Rekayi Mohamed Katerere
Mr. de Wilde
March 21, 2010
Never Will I Convict My King, Never in My Heart:
The sad song of the chorus
In this scene “the man the voice of god denounces” is the hubristic king, Oedipus. “The skilled prophet”, Tiresias, announces this to the chorus. However, the Chorus refuses to accept the words of Tiresias who seems to see everything, even though he is blind. Instead they persist in their loyalty to Oedipus. This scene is effective because Sophocles uses a series of a combination of literary devices to demonstrate the intense reaction of the Chorus to this unwelcome news. He connects with the audience through potent imagery and strong symbolism, holds them with dramatic irony and exposes us to the loyalty that the chorus has for Oedipus. The analysis of these literary devices shows how powerful this scene is.
Throughout the scene, Sophocles uses powerful images of nature. He uses images of flight, darkness, storms and animals to describe the situation Oedipus is facing. Three quotations demonstrate the use of these images. In the first quotation, flight, storms and animals are used in combination: “His time has come to fly, to outrace the stallions of the storm, his feet a streak of speed”. Sophocles uses the image of flight to communicate this act of escape. It is Oedipus who is trying to fly and escape his fate, but it is close behind him. The word, “streak” conjures up a sense of something that is impermanent and yet powerful. On the contrary, “the stallions of the storm” are fast, mighty beasts with stamina, able to catch up to Oedipus. The storm, driven by the stallions, engulfs everything and because it stretches far and wide there is no avoiding it. Oedipus fate is sealed. Secondly, the son of Zeus, Apollo, “lunges on him, lightning bolts afire!” This is both an expression of anger and an attempt to expose the truth. By hurling lightning bolts towards earth, towards Thebes; Apollo is also...