Segments in this Video

"Oedipus the King": Overture (03:35)


This BBC adaptation of Sophocles' "Oedipus the King" (also called "Oedipus Rex") stars Michael Pennington and Claire Bloom. In this opening scene, the citizens of Thebes gather in front of the palace. Many are ill and dying.

"Oedipus the King": The King Arrives (04:27)

Oedipus asks why his citizens have gathered in front of the palace. The priest asks for help in ridding the city of the plague.

"Oedipus the King": King Comforts the Citizens (03:54)

Oedipus walks amongst his people and explains that he sent his brother-in-law to seek advice from the Oracle. Creon returns and tells Oedipus that the oracle instructed him to discover who murdered Laius. The citizens believed that Laius was killed during a robbery.

"Oedipus the King": Action Required (02:45)

Oedipus sets about to solve the murder and thanks his brother-in-law. The priest sends everyone home.

"Oedipus the King": The Chorus Speaks (04:15)

The chorus chants a prayer to the Greek gods, describing the horrors of the plague and praying for deliverance. They worry a sacrifice may be needed.

"Oedipus the King": Appearing Before His People (04:26)

Oedipus asks for help discovering the murderer of Laius, promising leniency to the assailant. When no one steps forward, the king curses the murderer and any abettor, including himself.

"Oedipus the King": Who Can Solve the Murder? (02:07)

The chorus suggests that Oedipus meet with Tiresias. The King already summoned for him. The blind prophet arrives, escorted by a boy.

"Oedipus the King": Asking for Help (03:42)

Tiresias refuses to help Oedipus discover the identity of the murderer. When Oedipus accuses Tiresias of colluding in Laius' death, Tiresias states that Oedipus murdered the former king.

"Oedipus the King": Oedipus Accused (06:37)

Tiresias and Oedipus argue. Oedipus believes that Creon is colluding with Tiresias and brags about solving the riddle of the Sphinx. Tiresias foreshadows the king's corruption and fate— Oedipus orders away Tiresias.

"Oedipus the King": Tiresias Says Goodbye (02:08)

Tiresias proclaims that the murderer of Laius was born in Thebes, but believes he is a foreigner. The murderer will marry his mother and kill his father.

"Oedipus the King": The Chorus Wonders (02:19)

The chorus is horrified and confused by the prophet's accusation. They decide to remain loyal to Oedipus unless evidence proves otherwise.

"Oedipus the King": Creon Arrives (05:40)

Creon proclaims his innocence. Oedipus returns and repeats the charges. Creon argues that he possesses no ambition to usurp the throne.

"Oedipus the King": The Chorus Agrees (02:57)

Creon and Oedipus argue. Jocasta arrives and chides the two men for quarreling publicly. At the chorus' urging, Oedipus lets Creon leave.

"Oedipus the King": No One Can Predict the Future (04:59)

Oedipus continues to complain of Creon and Tiresias. Jocasta explains that the oracle predicted that her son would murder, Laius but it did not happen. Oedipus worries that he is the murderer and request a witness be summoned.

"Oedipus the King": Jocasta Wants to Know the Truth (04:19)

Polybus and Merope raised Oedipus in Corinth. An oracle told Oedipus that he would kill his father and marry his mother. Because of the prophecy, Oedipus never returned to Corinth and attacked a man in the same area where Laius was murdered.

"Oedipus the King": Shepherd Summoned (04:02)

Oedipus explains that he will be proven innocent if the shepherd asserts that multiple robbers attacked Laius. Jocasta tells the king that the shepherd cannot change his story now and her son died years ago. The chorus glorifies the gods and destiny, spurning hubris.

"Oedipus the King": Making Sacrifices (03:50)

As Jocasta pays homage to Apollo, a messenger arrives, announcing the death of Polybus.

"Oedipus the King": Oedipus Celebrates (02:10)

Oedipus worries that his mother is still alive and he still may marry her.

"Oedipus the King": Messenger Overhears (04:06)

The messenger reveals that Polybus and Merope are not his biological parents and describes how he was given Oedipus by a shepherd of Laius'.

"Oedipus the King": Jocasta Knows (02:14)

Jocasta begs Oedipus to end the search for Laius' murderer and hopes he never learns his true identity. He refuses and asks again for the shepherd.

"Oedipus the King": Chorus Praises (02:13)

Oedipus proclaims himself the child of Chance. The chorus speculates if a god or goddess parented the king.

"Oedipus the King": Shepherd Arrives (06:23)

The chorus identifies the shepherd as Laius' servant. The shepherd confesses that he saved the son of Laius and Jocasta when the King threatens him with violence.

"Oedipus the King": Realizing the Truth (04:11)

Horrified by his crimes, Oedipus enters the palace. The chorus laments the news of the king's parentage.

"Oedipus the King": A Messenger Arrives (05:44)

The Queen committed suicide and Oedipus blinded himself with Jocasta's brooches. The messenger describes the scene.

"Oedipus the King": Oedipus Arrives (11:44)

The chorus laments the self-mutilation. Oedipus explains that he could not look upon himself because he has defiled his loved ones. The chorus refuses to acknowledge Oedipus.

"Oedipus the King": Citizens arrive (03:55)

Oedipus begs Creon to kill or banish him. Creon decides to consult the oracle before he passes judgement.

"Oedipus the King": Begging Creon (04:28)

Oedipus asks Creon to care for his children and says goodbye to his daughters. Creon agrees.

"Oedipus the King": Creon Interrupts (02:42)

Creon orders Oedipus inside the palace and insists he leaves his daughters behind. Oedipus enters the palace followed by Creon and his daughters.

"Oedipus the King": Conclusion (03:09)

The chorus assembles in front of the palace and laments Oedipus' downfall.

Credits: The Theban Plays of Sophocles: Oedipus The King (01:46)

Credits: The Theban Plays of Sophocles: Oedipus The King

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

The Theban Plays of Sophocles: Oedipus The King

Part of the Series : The Theban Plays of Sophocles
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $300.00
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $450.00
3-Year Streaming Price: $300.00



In this video, Michael Pennington and Claire Bloom star in a new translation of the ancient Greek tragedy written by Sophocles. Oedipus, the king of Thebes, discovers that he married his mother and killed his father.

Length: 123 minutes

Item#: BVL128977

ISBN: 978-1-64023-365-2

Copyright date: ©1986

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.