Segments in this Video

"Oedipus at Colonus": Introduction (03:14)


Antigone leads Oedipus into a sacred grove and they notice they are close to Athens. They sit on a rock nearby. This BBC adaptation of Sophocles' "Oedipus at Colonus" stars Anthony Quayle and Juliet Stevenson.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Young Man Approaches (03:32)

A man warns that Oedipus and Antigone have trespassed into a sacred area forbidden to humans. Oedipus refuses to move but begs the man to send a message to Theseus, the king of Athens. The man departs to consult the other villagers.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Oedipus, King of Thebes (02:33)

Oedipus reveals that the prophecy dictated that he would perish in Colonus and prays that the city of Athens will protect him.

"Oedipus at Colonus": The Chorus Approaches (02:45)

Oedipus and Antigone hide in the trees to overhear what a chorus of elders says. Its members search for the trespasser. Oedipus reveals himself.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Chorus and Oedipus Compromise (03:25)

Oedipus and Antigone leave the sanctuary. The chorus promises not to hurt them. Oedipus laments that he needs to rely on Antigone because of his disability.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Oedipus Reveals his Identity (03:17)

The chorus insist Oedipus leave town. Antigone begs for empathy. The elders worry about the wrath of the gods if they help attempt to help.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Oedipus Convinces the Chorus (04:12)

Oedipus explains that he was ignorant when he killed his father and married his mother. The chorus agrees to wait until Theseus arrives before evicting Oedipus and Antigone.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Ismene Arrives (04:29)

Ismene embraces Antigone and Oedipus and warns them that Eteocles and Polynices are fighting over Thebes.

"Oedipus at Colonus": The Oracles Prophecy (04:27)

Delphi predicts that another curse that will plague the Thebans after Oedipus dies and is buried. Creon is arriving today to imprison the former king to ensure the prophecy is never fulfilled. Oedipus curses his sons.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Help from the Elders (02:58)

Oedipus persuades the elders to help; they require he makes an offering to the gods in reparation for trespassing at the sacred grove. Ismene offers to perform the ritual.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Elders Question Oedipus (02:32)

Oedipus at first refuses to answer about his past but eventually consents. The former king insists that he killed his father in self-defense and did not know the identity of his mother.

"Oedipus at Colonus": The King Arrives (05:51)

Theseus recognizes Oedipus and offers to help. Oedipus asks to stay in Athens until he perishes and warns that war may occur if Theseus agrees.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Oedipus Asks to Stay (02:19)

The chorus explains that Oedipus promised a blessing to Athens. Theseus consoles Oedipus, grants him citizenship, and asks the elders to care for him at Colonus. The Athenian king departs.

"Oedipus at Colonus": The Chorus Speaks (02:50)

The chorus recites an ode of the natural beauties of their home village.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Creon Arrives (06:23)

Creon attempts to persuade Oedipus to return and make peace with Thebes. The former King remembers Creon's cruelty and refuses. In response, Creon orders the capture of Oedipus' daughters.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Oedipus Calls for Help (03:09)

The soldiers of Thebes cart off Antigone and Ismene. Creon attempts to take Oedipus hostage and threatens war with Athens.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Theseus Returns (04:49)

Theseus orders Creon's capture and sends soldiers to rescue Oedipus' daughters. Athens is ruled by law not war. Creon defends his actions.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Oedipus Defends Himself (04:46)

Oedipus insists that the gods condemned him to his fate and that he committed his crimes in ignorance. Creon degrades him publicly.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Elders Side with Oedipus (04:18)

Theseus explains he sees through Creon's mischief, asks Oedipus to remain in Colonus, and leaves to rescue Oedipus' daughters. The chorus dramatizes the upcoming battle between Athens and Thebes.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Antigone and Ismene Return (03:02)

Theseus rescues Antigone and Ismene. Oedipus wants to embrace Theseus but stops, because he thinks he might sully the Athenian king.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Friendship From Athens (04:14)

Theseus explains that he chooses to demonstrate his friendship through actions. Polynices asks to speak to Oedipus. Oedipus initially refuses to speak to him but eventually capitulates.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Old Age (02:28)

Theseus departs to fetch Polynices. The chorus recites an ode about grief and pain in old age.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Polynices Arrives (03:41)

Polynices apologizes for neglecting his father. Oedipus refuses to speak to him. Antigone persuades Polynices to keep explaining himself because Oedipus might relent.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Why Polynices Came (04:11)

Eteocles banished Polynices and spread rumors about him. Polynices asks for Oedipus' forgiveness and support. An oracle's prophecy stipulates that Oedipus' endorsement will only go to the victor.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Oedipus Responds (04:55)

The chorus encourages Oedipus to reply. The former king rejects Polynices' request because Polynices banished him and turned him into a beggar. Oedipus predicts that both Polynices and Eteocles will kill each other in the same battle and neither will rule Thebes again.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Polynices Says Goodbye (03:30)

Polynices implores his sisters to prepare him for burial when he dies. Antigone entreats her brother to avoid fighting. Polynices decides to never tell his soldiers the prophecy and returns to his troops to prepare for war.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Polynices Departs (03:12)

Thunder claps in the distance. Oedipus explains his death is approaching and asks his daughters to send for Theseus.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Theseus Arrives (05:37)

Oedipus wants to fulfill his promise and leads Theseus to his own death. The gravesite will bless Athens for generations to come. On Theseus' deathbed, he must share with his heir the location.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Chorus Mourns (02:40)

Antigone and Ismene wait for Theseus to return. The chorus laments the death of Oedipus and prays to the gods of the underworld.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Messenger Arrives (08:30)

The messenger recounts the rituals that Oedipus, Antigone, Ismene, and Theseus performed. Oedipus said goodbye to his daughters. Only Theseus could watch the passing of the former king.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Oedipus' Daughters Return (04:30)

Oedipus' daughters arrive, lamenting the death of their father. Antigone describes how Oedipus wanted to die in a foreign land.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Sisters Quarrel (02:00)

Ismene deters Antigone from visiting her father's grave. The sisters decide to return to Thebes.

"Oedipus at Colonus": Theseus Enters (03:36)

Antigone begs Theseus to tell her the location of his grave, but Theseus refuses. The sisters decide to return to Thebes to try to prevent the war and Theseus swears his protection.

Credits: The Theban Plays of Sophocles: Oedipus At Colonus (01:41)

Credits: The Theban Plays of Sophocles: Oedipus At Colonus

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The Theban Plays of Sophocles: Oedipus At Colonus

Part of the Series : The Theban Plays of Sophocles
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In this video, Anthony Quayle and Juliet Stevenson star in a new translation of the ancient Greek tragedy written by Sophocles. Oedipus and Antigone seek sanctuary from Theseus because the blind man does not want to die in Thebes.

Length: 132 minutes

Item#: BVL128978

ISBN: 978-1-64023-479-6

Copyright date: ©1986

Closed Captioned

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