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Quotes

Quote #4

JOCASTA
Oh, as thou carest for thy life, give o'er
This quest. Enough the anguish I endure.
OEDIPUS
Be of good cheer; though I be proved the son
Of a bondwoman, aye, through three descents
Triply a slave, thy honor is unsmirched.
JOCASTA
Yet humor me, I pray thee; do not this.
OEDIPUS
I cannot; I must probe this matter home.
JOCASTA
'Tis for thy sake I advise thee for the best.
OEDIPUS
I grow impatient of this best advice.
JOCASTA
Ah mayst thou ne'er discover who thou art!
OEDIPUS
Go, fetch me here the herd, and leave yon woman
To glory in her pride of ancestry.
JOCASTA
O woe is thee, poor wretch! With that last word
I leave thee, henceforth silent evermore.
CHORUS
Why, Oedipus, why stung with passionate grief
Hath the queen thus departed? Much I fear
From this dead calm will burst a storm of woes.
OEDIPUS
Let the storm burst, my fixed resolve still holds,
To learn my lineage, be it ne'er so low.
It may be she with all a woman's pride
Thinks scorn of my base parentage. But I
Who rank myself as Fortune's favorite child,
The giver of good gifts, shall not be shamed.
She is my mother and the changing moons
My brethren, and with them I wax and wane.
Thus sprung why should I fear to trace my birth?
Nothing can make me other than I am. (1077-1086)

Stubborn Oedipus is unwilling to heed Jocasta’s wise advice to abandon his search for Laius’s murderer and for his own identity.

Quote #5

OEDIPUS
From whom of these our townsmen, and what house?
HERDSMAN
Forbear for God's sake, master, ask no more.
OEDIPUS
If I must question thee again, thou'rt lost. (1164-1167)

Oedipus’s determination blinds him to the signs of reluctance and impending disaster around him.

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