Study Guide

Chorus of old Attic men in Oedipus at Colonus

By Sophocles

Chorus of old Attic men

Unfortunately there are no high-kicks involved with this chorus Just a bunch of old dudes who are worried about what Oedipus’ turning up means for them and their city.

The Chorus in Greek drama was like the voice of the people; it often speaks using the first-person singular “I” as though it were a person, even though it’s made up of several actors speaking in unison. The Chorus represents the idea that a city might have a character or a way of thinking and being; the Chorus in Oedipus at Colonus represents the collective character of Athens or Colonus, and the way that the community feels about the situation at hand.

And we've got to hand it to the Chorus of Attic men. They’re pretty reasonable for a crowd. You might expect seriously dangerous riots when a known curse-bringer shows up in town, and these guys might be a little nervous at first, but they take it with some caution and bring Theseus in to sort things out. By the end of the play they’re all on Oedipus’ side, demonstrating the superiority of the Athens crowd compared to the population of Thebes.