Oedipus Rex - Quotations




·         “Hard-hearted I must be, did I not pity such petitioners”

·         “Whoe’re he be, I order that of this land… none entertain him, none accost him… but all men from their houses banish him”

·         “Worst of traitors! Know, I suspect you joined to hatch the deed”

·         “I acknowledge, much. Still, her who lived I fear”

·         “You will not speak of grace - you shall perforce!”

·         “Give me no counsel now… I have sinned sins”



·         “Do me this favor; hear me say as much as you have said; and then, yourself decide.”

·         “In matters where I have no cognizance I hold my tongue.”

·         “Not as a mocker come I, Oedipus.”

·         “Yes, it is I vouchsafed this boon, aware what joy you have and long have had of them.”



·         “Listen and learn, nothing in human life turns on the soothsayers’ art.”

·         “Now let us go within. I would do nothing that displeases you.”

·         “Why should men be fearful, O’er whom Fortune is mistress, and foreknowledge of nothing sure?”

·         “Best take life easily, as a man may.”



·         “Alas! How terrible it is to know, where no good comes of knowing!

·         “I will not bring remorse upon myself and upon you.”

·         “I am your equal, there; for I am Loxias’ servant, and not yours”

·         “I say – you have your sight, and do not see what evils are about you… Yea, you are ignorant”




Inescapable Fate/Inevitability

·         “The man is dead; and now, we are clearly bidden to bring to account certain his murderers”

·         “Me miserable! It seems I have but now proffered myself to a tremendous curse not knowing!”

·         “Nay, it cannot be that having such a clue I should refuse to solve the mystery of my parentage!”

·         “But I must hear - no less”

·         “Think not to have all at thy pleasure; for what thou didst attain to far outwent thy measure”


Oedipus’ Rashness/Ignorance

·         “I shall dispel this plague-spot; for the man, whoever it may be, who murdered him”

·         “He should become an inmate of my dwelling, that I may suffer all that I invoked on these just now.”

·         “Quick, someone, twist his hands behind him!”

·         “he went raging all about, beseeching us to furnish him a sword”

·         “he raised his hand and stabbed his eyes”


Sight and Blindness/darkness

·         “And if you were not blind, I should aver the act was your work only!”

·         “You have your sight, and do not see what evils are about you…”

·         “Blind as you are in eyes, and ears, and mind!”

·         “Who has no eyes to see with, but for gain, and was born blind in the art!”

·         “I have no eyes for what my masters do.”

·         “he lifted them, and smote the nerves of his own eyeballs - that they should see no more evils”

·         “Why was I to see, when to descry no sight on earth could have a charm for me?

·         “I would have tried to seal up all this miserable frame and live blind, deaf to all things”