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October 06, 2006

Grant's Quote Commentary on Oedipus the King

"terror's in me flooding me
how can i judge
what the god Apollo says
trapped hoping confused
I do not see what is here now" (Sophocles 45)

Though the most powerful lines in this play often come from grave, huge forecasts of impending doom, this passage strikes me as being refreshingly introspective. In this way, the passage takes on the themes of this play in an equally refreshing way. Mainly, this passage deals with fate and how this infinite force affects us weak mortals. Although this line seems more fit for Oedipus to say, Sophocles uses the chorus. This line speaks for Oedipus, for the play, and for all really. How are we to go on knowing the little stake we have in life? The words that appear that explode off the page are "terror's," "trapped," "hoping," and "confused" -- all used in the most negative context. How can a mortal judge what a god says? We are all trapped in our fate. The most speaking line however is "I do not see what is here now." The play feasts on dramatic irony, or what is there, but can not be seen. At all times in life, we are not seeing what is there. We are blind. Oedipus is blind. Great line.

Posted by glittler at October 6, 2006 03:54 PM


I think this passage is representative of the way Oedipus and all of the Thebans feel. It is definitely a central theme throughout the play. The gods have a predetermined fate for the peoples and this passage seems to reflect the way the people feel in regards to their lives and their lack of control over their own lives. They fear that which they cannot control and that which they do not know. They don't question what the gods say or what they plan out for their lives. They are trapped in their destiny and hope that it will turn out okay.

Posted by: charina at October 8, 2006 10:59 PM

Interesting observations. Also quite interesting is that the chorus, although speaking collectively, uses "I" and not "we", making the identification with Oedipus that much more close.

Posted by: bhattach at October 9, 2006 01:28 AM

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