This paper examines the appearance of theôria (sacred sightseeing) as metaphor in Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus. Once Oedipus arrives in Colonus, the local site on the outskirts of Athens becomes, in effect, theoric space, as travelers converge upon the site, drawn there to visit the old man, whose narrative is known to all Greeks. Oedipus, as panhellenic figure, serves simultaneously as spectacle and theôros (sightseer), attaining inner vision as he goes to his death at the end of the play. Oedipus offers salvation (sôtêria) to Athens within the logic of the play, but in order to confer benefits upon Athens, he requires the travel and vision of his daughters, Antigone and Ismene, who serve as supplementary theôroi. The essay concludes with a glance at outsiders-as-saviors in Oedipus at Colonus and beyond, with an emphasis on the contribution of female travelers to sôtêria in classical Athenian drama.
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Research Article| April 01 2018
Sightseeing at Colonus: Oedipus, Ismene, and Antigone as Theôroi in Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus
Classical Antiquity (2018) 37 (1): 108–150.
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Laurialan Reitzammer; Sightseeing at Colonus: Oedipus, Ismene, and Antigone as Theôroi in Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus. Classical Antiquity 1 April 2018; 37 (1): 108–150. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/ca.2018.37.1.108
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