Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus (OC)

OEDIPUS (part two)
Instruction: This week, please write thick responses to any one of the following questions with quotes. Please make sure you engage with the reading by quoting, citing, paraphrasing, then making comments about it specifically.

1. Although blindness is prominently staged in Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus (OC), the analogy between sight and knowledge is less frequently drawn than in Oedipus the King (OK). What, if any, new significance does blindness—or any other disability—take on in OC?
2. Why are the men of Colonus (the chorus members) so eager to drive Oedipus away early in the play (OC 245-51)? By what means does Oedipus manage to overcome their hostility?
3. To what extent do you detect traces of Athenian exceptionalism in Sophocles’ drama—for instance in the choral odes, or perhaps in certain speeches by Theseus? Do you find this Athenian ideology to be as ablist as American exceptionalism? Why or why not?
4. How does the end of the play Oedipus at Colonus—and also the end of its title character—alter the significance of disability in the text? Is Oedipus once again a powerful figure in this final stage of his life (and after) because of his otherness (blindness, suffering, destiny, etc.) or despite it?
5. What does Edwards (1997) mean by the community model of disability? Why and how does she apply it to Ancient Greece?
6. Why does Edwards avoid the term disability in the context of this article and what practical difficulties might this decision present for our discussion?
7. Overall, after reading Edwards’ article, would you argue that people with disabilities were generally included or excluded in Ancient Greek society? Which examples given or arguments made by Edwards best support that position?

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