In the short story Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles, we see our once valiant and heroic antagonist Oedipus reverse his entire character. In the end of Oedipus the King and the beginning of this story, we learn that Oedipus has been reduced to a lowly, blind peasant who has been exiled from Thebes and lives his life wandering the grounds of Greece. As he came to the city of Colonus, he ended his journey and realized he was meant to find his death there. Accompanied by his daughters, Antigone and Ismene, he reaches out to Theseus (King of Colonus) for assistance regarding his inevitable fate.
This story has very little action, and there is ultimately no resolution. The first conflict encountered in this story is Oedipus and Antigone sitting in the forbidden garden of the Eumenides, in which the chorus curses them for, and they eventually move. The next conflict we see is Creon bullying Oedipus and abducting his daughters, and both were saved by Theseus. The final conflict is between Polynices and Oedipus when Polynices asks for his father’s help regarding the war between himself and his younger brother, Eteocles. Oedipus refuses to return to Thebes for any reason and curses both Polynices and Eteocles saying that they will be the death of one another battle. On this note, Polynices only asks for a proper burial from his sisters as he declines their pleads to call off the war. Throughout this story, there is a plethora of peripeteia: Oedipus being a blind peasant and his sons battling for power, Oedipus cursing his own sons, and Creon bullying Oedipus. Misfortune has not cured his faults of temper, and he still exhibits on occasion the same violent impetuosity as in former times. The hatred with which he renounce...
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...g forth negative outcomes, we must do what is right and embrace the consequences for our actions. Running away from the consequences is cowardly, and Oedipus has never known that trait nor has it been displayed by him in any of the Oedipus trilogies.
To conclude, we see our once valiant and heroic antagonist Oedipus reverse his entire character. Overall, the story of Oedipus at Colonus is about opposites: how a good ruler should behave compared to a poor ruler, how a good city should be compared to a bad city, and how the gods should be worshiped compared to how they should not. The dynamics of this play as a whole serves a moral lesson to anyone who happens to read it: we should all take responsibility for our actions and our lives. After leaving these negatives behind while seeing the fine example of Athens as a model city, Oedipus finally discovers inner peace.
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