Bearer of an almost unspeakable, immutable fate, Oedipus yet feels himself a man chosen—that is, favored—by the gods. Now an old man, blind and outcast, Oedipus wanders through Greece guided by his daughter Antigone until he comes to Colonus, where he knows he will die. Protected by the ruler of Thebes against the armies of Creon who have come in pursuit, he curses his son Polynices for indifference and ingratitude. Oedipus in this play is old and rails against the indignities of old age. Sophocles, nearly 90 at the time of its composition, apparently wrote the play to prove he was of sound mind; his son, it seems, was trying to claim Sophocles’ estate by accusing his father of senility. With Anthony Quayle as Oedipus, John Shrapnel as Creon, Juliet Stevenson as Antigone, and Kenneth Haigh as Polynices.
Oedipus at Colonus, by Sophocles, directed by Taylor, Don. (Films For The Humanities & Sciences, 1984) 130:55 min.