Summary and Analysis: Oedipus at Colonus Lines 1193-1239



In excited anticipation, the chorus evokes — and, for a moment, actually dramatizes — the expected battle between Athens and Thebes, ending the ode with a heartfelt prayer to the gods for victory for Athens.


At the middle of the choral ode, after a respectful reference to the god Apollo and the goddess Athena, deities of Athens, the chorus breaks into individual voices. Five different men take a role, each speaking as a soldier looking forward to the battle. The long-fought Peloponnesian War, still raging through Greece, brought a special significance to these passages for the audience. The enemy might be at Athens' own gates. Athenians, like the men of the chorus, were filled with hope and terror of the day of battle.

Note, too, the reference to the Eleusian Mysteries in lines 1198-1202 — a foreshadowing of Oedipus' death and transformation.


Artemis the goddess of the moon, wild animals, and hunting. She is the twin sister of Apollo.