Summary and Analysis: Oedipus at Colonus Lines 1378-1410



The chorus sings an ode on the suffering and grief of old age.


Oedipus' old age and approaching death inspire this sad chant, but the ode also includes an acknowledgment of the old man's endurance.

After a long description of life's increasing burdens, the conclusion offers an image of age as a "great headland fronting the north" (1401), a landscape exposed to every kind of harsh weather. Oedipus, by extension, can do nothing but endure the hardships that will come — including the arrival of his son, Polynices, who brings yet another assault on the old man's peace.