1200 And heard her wail for the double fruit of her marriage, A husband by her husband, children by her child. Exactly how she died do not know:, For Oedipus burst in moaning and would not let us Keep vigil to the end: it was by him 1205 As he stormed about the room that our eyes were caught. ( From one to another of us he went, begging a sword, Cursing the wife who was not his wife,-the mother 1 1 Whose womb had carried his own children and himself. 1 1 do not know: it was none of us aided him, 1210 But surely one of the gods was in control! For with a dreadful cry He hurled his weight, as though wrenched out of himself, At the twin doors: the bolts gave, and he rushed in. And there we saw her hanging, her body swaying / From the cruel cord she had noosed about her neck, A great sob broke from him, heartbreaking to hear, As he loosed the rope and lowered her to the ground Explain what the Messenger me by this apparently contradictory line. would blot out from my mind what happened next! For the King ripped from her gown the golden brooches That were her ornament, and raised them, and plunged them down mnm=g~eq~;~=: ~-bl-:tz: Straigh
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