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8 page research paper with 9th page as a work cited page.From below choose any one topic for your research paper:Pick a topic of your interest from any play or narrative we discussed in class and write a scholarly research paper about it. (It can be the only play we discussed Oedipus the King, or the narrative The Wife of Bath.Choose ONE theme or ONE style that is evidenced or well developed in the epic, The Odyssey, and discuss how it generally unfolds in the epic.( http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/4476425.pdf)Note: _. You must write your paper in MLA format._. You must give adequate examples to support your arguments._. You must cite at least 10 academic sources for your research material._. No more than two sources in one page, and no one source material should run over 2 lines within the same page.–. Research sources must be documented in the works cited page at the end of the paper.
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Oedipus the King
Sophocles
Translated by David Grene
CHARACTERS
OEDIPUS, King of Thebes
JOCASTA, His Wife
CREON, His Brother-in-Law
TEIRESIAS, an Old Blind Prophet
FIRST MESSENGER
SECOND MESSENGER
A HERDSMAN
A CHORUS OF OLD MEN OF
THEBES
PRIEST
PART I:
Scene: In front of the palace of Oedipus at Thebes. To the
Right of the stage near the altar stands the PRIEST with a
crowd of children.
OEDIPUS emerges from the central door.
already; it can scarcely lift its prow
25 out of the depths, out of the bloody surf.
A blight is on the fruitful plants of the earth.
A blight is on the cattle in the fields,
a blight is on our women that no children
are born to them; a God that carries fire,
30 a deadly pestilence, is on our town,
strikes us and spears us not, and the house of Cadmus
is emptied of its people while black Death
grows rich in groaning and in lamentation.6
We have not come as suppliants to this altar
35 because we thought of you as a God,
but rather judging you the first of men
in all the chances of this life and when
we mortals have to do with more that man.
You came and by your coming saved our city,
40 freed us from the tribute which we paid of old
to the Sphinx,7 cruel singer. This you did
in virtue of no knowledge we could give you,
in virtue of no teaching; it was God
that aided you, men say, and you are held
45 with God’s assistance to have saved our lives.
Now Oedipus, Greatest in all men’s eyes,
here falling at your feet we all entreat you,
find us some strength for rescue.
Perhaps you’ll hear a wise word from some God.
50 perhaps you will learn something from a man
(for I have seen that for the skilled of the practice
the outcome of their counsels live the most).
Noblest of men, go, and raise up our city,
go,– and give heed. For now this land of ours
55 calls you its savior since you saved it once.
So, let us never speak about your reign
as of a time when first our feet were set
secure on high, but later fell to ruin.
Raise up our city, save it and raise it up.
OEDIPUS: Children, young sons and daughters of old
Cadmus,1
why do you sit here with your suppliant crowns?2
the town is heavy with a mingled burden
of sounds and smells, of groans and hymns and
incense;
5 I did not think it fit that I should hear
of this from messengers but came myself,-I Oedipus whom all men call the Great.
[He returns to the PRIEST.]
You’re old and they are young; come, speak for them.
What do you fear or want, that you sit here
10 suppliant? Indeed I’m willing to give all
that you may need; I would be very hard
should I not pity suppliants like these.
PRIEST: O ruler of my country, Oedipus,
You see our company around the altar;
15 you see our ages; some of us, like these,
who cannot yet fly far, and some of us
heavy with age; these children are the chosen
among the young, and I the priest of Zeus.
Within the market place sit others crowned
20 with suppliant garlands3, at the double shrine
of Pallas4 and the temple where Ismenus
gives oracles by fire5. King, you yourself
have seen our city reeling like a wreck
1
Cadmus n. mythical founder and first king of Thebes, a city in
central Greece where the play takes place
2
suppliant crowns wreaths worn by people who ask favors of
the gods.
3
suppliant garlands branches wound in wool, which were
placed on the altar and left there until the suppliant’s request
was granted.
4
double shrine of Pallas the two temples of Athena.
5
temple where Isemenus gives oracles by fire Temple of
Apollo, located by Ismenus, the Theban river, where the priests
studied patterns in the ashes of sacrificial victims to foretell the
future.
6
lamentation n. expression of deep sorrow
Sphinx winged female monster at Thebes that ate men who
could not answer her riddle: “what is it that walks on four legs
at dawn, two legs at midday, and three legs in the evening, and
has only one voice; when it walks on most feet, is it weakest?”
Creon, appointed ruler of Thebes, offered the kingdom and the
hand of his sister, Jocasta, to anyone who could answer the
riddle. Oedipus saved Thebes by answering correctly, “Man,
who crawls in infancy, walks upright in his prime, and leans on
a cane in old age.” Outraged, the Sphinx destroyed herself, and
Oedipus became King of Thebes
7
60 Once you have brought us luck with happy omen;
be no less now in fortune.
If you will rule this land, as now you rule it,
better to rule it full of men than empty.
For neither tower nor ship is anything
65 when empty, and none live in it together.
OEDIPUS: I pity you, children. You have come full of
longing,
but I have known the story before you told it
only too well. I know you are all sick,
yet there is not one of you, sick though you are,
70 that is as sick as myself.
Your several sorrows each have single scope
and touch but one of you. My spirit groans
for city and myself and you at once.
You have not roused me like a man from sleep;
75 know that I have given many tears to this,
gone many ways wandering in thoughts,
but as I thought I found only one remedy
and that I took. I sent Menoeceus’ son
Creon, Jocasta’s brother, to Apollo,
80 to his Pythian temple,8
that he might learn there by what act or word
I could save this city. As I count the days,
it vexes me what ails him; he is gone
far longer than he needed for the journey.
85 But when he comes, than may I prove a villain,
if I shall not do all the God commands.
leaves me uncertain whether to trust or fear.
CREON: If you will hear my news before these others
105 I am ready to speak, or else to go within.
OEDIPUS: Speak it to all;
the grief I bear, I bear it more for these
than for my own hear.
CREON: I will tell you, then,
110 what I heard from the God.
King Phoebus10 in plain words commanded us
to drive out a pollution from our land,
pollution grown ingrained within the land;
drive it out, said the God, not cherish it,
115 till it’s past cure.
OEDIPUS: What is the rite
of purification? How shall it be done?
CREON: By banishing a man, or expiation11
of blood by blood, since it is murder guilt
120 which holds our city in this destroying storm.
OESIPUS: Who is this man whose fate the God
pronounces?
CREON: My lord, before you piloted the state
we had a king called Laius.
PRIEST: Thanks for your gracious words. Your servants
here signal that Creon is this moment coming.
OEDIPUS: I know of him by hearsay. I have not seen
him.
OEDIPUS: His face is bright. O holy Lord Apollo,
90 grant that his news too may be bright for us
and bring us safety.
CREON: The God commanded clearly: let some one
126 punish with force this dead man’s murderers.
PRIEST: It is happy news,
I think, for else his head would not be crowned
with sprigs of fruitful laurel.9
OEDIPUS: We will know soon,
96 he’s within hail. Lord Creon, my good brother,
what is the word you bring us from the God?
[ CREON enters.]
CREON: A good word, –for things hard to bear
themselves if in the final issue all is well
100 I count complete good fortune.
OEDIPUS: What do you mean?
What have you said so far
OEDIPUS: Where are they in the world? Where would a
trace of this old crime be found? It would be hard
to guess where.
CREON: The clue is in this land;
131 that which is sought is found;
the unheeded thing escapes:
so said the God.
OEDIPUS: Was it at home,
or in the country that death came upon him,
135 or in another country travelling?
CREON: He went, he said himself, upon an embassy,12
but never returned when he set out from home.
OEDIPUS: Was there no messenger, no fellow traveler
who knew what happened? Such a one might tell
8
Pythian temple shrine of Apollo at Delphi, below Mount
Parnassus in central Greece
9
sprigs of fruitful laurel Laurel symbolized triumph; a crown of
laurel signified good news.
10
King Phoebus Apollo, god of the sun.
expiation n. The act of making amends for wrongdoing.
12
embassy n. important mission or errand
11
140 something of use.
CREON: They were all killed save one. He fled in terror
and he could tell us nothing in clear terms
of what he knew, nothing, but one thing only.
OEDIPUS: What was it?
145 If we could even find a slim beginning
in which to hope, we might discover much.
CREON: This man said the robbers they encountered
were many and the hands that did the murder
were many; it was no man’s single power.
OEDIPUS: How could a robber date a deed like this
151 Were he not helped with money from the city,
Money and treachery?
CREON: That indeed was thought.
But Laius was dead and in our trouble
There was none to help.
OEDIPUS: What trouble was so great to hinder you
157 inquiring out the murder of your king?
CREON: The riddling Sphinx induced us to neglect
mysterious crimes and rather seek solution
160 of troubles at our feet.
OEDIPUS: I will bring this to light again. King Phoebus
fittingly took this care about the dead,
and you to fittingly.
And justly you will see in me an ally,
165 a champion of my country and the God.
For when I drive pollution from the land
I will not serve a distant friend’s advantage,
but act in my own interest. Whoever
he was that killed the king may readily
170 wish to dispatch me with his murderous hand;
so helping the dead king I help myself.
Come, children, take your suppliant boughs and go;
up from the altars now. Call the assembly
and let it meet upon the understanding
175 that I’ll do everything. God will decide
whether we prosper or remain in sorrow.
PRIEST: Rise, children—it was this we came to seek,
which of himself the king now offers us.
May Phoebus who gave us the oracle
180 come to our rescue and stay the plague.
[Exit all but the CHORUS.]
CHORUS:
Strophe
What is the sweet spoken word of God from the shrine of
Pytho rich in gold
that has come to glorious Thebes?
I am stretched on the rack of doubt, and terror and
trembling hold
my heart, O Delian Healer,13 and I worship full of fears
185 for what doom you will bring to pass, new or renewed
in the revolving years.
Speak to me, immortal voice,
child of golden Hope.
Antistrophe
First I call on you, Athene, deathless daughter of Zeus,
and Artemis, Earth Upholder,
190 who sits in the midst of the market place in the throne
which men call Fame,
and Phoebus, the Far Shooter, three averters of Fate,
come to us now, if ever before, when ruin rushed upon the
state,
you drove destruction’s flame away out
of our land.
Strophe
195 Our sorrows defy number;
all the ship’s timbers are rotten;
taking of thought is no spear for the driving away of the
plague
There are no growing children in this famous land;
there are no women bearing the pangs of childbirth.
200 You may see them one with another, like birds swift
on the wing,
quicker than fire unmastered,
speeding away to the coast of the Western God.14
Antistrophe
In the unnumbered death
of its people the city dies;
205 those children that are born lie dead on the naked
earth
unpitied, spreading contagion of death; and gray-haired
mothers and wives
everywhere stand at the altar’s edge, suppliant, moaning;
the hymn to the healing God15 rings out but with it the
wailing voices are blended.
From these our sufferings grant us, O golden Daughter of
Zeus,16
210 glad-faced deliverance.
Strophe
There is no clash of brazen17 shields but our fight is with
the War God,18
13
Delian Healer Born on the island of Delos, Apollo’s title was
“healer”; he caused and averted plagues.
14
Western God Since the sun sets in the west, this is the god of
night, or Death.
15
healing God Apollo.
16
golden Daughter of Zeus Athena.
17
brazen adj. of brass or like brass in color
18
War God Ares
a War God ringed with the cries of men, a savage God
who burns us;
grant that he turn in racing course backwards out of our
country’s bounds
to the great palace of Amphitrite19 or where the waves of
the Thracian sea
215 deny the stranger safe anchorage.
Whatsoever escapes the night at last the light of day
revisits;
so smite the War God, Father Zeus,
beneath your thunderbolt,
220 for you are the Lord of the lightning, the lightning that
carries fire.
Antistrophe
And your unconquered arrow shafts, winged by the golden
corded bow,
Lycean King20, I beg to be at our side for help;
and the gleaming torches of Artemis with which she
scours the Lycean hills,
and I call on the God with the turban of gold21, who gave
his name to this country of ours.
225 the Bacchic God with the wind flushed face22,
Evian One,23 who travel
with the Maenad company,24
combat the God that burns us
with your torch of pine;
230 for the God that is our enemy is a God unhonored
among the Gods
[OEDIPUS returns.]
OEDIPUS: For what you ask me—if you will hear my
words,
and hearing welcome them and fight the plague,
you will find strength and lightening of your load.
Hark to me; what I say to you, I say
235 as one that is a stranger to the story
as stranger to the deed. For I would not
be far upon the track if I alone
were tracing it without a clue. But now,
since after all was finished, I became
240 a citizen among you, citizens—
now I proclaim to all the men of Thebes:
19
Amphitrite sea goddess who was the wife of Poseidon, god
of the sea.
20
Lycean King Apollo, whose title Lykios means “god of light.”
21
God with turban of gold Dionysus, god of wine, who was
born of Zeus and a woman of Thebes, the first Greek city to
honor him. He wears an oriental turban because he has come
from the East.
22
Bacchic God with the wind flushed face refers to Dionysus,
who had a youthful, rosy complexion; Bacchus means “riotous
god”
23
Evian One Dionysus, called Evios because his followers
addressed him with the ritual cry “evoi”
24
Maenad company female followers of Dionysus.
who so among you knows the murderer
by whose hand Laius, son of Labdacus,
died—I command him to tell everything
245 to me,– yes, though he fears himself to take the
blame
on his own head; for bitter punishment
he shall have none, but leave this land unharmed.
Or if he knows the murderer, another,
a foreigner, still let him speak the truth.
250 For I will pay him and be grateful, too.
But if you shall keep silence, if perhaps
some one of you, to shield a guilty friend,
some one of you, to shield reject my words –
hear what I shall do then:
255 I forbid that man, whoever he be, my land,
my land where I hold sovereignty25and throne;
and I forbid any to welcome him
or cry him greeting or make him a sharer
in sacrifice or offering to the Gods,
260 or give him water for his hands to wash.
I command all to drive him from their homes,
since he is our pollution, as the oracle
of Pytho’s God26 proclaimed him now to me.
So I stand forth a champion of the God
265 and of the man who died.
Upon the murderer I invoke this curse—
whether he is one man and all unknown,
or one of many—may he wear out his life
in misery to miserable doom!
270 If with my knowledge he lives at my hearth
I pray that I myself may feel my curse.
On you I lay my charge to fulfill all this
for me, for the God, and for this land of ours
destroyed and blighted, by the God forsaken.
275 Even were this no matter of God’s ordinance
it would not fit you so to leave it lie,
unpurified, since a good man is dead
and one that was a king. Search it out.
Since I am now the holder of his office,
280 And have his bed and wife that once was his,
and had his line not been unfortunate
we would have common children—(fortune leaped
upon his head)—because of all these things,
I fight in his defense as for my father,
285 and I shall try all means to take the murderer
of Laius the son of Labdacus
the son of Polydorus and before him
of Cadmus and before him of Agenor.
Those who do not obey me, may the Gods
290 grant no crops springing from the ground they
plow
nor children to their women! May a fate
like this, or one still worse than this consume them!
For you whom these words please, the other Thebans,
25
26
sovereignty n. supreme authority
Pytho’s God Apollo
may Justice as your ally and all the Gods
295 live with you, blessing you now and for ever!
OEDIPUS: If there’s a third best, too, spare not to tell it
in you alone on that can rescue us.
Perhaps you have not heard the messengers,
but Phoebus sent in answer to our sending 335 an
oracle declaring that our freedom
from this disease would only come when we
should learn the names of those who killed King Laius,
and kill them or expel them from our country.
Do not begrudge us oracle from birds,
340 or any other way of prophecy
within your skill; save yourself and the city,
save me; redeem the debt of our pollution
that lies on us because of this dead man.
We are in your hands; pains are most nobly taken345 to
help another when you have means and power.
CHORUS: I know that what the Lord Teiresias
305 sees, is most often what the Lord Apollo
sees. If you should inquire of this from him
you might find out most clearly.
TEIRESIAS: Alas, how terrible is wisdom when
it brings no profit to the man that’s wise!
This I knew well, but had forgotten it,
else I would not have come here.
OEDIPUS: Even in this my actions have not been
sluggard28
On Creon’s word I have sent two messengers
310 and why the prophet is not here already
I have been wondering.
OEDIPUS: What is this?
351 How sad you are now you have come!
CHORUS: As you have held me to my oath, I speak:
I neither killed the king nor can declare
the killer; but since Phoebus set the quest
it is his part to tell who the man is.
OEDIPUS: Right; but to put compulsion27 on the Gods
301 against their will—no man can do that
CHORUS: May I then say what I think second best?
CHORUS: His skill apart
there is besides only an old faint story.
OEDIPUS: What is it?
315I look at every story.
CHORUS: It was said
that he was killed by certain wayfarers.
TEIRESIAS: Let me
go home, It will be easiest for us both
to bear our several destinies to the end
355 if you will follow my advice.
OEDIPUS: You’d rob us
of this your gift of prophecy? You talkas one who had
no care for law nor love
for Thebes who reared you.
TEIRESIAS: Yes, but I see that even your own words
361 miss the mark; therefore I must fear for mine.
OEDIPUS: I heard that, too, but no one saw the killer.
CHORUS: Yet if he has a share of fear at all,
320 his courage will not stand firm, hearing your curse.
OEDIPUS: The man who in the doing did not shrink
will fear no word.
CHORUS: Here comes his prosecutor:
led by your men the godly prophet comes
325 in whom alone of mankind truth is native.
OEDIPUS: For God’s sake if you know of anything,
do not turn from us; all of us kneel to you,
all of us here, your suppliants.
TEIRESIAS: All of you here know nothing. I will not
366 bring to light of day my troubles, mine—
rather than call them yours.
OEDIPUS: What do you mean?
You know of something but refuse to speak.
Would you betray us and destroy the city?
[Enter TEIRESIAS, led by a little boy]
OEDIPUS: Teiresias, you are versed in everything,
things teachable and things not to be spoken,
things of the heaven and earth-creeping things.
You have no eyes but in your mind you know 330 with
what a plague our city is afflicted.
My lord, in you alone we find a champion,
27
28
compulsion n. driving force; coercion.
sluggard adj. lazy or idle
TEIRESIAS: I will not bring this pain upon us both,
371 neither on you nor on myself. Why is it
you question me and waste your labor? I will tell you
nothing.
OEDIPUS: You would provoke a stone! Tell us, you
villain,
375 tell us, and do not stand there quietly
unmoved and balking29 at the issue.
TEIRESIAS: You blame my temper but you do not see
your own that lives within you; it is me
you chide.30
OEDIPUS: Who would not feel this temper rise
381 at words like these with which you shame our city?
not so to call it known. Say it again.
TEIRESIAS: I say you are the murderer of the king
416 whose murderer you seek.
OEDIPUS: Not twice you shall
say calumnies32 like this and stay unpunished.
TEIRESIAS: Shall I say more to tempt your anger more?
TEIRESIAS: Of themselves …
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