The stirring tale of a legendary royal family’s fall and ultimate redemption, the Theban trilogy endures as the crowning achievement of Greek drama. Sophocles’ three-play cycle, chronicling Oedipus’s search for the truth and its tragic results, remains essential reading for English and classical studies majors as well as for all students of Western civilization.
Oedipus Rex unfolds amid a city in the relentless grip of a plague. When an oracle proclaims that only an act of vengeance will lift the curse from Thebes, King Oedipus vows to bring a murderer to justice. His quest engenders a series of keen dramatic ironies, culminating in the fulfillment of a dreaded prophecy. Oedipus at Colonus finds the former ruler in exile. Old and blind, he seeks a peaceful place to end his torment, but finds only challenges from his reluctant hosts and a summons back to Thebes from his warring sons. The trilogy concludes with Antigone, in which Oedipus’s courageous daughter defies her tyrannical uncle in a provocative exploration of the demands of loyalty and duty.