Quotes from Oedipus the King

Quotes from Oedipus the King:
“Oh my children......why are you here?” (good leader/paternal)
“Here I am myself – you all know me, the world knows my fame: I am Oedipus.”
(dramatic irony)
“I’ll do anything. I would be blind to misery not to pity my people kneeling at my
feet.” (good leader/caring)
“I acted at once. I sent Creon, my wife’s own brother, to Delphi.” (man of action)
“Now you have me to fight for you, you’ll see: I am the lands’ avenger by all rights,
and Apollo’s champion too.” (good leader/determined)
“I will speak out now as a stranger to the story, a stranger to the crime.” (dramatic
“So I will fight for him as if he were my father.” (dramatic irony)
“Stone-blind, stone-deaf - senses, eyes blind as stone!” (cruelty towards Tiresias)
“You can’t hurt me or anyone else who sees the light – you can never touch me.”
“Fortune-teller, peddling lies, eyes peeled for his own profit.” (insults Tiresias)
“Oedipus the ignorant, I stopped the Sphinx!” (arrogance)
“No, I want you dead.” (Oedipus says this to Creon – tyrannical)
“No matter – I must rule.” (Oedipus’s response when Creon asks him what if he is
wholly wrong – tyrannical)
“I will tell you. I respect you, Jocasta, much more than these men here....” (love for
“I killed them all – every mother’s son!” (violent past)
“So, you won’t talk willingly – then you’ll talk with pain.” (Oedipus forces the
shepherd to talk – tyrannical)
“And I’m at the edge of hearing horrors, yes, but I must hear!” (bravery)
“Dear friend, still here?” (Oedipus says this to the chorus – loyalty of the chorus)
“The blackest things a man can do, I have done them all!” (horror at what he has
“Your noble heart.” (Oedipus says this to Creon at the end of the play because Creon
took pity on him)
“Thebes is dying.” (plague)
“You cannot equal the gods.....but we do rate you first of men.” (opinion of Oedipus
as a leader)
“If you want my report in the presence of these people....I’m ready now, or we might
go inside.” (Creon’s cautiousness v Oedipus’s openness).
“Was his glance steady, his mind right when the charge was brought against me?”
(character of Oedipus)
“Look, if you think crude, mindless stubbornness such a gift, you’ve lost your sense
of balance.” (character of Oedipus)
“I don’t know. And when I don’t I keep quiet.” (cautious/sensible)
“Don’t convict me on sheer unverified surmise.” (sensible)
“Look at you, sullen in yielding, brutal in your rage – you will go too far. It’s perfect
justice: natures like yours are hardest on themselves.” (character of Oedipus)
“I haven’t come to mock you, Oedipus, or to criticize your former failings.”
(kind/noble character)
“How terrible - to see the truth when the truth is only pain to him who sees!” (theme
of blindness and sight)
“You are the curse, the corruption of the land!” (accuses Oedipus of murdering Laius)
“Blind who now has eyes, beggar who now is rich, he will grope his way toward a
foreign soil, a stick tapping before him step by step.” (theme of blindness and sight/
prophesises Oedipus’s reversal of fortunes – peripeteia)
“I would suggest his words were spoken in anger, Oedipus....yours too.”
“Never will I convict my king, never in my heart.” (loyalty to Oedipus)
“Respect him – he’s been no fool in the past and now he’s strong with the oath he
swears to god.” (chorus say this to Oedipus about Creon)
“Loose, ignorant talk started dark suspicions and a sense of injustice cut deeply too.”
“Destiny guide me always.” (pious)
“I pity you but I can’t bear to look.” (chorus are repulsed by Oedipus)
“Pitiful, you suffer so, you understand so much.” (theme of blindness and sight)
“Count no man happy till he dies, free of pain at last.” (final speech)
“Aren’t you ashamed with the land so sick, to stir up private quarrels?” (authorative)
“Laius, so the report goes at least, was killed by strangers, thieves, at a place where
three roads meet.” (turning point of the play).
“So much for prophecy.It’s neither here nor there. From this day on, I wouldn’t look
right or left.” (hubris)
“Look at us, passengers in the grip of fear, watching the pilot of the vessel go to
pieces.” (love and concern for Oedipus)
“Its all chance, chance rules our lives.” (dismissive of oracles and prophets – hubris)