"Oedipus Rex": Prologue (12:02)
This program is a staging of Peter Arnott's translation of Sophocles' masterpiece Oedipus Rex – also known as Oedipus Tyrannus or simply Oedipus. Set in a time of plague, the play centers on the hero who solved the riddle of the sphinx is now King of Thebes and is about to go on another riddle quest to uncover the source of his city’s pollution. Peter’s line-by-line translation, complete with all the chorus odes, gives the fullest possible exposure to this conundrum of a play — a masterpiece which has inspired thinkers, writers, and psychotherapists since ancient times. Peter's translations benefit from years of live performances, which is why they are regarded so highly as the perfect blend of scholarship and fun. In this opening segment, plague strikes the city of Thebes. A Priest of Zeus asks Oedipus for help. Creon reveals the plague is divine retribution for harboring King Laius' murderer. Oedipus vows to find the killer.
"Oedipus Rex": Episode I (18:34)
Oedipus orders full disclosure of Laius' murderer and invokes a curse upon the killer. Teiresias withholds information, angering Oedipus; he eventually declares Oedipus the defiler of the land. Oedipus makes accusations against Creon. Theban Elders refuse to believe Teiresias’s claims.
"Oedipus Rex": Episode II (22:29)
Creon declares his innocence and argues with Oedipus. Jocasta describes the circumstances of Laius’s death and Oedipus realizes he may have killed Laius. He tells Jocasta about the incident and a prophecy; he wants to meet the surviving herdsman. The Chorus prays against arrogance.
"Oedipus Rex": Episode III (11:14)
A messenger announces the death of Polybus. Oedipus still fears part of the prophecy. The messenger reveals that Polybus and Merope are not Oedipus' real parents. Oedipus is determined to learn his origins, despite Jocasta's warning.
"Oedipus Rex": Episode IV (06:43)
The herdsman arrives and confirms he once gave a child to the messenger and that the child's mother is Jocasta. Oedipus realizes all aspects of the prophecy have come to true. The Chorus laments Oedipus' cruel destiny.
"Oedipus Rex": Exodos (18:41)
A messenger tells the Elders that Jocasta committed suicide and that Oedipus blinded himself. Oedipus begs the Elders to send him away and bury Jocasta. He then asks Creon to care for his daughters and leaves Thebes.
Credits: Oedipus Rex by Sophocles (00:43)
Credits: Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
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