Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Oedipus Plays of SophoclesPhilosophical Perspectives$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Paul Woodruff

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190669447

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190669447.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 October 2020

Editor’s Introduction

Editor’s Introduction

(p.1) Editor’s Introduction
The Oedipus Plays of Sophocles

Paul Woodruff

Oxford University Press

Of Sophocles’ many plays, only seven have come down to us; two of these plays concern the character of Oedipus. The first of these, Oedipus Tyrannus, was written soon after a plague devastated Athens, when Sophocles was in late middle age. It shows Oedipus gradually uncovering the truth about himself—that he is not a tyrannos after all, but the rightful heir to the throne, killer of his father and husband of his mother. The second, Oedipus at Colonus, was written at the end of the poet’s life, when he was in his eighties. In that play Oedipus welcomes the death for which he was destined and, along the way, utters the curse that will kill his two sons. These plays have been especially interesting to philosophers because of their themes of self-knowledge, responsibility, and the struggle for serenity in old age.

Keywords:   Sophocles, Oedipus, tyrant, self-knowledge, aging, death, oracles, character, fate, Athens

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .