Sophocles, Oedipus Coloneus [Oedipus at Colonus]

Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error

According to some ancient sources preserved through quotations, the

Oedipus at Colonus

was written in the last years of Sophocles’ life, when the poet was ninety. It was probably produced in 401 BCE after the poet’s death (404 BCE) by his grandson who had been named after him. The drama is a reflection on the ending of Oedipus, who dies at the end of the tragedy, on the ending of Athens, which lost its status in 404 BCE, when it surrendered to Sparta, and on the end of the Sophocles’ own life. It looks again at the character of Oedipus, whom Sophocles depicted in his earlier plays


(perhaps produced in 442 BCE) and

Oedipus Tyrannus

(maybe staged in 430 BCE). The drama also looks ahead to a future that the poet offers to his audience as a gift. Athens was humiliated by Sparta…

3118 words

Citation: Francisetti Brolin, Sonia. "Oedipus Coloneus". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 August 2017 [, accessed 22 April 2024.]

3152 Oedipus Coloneus 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.