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Oedipus the King

Oedipus the King


by Sophocles

The Chorus Timeline and Summary

  • Note: Although they pipe up only once in a while, the Chorus is present throughout the play as an observer.
  • At the start of Oedipus the King, the Chorus, using the Strophe-Antistrophe dichotomy, recounts the multiple problems the city faces under the curse including infertility, plague, and famine. They beg for help.
  • The Chorus informs Oedipus that they know nothing and suggests that Oedipus ask the blind prophet Teiresias for his knowledge.
  • The Chorus tells Oedipus and Creon to stop arguing.
  • After Oedipus and Creon leave, the Chorus talks about their fight.
  • Jocasta and the Chorus urge Oedipus to listen to Creon when he says he did not frame Oedipus for the murder of Laius.
  • The Chorus pleads with the Gods for mercy as Oedipus’s identity unfolds.
  • After Oedipus pieces things together and realizes what he’s done, the Chorus laments the tragedy.
  • Oedipus asks the Chorus to help send him out of Thebes or kill him.