Study Guide

Oedipus at Colonus Family

By Sophocles


After Oedipus is kicked off the throne of Thebes, the only relationships he has left are with his family. But family is a complicated issue, given that his crimes against the gods are crimes because he did inappropriate things with family members (killing and marrying, both no-nos with relatives).

Unfortunately, his daughters are also cursed because they’re the product of an unholy union between mother and son. The whole idea of family is really thrown off by this mix-up, and the consequences are deadly. 

Questions About Family

  1. What is the difference between Oedipus’ daughters and sons?
  2. Why does Oedipus say that his children are cursed?
  3. Why does Antigone decide to go back to Thebes after Oedipus dies?

Chew on This

In Oedipus at Colonus the family is like a microcosm of society.

Oedipus at Colonus demonstrates the breakdown of the family.