The whole problem of Oedipus
at Colonus is that Oedipus is in Colonus. That is, he’s not at home, which
is Thebes. He’s been driven out of his home due to a slight snafu in the
killing/marrying department, and is now doomed to wander around, blind and
impoverished, looking for a comfy place to die. Pretty depressing, right? The
loss of his home is one of the causes of Oedipus’ suffering, and the play
drives home the pain of that separation.
Questions About Exile
- Why do Creon and Polyneices change their minds about Oedipus’ exile?
- Why does Theseus allow Oedipus to stay in Athens, even
though the Chorus is afraid of him?
- Do you think it would have been better for Oedipus to just die
rather than live in exile?
Chew on This
In Oedipus at Colonus,
the loss of home through exile is a metaphor for the breakdown of Theban
Oedipus’ exile extends beyond his life, affecting even where
he can be buried.