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Sophocles was a Greek playwright who lived during the 5th century bc The Oedipus Cycle is one of his most famous works the trilogy of plays traces the ill-fated life of a noble blooded man and his descendants Oedipus at Colonus is the second installment of the set The play opens with Oedipus in a state of exile from his homeland of Thebes At this point in his life Oedipus is blind due to the actions of his own hands The relationship between blindness and exile is explored throughout the play through the actions and words of the characters Sophocles suggests in Oedipus at Colonus that Oedipus exile lead the people who interact with him to be blind at seeing him for who he is From the people of Colonus to Oedipus own son and brother-in-law the people Oedipus interacts with only see his strength and power when he holds a status of citizenship in society As the play begins Oedipus and Antigone stop to rest on a section of land Oedipus believes this land to be the place where he will remain until his death The citizens of Colonus arrive go this place to inform Oedipus that his desire to remain on this land is impossible because it is sacred to the town The townspeople are immediately influenced by Oedipus appearance Someone terrible to see terrible to hear Green and Lattimore 85 The sight of Oedipus in his exiled state leads the people of Colonus to pity him and his daughter Upon learning of Oedipus name the townspeople are horrified As the rumors have traveled far and wide across the land of Greece Oedipus shed his own fathers blood Oedipus is unable to convince the citizens that his sinful deeds of the past were no fault of his own they were decided by fate Unhappy man But you did a murder Green and Lattimore 105 By the time of the Theseus arrival
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