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Oedipus the King

Oedipus the King

by Sophocles
 Table of Contents

Oedipus the King Power Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

OEDIPUS Monster! thy silence would incense a flint. Will nothing loose thy tongue? Can nothing melt thee, Or shake thy dogged taciturnity? TEIRESIAS Thou blam'st my mood and seest not thine own Wherewith thou art mated; no, thou taxest me. OEDIPUS And who could stay his choler when he heard How insolently thou dost flout the State? TEIRESIAS Well, it will come what will, though I be mute. OEDIPUS Since come it must, thy duty is to tell me. TEIRESIAS I have no more to say; storm as thou willst, And give the rein to all thy pent-up rage. OEDIPUS Yea, I am wroth, and will not stint my words, But speak my whole mind. Thou methinks thou art he, Who planned the crime, aye, and performed it too, All save the assassination; and if thou Hadst not been blind, I had been sworn to boot That thou alone didst do the bloody deed. TEIRESIAS Is it so? Then I charge thee to abide By thine own proclamation; from this day Speak not to these or me. Thou art the man, Thou the accursed polluter of this land. OEDIPUS Vile slanderer, thou blurtest forth these taunts, And think'st forsooth as seer to go scot free. TEIRESIAS Yea, I am free, strong in the strength of truth. OEDIPUS Who was thy teacher? not methinks thy art. TEIRESIAS Thou, goading me against my will to speak. (339-357)


Oedipus’s arrogance as king prevents him from heeding the prophet’s advice, and instead leads him to attack Teiresias.

Quote #2

OEDIPUS Offspring of endless Night, thou hast no power O'er me or any man who sees the sun. TEIRESIAS No, for thy weird is not to fall by me. I leave to Apollo what concerns the god. (374-378)


Teiresias suggests that earthly power is irrelevant in the face of divine influence.

Quote #3

OEDIPUS Sirrah, what mak'st thou here? Dost thou presume To approach my doors, thou brazen-faced rogue, My murderer and the filcher of my crown? Come, answer this, didst thou detect in me Some touch of cowardice or witlessness, That made thee undertake this enterprise? I seemed forsooth too simple to perceive The serpent stealing on me in the dark, Or else too weak to scotch it when I saw. This _thou_ art witless seeking to possess Without a following or friends the crown, A prize that followers and wealth must win. (530-545)


Because of his status and haughtiness, Oedipus assumes that all accusations against him are false and must be intended as a threat to his power.

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